Visualizations bring calm and focus to any busy group of students. During this lesson, students will learn to calm their amygdala and strengthen their prefrontal cortex.
Duration: 5 minutes
Lesson Activities: Mindful Coloring (Optional)
Link to Video: Rainbow Visualization
Download: English PDF / Español PDF
Keys to Success
Visualization, calm, imagine, picture, rainbow, (possibly show pictures of the rainbow before the visualization)
Make it a Habit
Visualizations are a great grounding exercise after a busy activity such as recess or specials. They are also great before students are getting ready to do a long lesson or test that they will need a lot of focus for.
Set a goal! For example, try to do a visualization 1-3 times a week with students.
Send it Home
After each visualization, there is mindful coloring. Send the mindful coloring home with a description of the visualization. Encourage parents to try it at home. Visualizations are great before bed!
How To Teach It: Ice Cream Visualization
Get students settled comfortably, in a circle, at desks, or around the room. Allow them to get comfortable in a space where they can focus. Turn down the lights to help with distractions.
(As with all FocusedKids lessons, please modify as needed to make it work for you!)
“Today we are going to do a visualization. We are going to get a picture in ourmind to help us calm our mind and body and let go of any problems, or worries we may have right now. What part of our brain do you think we are calming right now? That’s right, Guard Dog. Get comfortable and close your eyes or look down (always offer the option to not close your eyes). This is so we can tune out the things around us and just focus on the picture we are going to create in our minds.”
(Change this dialogue up as students get more practice and know what to expect)
“When you hear the sound of the chime that will be our signal that our visualization has begun. I will ding the chime again at the end to help us come back to our classroom.”
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Visualization: “Take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth (do this 3 or 4 times). Great now imagine you are standing at the edge of a great grass field. It has just finished raining. Notice the cool damp air. Notice the smell of the wet grass. Notice the heavy dark clouds beginning to part, and the sun coming through. Feel the warmth of it on your skin. Hear the sound of the birds rejoicing in the puddles created by the rainstorm, and maybe the grasshoppers clicking through the grass.
Now look across the field and see a rainbow. Beautiful, bright and spanning the horizon. Walk towards the rainbow and see that it stays in place as you approach. When you reach the rainbow, you can walk up to the top of it, and so you climb watching, as the earth below gets farther and farther away. All of a sudden you reach the top and are standing among the colors of the rainbow. What can you see from up here? Now, look at each of the colors. What colors are there? Move from one color to the next, standing on each for a few moments. ( you can list the colors and give a few seconds to be in each one)
Pick a color you especially like and move to it. Notice the color all around you. What colors are on either side of it? Now lie down in your color, and allow it to surround you. All you can see is your color. How does it feel? What is its temperature? Hot, cold, warm, cool? Can you feel it against your skin? It feels good to be in your color. What feeling/emotion do you notice as you are lying in your color? Are you happy? Peaceful? Excited? Loving? Take some time to enjoy that feeling. (allow 30 seconds to a minute of quiet).
Stand up on your rainbow, say goodbye in whatever way you like, and walk or slide down the rainbow towards the field. As you hit the ground, turn to see the rainbow fading away, feel the sun getting stronger on your head and shoulders, and walk back to the edge of the field. As I count backward from 6, you will move back to this room, bringing all the good feelings from the rainbow with you.
And as you go on with your day and week, and as you face the difficult things that come up in your day and week, bring those good feelings with you so the difficult things are easier to manage. (You can give examples of difficult things from the client’s life) And when you are having tough feelings, remember your color and the good feeling you had there and allow them to calm you down.
Going back to school brings up a lot of feelings for everyone – parents and kids alike! The transition can feel overwhelming. Set everyone up for success this school year by establishing good sleep routines, making time to connect and talk about how the day is going to go, building predictable routines, reciting a family mantra, and practicing gratitude. Your child’s brain will thank you – and so will their teacher!
Ding the chime. Encourage students to quietly and slowly come back to their space. Remind them to be respectful of everyone around them. We all are doing what we need right now and we are going to help our friend by being quiet and staying in our space.
Have a brief reflection. How did that feel? What were some of the sounds you heard? What did you see? Was it hard or easy to visualize your rainbow? What colors did you see?
Supplement the visualization with this rainbow mindful coloring sheet.
Make It Your Own
Once you have the basics of this visualization down, feel free to freestyle and come up with your own visualizations that bring your students to calmer and more grounded places.
FocusedKids Online Educator Workshops
Want to go deeper? Find out how you can bring more calm and connection to your school or classroom with the FocusedKids Method