A K-5 Mindful Breathing Practice
Set Up: Ensure students have enough room to extend their arms without touching one another.
We’re going to practice butterfly breath.
Begin by standing in a comfortable position.
Now let’s grow some wings! Raise your arms up and out so that they’re in a T-shape.
Are you ready to fly?
As you breathe in, flap your wings up.
As you breathe out, flap your wings down.
Take another breath in, and flap your wings up.
And take another breathe out, and flap your wings down.
[Continue for as long as you’d like.]
Wonderful! Are you ready to land? Lower your arms to your sides as you fly toward the
ground for a gentle landing.
You do not need to read the included script verbatim. Adapt the language so that it is appropriate for your students in particular.
It is not important for students to get this breath practice “exactly right.” Instead, focus on helping them build mind-body awareness each time you practice.
Offer students positive reinforcements throughout each practice. Focus on qualities and behaviors they can control, like their focus, effort, or persistence. Be specific whenever possible. This will help your students develop a “growth mindset.”
Authors: Megan Downey and Anna Basile
Adapted from: Compassionate Schools Project