“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”– Martin Luther King
What is this lesson about?
Similar to the work students did with gratitude, this lesson will focus on an attention to compassion and kindness and how this type of purposeful work can increase a sense of connection to others, increase satisfaction and optimism and reduce anxious feelings. Brain scan research has found that effects of this type of "loving-kindness" mindfulness work can increase activation in the emotional centers of the brain and allow us to better process and regulate our emotions.
What will students Learn during this lesson?
Students will be reminded of our gratitude work and how saying "thank you" and feeling grateful can actually increase our happiness.
Students will be taught that sending kind thoughts to others also can improve how we feel.
Students will be taught the difference between kindness and compassion. Kindness means being friendly or nice to someone. Compassion means that we notice how someone is feeling, we think about how they are feeling, and how we can help them.
After a brief discussion, students will be read the book How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath.
What will students do during this lesson?
After our read-aloud, students will be guided through a mindfulness activity.
Students will face a partner and begin with our mindful body pose.
Students will take three belly breaths to start and will be guided through a practice of sending happy thoughts to their partner.
The script is: "May you be happy...May you be healthy...May you be peaceful".
After processing this exercise, students will repeat this activity but with sending kind thoughts to themselves with the script"May I be happy, May I be healthy, May I be peaceful".
If there is enough time, this practice will be repeated one last time, this time with a focus on sending kind thoughts to someone "you love that really makes you smile. We will choose someone that we see all the time and who makes us feel good when we think about them". "May they be happy...May they be healthy...May they be peaceful".
Additional Kindness/Compassion Practice
Guided audio practice entitled Friendly Wishes by Annaka Harris.