Objective: Students practise mindfulness and wellness in nature, learning simple meditation and grounding techniques with different natural elements.
This exercise has been designed for grades 7-12. However, it can be adapted for all ages. Visit our curriculum connections page for specific, identified skills that can be developed using this lesson plan.
- Students are introduced to meditation
- Students practise mindfulness
- Students understand the importance of wellness and vitamin “N” (nature) for their health
- Students learn about coping with stress
- Meditating Outside | Benefits & Joys of Meditating in Nature
- How to Introduce Meditation to the High School Classroom
- 5 Guided Meditation Scripts for Teachers
- Guided Meditation Nature Scripts
- Pine cones
- Pond stones
Time: 30 minutes+
- Introduce students to meditation, mindfulness and wellness, and how they impact health and well-being, as well as act as a coping mechanism for stress
- Discuss the importance of vitamin “N” (spending time in nature) for health and well-being
- Take students outside to participate in the following meditation:
- Have participants sit down, preferably outside in a backyard or a local green space
- Run the meditation by reading the following script
- Students discover how each element (seed, rock, acorn, glass gem) represents some form of wellness
The “whys” behind choosing…
… an acorn… like a seed, everyone has everything they’ll ever need inside themselves to be absolutely who they are meant to be. Conditions may influence us — both positively and negatively. But in the end, we are as nature intended — exactly enough. There is no rush. We are alive, we are growth, we are potential…
… a stick… trees are defined by its layers, its history, its stories. A rock’s stories are vast and ever-unfolding — from drastic events and eruptions to day-to-day erosion and daydreaming. Everyone’s story layers are unique and individual. Stories are vaults of support, learning and strength…
… a pond stone… if you have seen the surface of a pond when it’s very still, you will have noticed that it reflects the sky, clouds and trees around it perfectly. When you are calm, when you are still, you see things as they truly are. You don’t distort things. When you are not calm, it’s easy to become confused and angry. With calm water we cultivate stillness, calm and reflection…
…a pine cone… the cone is matter fused with space. And, space is freedom. And, freedom is the foundation of true happiness. In cultivating space for yourself, you allow yourself room to grow, room to succeed, room to make mistakes. When you love someone, offering them space within and around them — space to themselves — gifts them space to be happy in who they are. All of us need space inside and around us to be truly happy, to be truly free.
Taking hold of the acorn:
Breathing in, I am a seed.
Breathing out, I am alive and complete.
Taking hold of the stick:
Breathing in, I am a tree.
Breathing out, I am strong in “my story”
Taking hold of the pond stone:
Breathing in, I am water.
Breathing out, I reflect things as they truly are.
Taking hold of the pine cone:
Breathing in, I am a space.
Breathing out, I am free.
- Invite the group to reflect on the experience and how they might return to nature mindfulness again. Extend the activity through reflective journaling or a group discussion.
- Some possible reflective questions:
- How did you feel before, during and after the meditation?
- Did you feel particularly connected to one of the nature elements?
- What lessons can we take from each element?
- How might you find nature mindfulness regularly in your own life?
Students can simply be evaluated based on if they participated in the meditation or not. Students can also be evaluated on journal submissions (evaluation based on participation, not content). For extended engagement, host outdoor meditation sessions with students regularly (see other scripts options under the resource section). This ensures students are practising mindfulness and wellness on a regular basis.