Exploring Deep Breathing: A Key Social-Emotional Skill for 5th Graders
Many of us, students and teachers alike, encounter periods of feeling swamped, as if our thoughts are wrapped up in a whirlwind. One effective method to navigate through these moments is Deep Breathing, also known as Belly Breathing. Deep Breathing is a technique that emphasizes intentional, full breaths, and serves as a cornerstone of social-emotional learning (SEL), fostering tranquility and supporting sound decision-making.
Instant Activity: Deep Breathing
Deep Breathing stands out for its simplicity and convenience, requiring no preparation or specific tools. Here’s a step-by-step guide to a basic Deep Breathing exercise:
- Encourage students to find a comfortable seated or lying position.
- Students should place one hand on their stomachs and another on their chests.
- Guide the students to inhale deeply through their noses for a count of 5, feeling their stomachs expand.
- Next, they should exhale gently through their mouths for another count of 5, sensing their stomachs deflate.
- Repeat this process, ensuring students focus on the movement of their stomachs, not their chests, signifying the depth of their breaths.
Promoting Deep Breathing as a regular practice can help students regain their focus and composure during challenging situations.
Here are some stimulating discussion questions to deepen understanding and engagement:
- How did your body and mind respond during the Deep Breathing exercise?
- Can you identify a scenario at school where Deep Breathing could be beneficial?
- What about at home? How could Deep Breathing be advantageous?
- Why do you think Deep Breathing can support better decision-making?
- What strategies can you develop to remember to use Deep Breathing when you’re feeling swamped?
Deep Breathing is part of a broader set of skills within the domain of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). Other related skills include:
- Being Present: Staying fully engaged in the moment.
- Stress Coping: Identifying and applying strategies to manage stress.
- Self-Understanding: Acknowledging one’s emotions, thoughts, and values.
- Emotional Control: Managing one’s feelings, thoughts, and actions in diverse situations.
Eager to introduce Deep Breathing and other Social-Emotional Learning skills to your students? Sign up for free sample materials at https://everydayspeech.com/sample-materials/. These resources will equip you with the tools to support your students’ social-emotional development, preparing them for future challenges.