Flow Form Level 1: This is a mindfulness-based lesson plan that integrates the Australian Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).
EYLF Learning Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity.
1.1 Children feel safe, secure, and supported.
1.2 Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency.
1.3 Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities.
1.4 Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect.
Developing EYLF: Children learn to feel safe, secure and supported.
Lesson Title: Going within.
Learning outcome: Through this mindfulness-based lesson plan, children will develop a deep understanding of how to create and maintain a safe, secure and supported environment within themselves.
Introduction: In this mindfulness-based lesson, children will learn how to create a sense of security within themselves. To begin, the teacher will guide the children through a grounding exercise, where they will become aware of their breath and body. An emphasis will be placed on core/distal awareness. This will help the children connect with the present moment. And teach them to direct their conscious awareness in a particular way (within – breath; tummy/core; fingers and toes/distal).
Note: This meditation should take 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Discussion: Once the children are grounded, the teacher will open discuss with the topic question: What does it mean to feel safe and supported? The teacher may need to prompt answers such as, when I feel my mums love; when my dad helps me do things; when I’m tucked in my bed; when I say my prayer; when I think of how much my mum and dad love me; when I think of how much my dog loves me. Continuing to encourage answers that reflect feelings of safety, security and support. Encourage each child to share something that makes them feel safe, secure or supported.
Loving kindness meditation: The teacher will then guide the children through a loving kindness meditation that focuses on feeling the love inside, that the children hold for their special person. The children will be asked to sit with the loving feeling and notice how it makes them feel safe and secure.
Note: This meditation should be no longer than a couple of minutes. Allow time for the children to sit with their feelings of safety and support.
Loving kindness Meditation promotes developing EYLF: 1.2 Children develop their emerging autonomy, inter-dependence, resilience and sense of agency. & 1.3 Children develop knowledgeable and confident self-identities.
Discussion: Let the children know that feeling safe, secure and supported is great for our wellbeing and it’s wonderful that we have other people that make us feel this way. Then ask the question: What are some ways we might help ourselves to feel safe, secure and supported? They will be prompted to discuss different ways that they can create this environment within themselves, such as through positive self-talk, self-care, practicing meditation; and growing really strong bodies.
Ask the children to explore the concept of growing really strong bodies and how that makes us feel safe, secure and supported. Chat about how strong legs help us stand, walk, run, twirl, balance, etc. Chat about why we need strong tummy muscles and introduce the word ‘core’ letting the children know that this is our core. Ask them to tighten their tummy muscles and take a breath in and out to feel their core. Then ask them to wiggle their fingers and toes with the words, ‘now let’s bring our minds to our distal points and wiggle our fingers and toes. Repeat this process three times continue to use the words ‘core and distal’.
Note: Reasons to tell kids why they need strong tummy muscles may include: they help me sit up, stand up, bring up burps when needed, vomit when sick, go to the toilet well, sit with my feet in the air, help me to balance.
Activity: Let’s practice making our tummy muscles strong. Demonstrate cat cow pose; three-legged dog pose boat pose, tree pose. With each pose ask the children to bring their awareness to their core and how it feels strong. Remind them that they need a strong core to feel secure when they are trying to balance.
Note: This lesson structure includes a focus on therapeutic somatic movement. Movement is used as a tool for developing higher order thinking skills aimed towards improving emotional and physical integration. This works towards developing a sense of safety, security and support, from within. Though developing physical strength, and mental awareness of the process, the unconscious mind begins processing this information to understanding life. For example, a strong inner core helps me feel more safe, secure and support through life.
Positive self-talk affirmations in childhood may develop to include, I can make myself strong; I am strong; I am strong inside; I can learn to balance; I am balanced; leading to adult wellbeing based in though such as, I can go within to find a sense of safety, security and support. A strong core brings strength and balance to my life, etc.
Activity: Next, the children will participate in a self-reflection activity, where they will journal with pictures about what it looks like to feel safe, secure and supported. For example, one child may draw a picture of themselves with their mum and dad, other might draw a picture of themselves balancing.
Group sharing: The children will share their picture and describe what’s happening to the group. After this, they will be asked to brainstorm different ways that they can support themselves when they are feeling anxious, scared or alone. Prompts may include remembering how loved they are; meditating on mums love to ‘feel’ better inside; using exercise to change the way the feel/ cultivate better ways of being through redirecting thought to exercise.
Group sharing promotes developing EYLF: 1.4 Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect.
Wrap-Up: Meditation. To finish the lesson, the teacher will lead the children through a guided mindfulness of breath focusing on tightening tummies within breath and letting them out with the out breath.
Note: This meditation should only be 1 minute in length.
As a result, the children continue consciously cultivating a sense of present moment awareness; autonomy over their own bodies; and light-hearted, joyful playfulness to further promote feelings of wellbeing.
Conclusion: Through this lesson the children will learn how to ground themselves in the present moment. Discovering meditation and mindfulness practices, which will help them feel more connected to their bodies and surroundings. Moreover, they work towards developing inner strength through cultivating emotions and psychical strength and then reflecting on their own experiences. Additionally, through learning from one another, they will gain insight into the different ways that they can support themselves. Particulary, when they are feeling anxious, scared or alone. Through this process, children will develop a strong sense of identity and self-care.
They will be empowered with practical tools to navigate the challenges of growth and change with confidence and resilience. Which will serve them well throughout their lives. Furthermore, the children will be interacting within the group in a positive and supportive way. This will build healthy relationships based on mutual understanding and respect.
Overall, this lesson plan integrates additional key elements of the EYLF. Including, developing a strong sense of identity, building respectful relationships, and developing skills for resilience and adaptability. By fostering a safe and supportive learning environment, children will be more engaged and motivated to learn. Ultimately, setting them on a path towards success and wellbeing.
Note: When working with anxious or traumatized children replace the work ‘safety’ with the word ‘peace’. This will ensure the child will not ‘recall’ times of feeling or being ‘unsafe’ within the meditation.
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