Mindful Listening

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A 10 Step Guide to Mindful Listening.

This particular practice is suitable for children aged between 5-9 years.  It is one of the first Mindfulness practices to help your class experience the benefits of this training.  The resource can be adapted for older children and also adults.  (If you’re a teacher introducing this please engage in this Mindful Listening practice designed for staff first.)

Time: 5 Minutes.
Equipment: Each child to have paper and pencil, teacher to have a timer.
Layout of Class: Sitting on chairs.
Download: Download the PDF here or read below

1) Explain to your class that Mindfulness is a special way to live in the moment.  When we are in the moment then we can be calmer, more relaxed and happier.  Listening is a very special activity that helps us to be present, to do well in class and also to make our friends and family happy.

2) Ask your class to sit in a comfortable posture in their chairs and for one minute to listen to the different sounds around them. Sitting quietly without talking.  Ask your class to gently close their eyes while they do this practice, so they can listen without distraction.

(Let them know that after this one minute they are going to write down all the different sounds that they heard, in and outside of the room.)

3) After one minute ask your class to stop listening, take a few breaths, and to write down all the different sounds they heard.  They have one more minute to do this practice.

4) After one minute ask your class to stop writing.  Ask them to let you know what sounds they could hear.  What sounds are written on their list.  Ask for a volunteer to get this process started.  Go around the class asking.  When one child is reading out their list, ask the other children if they also heard the sound.  They can acknowledge this by raising their hand.

5) Discussion: What did the class notice during the practice of listening?  Anything different?

6) Did they enjoy listening quietly?   Was it relaxing for them?

7) Do they think they could practice this at home or when they are outside?

8) Why do they think that listening is important in their life?  What would happen if we don’t listen?

When we are listening to someone can we be doing other things at the same time?  How does this effect what we hear?

9) Ask your class if they think they would they be able to sit for two minutes listening…to see if they could hear even more sounds ?

10)  Ask the class if they would like to do the practice again and see if they can hear any new sounds that didn’t hear first time around.  Or if they would like to try the practice again next week perhaps in a different location.

Try the 5 Minutes to a Calmer Classroom Resource after introducing this.