Activity Introduction

leaves-heroQuick summary: These activities will allow students to experience and share a range of sequential nature-based mindfulness practices. Each practice is 2 minute and has been designed to ‘punctuate’ the day to allow for present moment focus with awareness of students’ connection to nature. Each activity is designed to connect students to natural alignment with a focus on awareness of posture, breathing, relaxation and returning body to balance. The mind is then prepared for effective engagement and focus in class. Nature metaphors and references are imbued in these practices.

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Following this lesson is an ideal way for students to participate in Planet Ark’s Schools Tree Day – the largest nature-care event in Australian schools. You and your students will join thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference, fostering a child’s love of nature and creating positive environmental change. So, get growing! It only takes a minute to register for Schools Tree Day.

 

Learning goals:

  • To create enhanced focus, emotional regulation, empathy and happiness through connection with nature.
  • To cultivate present moment awareness so that calm, considered and conscious choices can begin to replace impulsive, unconscious reactions.
  • To provide hands-on direct contact with the natural world.

General capabilities: Personal and social capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2.

Australian Curriculum content description: These activities can be used with all subject areas to enable deep focus and engagement within students; however, the following curriculum links do directly relate to these activities.

Year 7 & 8 Health and Physical Education

  • Plan and use health practices, behaviours and resources to enhance the health, safety and wellbeing of their communities (ACPPS077)
  • Plan and implement strategies for connecting to natural and built environments to promote the health and wellbeing of their communities (ACPPS078)

Year 9 & 10 Health and Physical Education

  • Plan and evaluate new and creative interventions that promote their own and others’ connection to community and natural and built environments (ACPPS097)

Syllabus Outcomes: PDHPE4.6, PDHPE4.7, PDHPE4.8, PDHPE4.9, PDHPE4.14, PDHPE5.9, PDHPE5.14.

Topic: Schools Tree Day, Nature of Mindfulness

Time required: 2 minutes for each activity – these activities have been designed to ‘punctuate’ the day. You can use them before class, during class or at the end of your class.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – lead students in mindfulness activities.

Resources required: Nature of Mindfulness Guided Meditation 1, Calm music (if desired) such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Saint-Saens’ Aquarium, Ken Davis’ Early Morning in the Rain Forest, etc.

Keywords: mindfulness, nature, focus, attention, well being, health, happiness, Planet Ark.

The curriculum writer: Janet Etty-Leal is a highly experienced educator who designs mindfulness programs within schools. Find out more about Janet here and check out her website.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

caterpillar-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: The aim of these activities is to create enhanced focus, emotional regulation, empathy and happiness through connection with nature. Students are given the opportunity to cultivate present moment awareness so that calm, considered and conscious choices can begin to replace impulsive, unconscious reactions. Finally students are given hands-on direct contact with the natural world.

Teacher background information:

The benefits of mindfulness
We are a culture increasingly becoming addicted to instant communication and ever-changing technologies. While technologies such as mobile phones bring wonderful opportunities, children are spending more and more time being passively engaged in these technologies rather than actively engaging in the world around them. This includes the natural world and our environment. There is growing concern about the lack of time young people spend in nature and the consequences of this disconnect.

The practices o

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