During Swooper Citizens this week we introduced the concept of peacefulness or feeling calm and at ease. We talked about how we feel and how our bodies respond when we are peacefulf. I showed this great video clip:

I asked students to identify a place where they go to be peaceful. The lesson then shifted to the practice of mindfulness, as I read aloud the book I Am Peace by Susan Verde.

“When the world feels chaotic, find peace within through an accessible mindfulness practice from the bestselling picture-book dream team that brought us I Am Yoga. Express emotions through direct speech. Find empathy through imagination. Connect with the earth. Wonder at the beauty of the natural world. Breathe, taste, smell, touch, and be present.

Perfect for the classroom or for bedtime, Susan Verde’s gentle, concrete narration and Peter H. Reynolds’s expressive watercolor illustrations bring the tenets of mindfulness to a kid-friendly level. Featuring an author’s note about the importance of mindfulness and a guided meditation for children, I Am Peace will help readers of all ages feel grounded and restored.” (Amazon)


At the end of the book is a guided mindfulness activity that the students enjoyed.

We ended the session with a pebble meditation activity based on the book A Handful of Quiet by Thich Nhat Hanh.

I had each of the students choose a pebble to hold in their hand.


I modified the practice to include just one pebble. Students were encouraged to rub the pebble as I read a few of the short meditation cards. Practicing pebble meditation can help relieve stress, increase concentration, nourish gratitude, and can help children deal with difficult emotions.


Next week, Annie Ranger, author of Mindful Owl Adventures, will visit our class during Swooper Citizens to continue our practice of mindfulness. We are excited to welcome her!


The Swooper Citizens theme for the past two weeks has been peacefulness. Peacefulness means feeling calm and at ease. Last Wednesday, students practiced a short meditation routine. They they engaged in a mindful yoga lesson. Finally, students colored a mandala. Mandalas, a circular design that symbolizes that life is never ending, have been in existence since the beginning of time.  Coloring mandalas has presented individuals with a way to maintain healing and wellness and other positive states of being that equate to peacefulness!

Here are some examples of the mandalas students colored.


I wanted to take this state of peacefulness farther. How could I encourage students to have the feelings of calm and ease as often as possible? When do children experience the most unrest? At my house, this happens at bedtime. This got me thinking….what if the students each made a “peacefulness pillow?”

I created a mandala template for students to use to design their own mandala. Next, they were asked to draw their design on this template.




Then I traced the blank mandala design on muslin fabric. IMG_6676

Once students created their design, I taped their piece of muslin on top of their design. Then the magic began. Students traced their design in black permanent marker and added bright colors with fabric markers.







During this process, students were encouraged to create a peaceful classroom environment. After about ten minutes of quiet, the children began sweetly singing “One Day,” the perfect song to accompany this activity.

Soon, students will choose their second piece of fabric from several cozy flannel selections. I will sew them up, and students will stuff the pillow cases with poly-fill. Look for these peaceful pillows to arrive at your house by the end of next week!