I have been doing morning mindfulness with my class of second graders since the beginning of the year. I teach it as a part of the routine from the first day of school. It is usually short and quick, and the objective is posted for the students to see.
Objective: Students will be able to use breathing and mindfulness techniques to become calm, focused, and ready to learn.
I explain to my students what mindfulness is, why we practice mindfulness, and some of the positive benefits of taking time to pause and breathe (check the mindfulness tab for more on this!). I do this multiple times so students become familiar with what they are doing and why they are doing it.
During my morning slideshow, I have one slide dedicated to morning mindfulness that always has the objective posted. I also display the name of the breath, pose, or visualization and a picture that goes along with it. The students become so excited to see what breath or pose they will be doing that day. It takes us about 5 to 10 minutes to complete morning mindfulness. It doesn't take a lot of time but the benefits are plentiful.
Toward the middle of the year, my students began creating their own breathing ideas and yoga poses. They would ask to teach their breath to the class, and I always welcome creativity in my classroom! After a few weeks of students coming up and teaching the class, I decided to create a Mindful Creation Bin. In this bin, I have simply offered blank paper and pencils. My students write the name of the breath or pose, draw a picture, and write an explanation of what to do (kids for kids card deck anyone??)
I wanted to share this because I realized something very important that day. You can use the beautiful yoga card decks, you can use the wonderful yoga videos and books, you can use your own imagination... but don't forget to utilize the incredibly intelligent and imaginative faces staring back at you every single day. When given opportunities to originate their own ideas, they will blow you away.