The mayor of New York City has announced that all pupils will be taught mindful breathing for up to five minutes a day from September. This involves concentrating on breathing to feel calm.
The mayor said this will improve pupils’ emotional skills. Some people think money should be spent on supporting pupils’ mental health instead.
This resources pack includes an article from The Week Junior magazine, along with a sheet of activities designed to get children thinking, talking and writing about what the story means to them.
Teaching pupils how to breathe? Isn’t that a ridiculous waste of school time? Aren’t you fed up with your learning time being taken up with faddish new ideas? Shouldn’t school be about learning things that will help you pass exams?
Or is it good that children are being taught techniques for keeping calm? Surely pupils should be in the right frame of mind to start learning.
Isn’t it important that schools provide a broader experience than just academic lessons? What do you think?
Write an explanation of what happens when we breathe. Try to keep it as factual and scientifically accurate as possible, including the names of relevant parts of the body and the main gases involved. If it helps, include labelled diagrams to illustrate what is happening.
Write an acrostic poem where the first letter of each line spells the word BREATHE when read downwards. Try to make it a calming, relaxing poem in keeping with the aims of mindful breathing.
What are the main ideas behind mindfulness? Write a paragraph summarising what mindfulness is and the benefits it offers.
Find the entire series of Topical Tuesday resources to download in our Topical Tuesdays collection.
What is the Week Junior?
The Week Junior magazine looks at current affairs and helps children make sense of the world, provides context and clarity to complex issues, improves general knowledge and encourages discussion and debate.
To find out more about The Week Junior and to download its free resources, please go to The Week Junior website.