URI Kids - Activities
Individual Spiritual Growth:
To give students a couple of quiet minutes out of their hectic day. To allow for some brief quiet reflection. To teach students the basics of meditation or silent prayer. To increase student's comfort with being quiet and not always being distracted.
None, unless you want a bell or some other noisemaker to indicate the beginning and ending of the meditation. You also may consider finding some explanations of meditation from different spiritual traditions.
Begin by discussing with students what meditation is and how it can benefit people of all ages, regardless of their religious or spiritual beliefs. You might share some examples of how different religions use meditation. Guidelines should be established, i.e., no talking, students can draw or shouldn't be drawing, eyes can be open or closed, head can or cannot be on the table, students may or may not lie on the floor, etc. Explain that from now on, when students enter the room, they should enter quietly. Tell them that you will ring a bell or give some other signal to officially begin the meditation and to end it.
This lesson can be interpreted many ways. One thing that worked well with 7th graders was to tell them exactly how much time had passed for one meditation (it ranged from 2-4 minutes). You could increase the time a bit each day, or do a longer meditation at the end of the unit (we did a twelve minute meditation the last day). The students liked feeling that they had gotten better at the sitting.
Some days, you might choose to have the students write in their learning log during or after the meditation. Some days you might ask how it went, if it felt long or short, or how hard it was to just be quiet for a couple of minutes. Your assessment can be based on their responses, as well as on what you may observe (if you choose to) during the silence.