Students evaluate their current level of contentment and balance and then brainstorm methods to increase their levels of contentment and balance.

Objectives

  1. Cognitive: Students will evaluate their current level of contentment and balance in different areas of life.
  2. Affective: Students will internalize how they feel and be more empowered to navigate their emotions.

Materials

Sticky notes, two large drawings of thermometers, writing utensils

Teacher Prep

Draw two large thermometers on white poster paper and hang them in your room

Exercises

Time Activity Notes
1 min Explain to students that they are going to rate their current level of contentment (a state of happiness and satisfaction) and balance.

This activity is a quick way of checking in and finding strategies to manage feelings of contentment and balance. Encourage honesty.

Remind students this is a safe place to share.

 

3 min Ask students: On one sticky note each and using a scale of 0-100%, rate your level of (1) contentment (satisfaction) and (2) balance in your life right now. (Students should have two numbers: one sticky note for contentment and another sticky note for balance.)

Students post their sticky notes on the large thermometers in the front of the room.

Emphasize this is a “snapshot” in time – it changes constantly.

Explain that balance may refer to their home, school, or extracurricular balance. Balance may also mean emotionally or mentally balanced.

2 min Ask students to discuss: causes for the temperature they shared as a class and how can they increase our contentment/balance “temperature”

While students discuss, calculate the classroom average for 1) contentment and 2) balance.

Remind students there is a range of strategies we can use to help ourselves and others feel more content. For instance, a quick compliment or a smile may increase one’s contentment “temperature” by a few degrees, while reconnecting with an old friend or celebrating an accomplishment may increase “temperature” more.
9 min Wrap up the activity by sharing the current classroom averages, highlighting how we can now work as a class to increase contentment and balance.

Ask:

  • Did anything surprise you?
  • What did you notice about your energy level before and after the activity?
  • Are you more willing to consider mind-body activities knowing they will directly affect your contentment and balance “temperature”?

Offer 10 seconds for students to gather thoughts. Ask students to share observation (in pairs, small group, whole group).

Highlight self-awareness throughout the week and in different situations.

Encourage proactive actions to increase satisfaction and balance.

Highlight the group experience of sharing.

Teacher Reflection

  • How did you feel after the activity? Did students participate
    and seem engaged?
  • Remember to ask the students to share their feedback on the activity:
    • What went well? What suggestions do they have for making the activity better? Think about what you might do differently next time.

Emotional Intelligence Tips

  • Encourage students to be patient, respectful, open, and reserve judgment
  • Encourage students to approach the activity with curiosity
  • This activity opens minds and hearts to the possibility of incorporating different lesson plans on contentment/balance (meditation, breathing, self-care, etc.)

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