Your Destination: The world is a wonderful, noisy, sensational place, filled with overflowing sensory input. A person’s brain has to work hard in the moment to filter out all of the incoming stimuli in order to be able to focus and function. However, if we don’t give our minds and bodies a break from all this filtering, we can become tense, distracted and overwhelmed. A great way to de-stress is mindfulness or focused awareness. Relaxation is a byproduct of mindfulness. The goal is focused awareness in the present moment. Because we take in the world around us through our senses, sense perception is a perfect place to start when practicing mindfulness. With this lesson plan, we’ll be inspired by Spiderman and his Spidey Senses!
Travel Kit: a bell, a flower, a small food item (such as a berry, or m&m), yarn, glue, and paper.
On the Path:
Step 1: Start your mindfulness practice by paying very close attention, just like Spider-Man. Start sitting down with your eyes closed and hands on your knees.
Step 2: Ring a bell once. When you hear it, pay attention to the ring until you can no longer hear the sound. Repeat this 3 times. We have now activated your Spidey-sense of superhero hearing!
Step 3: Pick up the flower, and hold it gently in your hand. Ring the bell, and then close your eyes and gently touch the petals. Feel what each petal feels like on your fingers. Pay attention to see if it is soft, rough, furry, smooth, prickly, or wet. Imagine that, like Spider-Man, your hands have Spidey-senses to be able to feel all the detail of the flower.
Step 4: Ring the bell again, and keep your eyes closed. Smell the flower. Hold the flower right under your nose and breathe in deeply. What scent do you smell? Does it have a strong smell or a faint smell?
Step 5: Now, ring the bell, open your eyes, and look closely at the flower. Pay attention to the shape of the petals. What color do you see? Are there lines on the petals? What does the center of the flower look like? How is it different from the petals?
Step 6: Sense of Taste: Now pick up your small food item. Start by looking at the berry and practice using the other Spidey-senses we have already learned. What does it look like? What does it feel like? What does it smell like? Now put the berry in your mouth. Allow the berry to sit gently in your mouth. What does it feel like on your tongue? Is your mouth starting to water? Now slowly begin to chew the berry. See how slowly you can chew it. How does it taste? Tart? Sweet? Sour? Bitter? Now gently swallow the berry and pay attention to what it feels like going down your throat. Pay attention to what taste remains in your mouth after swallowing it. Great job! You have now activated and strengthened all of your Spider-senses.
Step 7: Using the paper, glue and yarn, design a spiderweb and draw any bugs you want.
Group Tour: Students will be aware of the world around them and their senses will be heightened after this activity, and students who did not enjoy this activity will have a chance to do a spiderweb project.
Extend Your Journey
Learn New Vocabulary: alert, improvise, mindful, attention, attentive, present.
Photo by: David J. Boozer