The Mindful Me journey at My Montessori Eco School continues as we move comfortably into the 2nd lesson plan I created for the remaining weeks of the school term. I have changed the breathing technique and some of the exercises for the older classes, but was advised by one of the teachers that it was best to keep it all the same for the younger classes, as they were just getting the hang of the lesson’s activities at week 3 and she didn’t want to change it. So, now we have three classes of children primarily between the ages of 3 and 5 doing one lesson plan and two classes with children between the ages of 4 and 6 doing the other. It’s fine.
Every class still starts with coming to sitting – legs crossed, hands in chin mudra on the knees and three long deep breaths in and out, the “I love my heart” exercise and “shake out your hands and put them on your knees”. Then I have introduced Five Finger Breathing to the older classes and they all love it. One of the kids actually said to me today – “I love this one.”
Easy to do and sensory as well as breathwork, it’s wonderful. My thanks go to childhood101.com for making it available online for us all to use.
We then move through our body awareness exercise, by placing our hands on the top of our heads, our faces, our shoulders and so on, stopping briefly at our bellies to feel them move up and down as we breathe in and out. This then leads into some silent meditation or sitting still silently. It’s hard for some of the kids to do this and simple for others. Some like it and some don’t want to do it and try to make a game of it by clicking their tongues or giggling. In time however, I am sure that this uncertainty will be replaced by a knowing and ultimately with meditation. Even if it is only for some children and even if it is many years from now. The seeds are being sown today.
Then we have a new exercise for the older children – I have introduced a speaking stone. It’s a piece of rose quartz just the right size to fit into the palm of a child’s hand and whoever has the stone, means it’s their turn to share. We have done two sharing exercises, the first a round of what we are thankful for (explained as what we love or are happy to have in our lives), resulting in rounds of all 17 children in the class saying “my Mommy”. Bless. But over time other things have shown up such as Daddy, the dog(s), sisters or brothers, visits to the beach/park, Mommy taking me to a party, all of you and everyone.
The second sharing round exercise is an inquiry as to what kind of weather they are today? Are you stormy weather, or rainy weather or sunny weather or misty weather or flower weather or rainbow weather or snowy weather or cloudy weather? How do you feel? What kind of weather are you? We have had some children that are always the same kind of weather, one little boy is always mountain weather, and some children who are nonsensical weather such as “king” weather.
But again, most of them are relating their feelings to the kind of weather they are. And I explain to them that they can see that the weather changes all the time, just like our moods, one minute we can be sunny weather and the next we can be rainy weather or stormy weather. But that we can also change our weather or our feelings if we want to by changing what we doing (changing our state). We can speak to an adult or colour in or talk to a friends or take a long deep breath in and out until we feel better or we can say our A…F…F…I…R…M…A…T…I…O…N…S!!
“I am happy – to be me” “I am happy – to be me” “I am happy – to be me”
I realised too while setting this all out in a lesson plan to send to the parents that we are working on developing all the following major areas with all the different exercises:
- Self love and acceptance
- Body awareness and settling into feeling
- Mindful state changing
- Silent Meditation
- Mood and emotion mindfulness
- Sharing our selves
We then close with a song and namaste. This lesson includes “I am the light, light, light, light of my soul”