Heart-Mind Well-being Classroom Collage

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Heart-Mind Well-being emphasizes the development of the social and emotional strengths that children need to be responsible, collaborative, confident and caring. There is a growing body of research[1] that shows that children who develop strong social and emotional skills are less likely to run into problems with drugs and alcohol, violence and bullying. They also have a more positive attitude and they do better in school.

The following activity was inspired by the Acts of Kindness Teacher Package[2].


Learning Outcomes:

Students will identify and understand the positive human qualities of Heart-Mind Well-being. 

Teaching and Learning Activities:

Step 1: Choose one or more qualities to focus on: 

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Step 2: ACTIVATE THINKING:  Brainstorm a list of actions[4] related to the Heart-Mind Well-being quality.

Step 3: Conduct a newspaper/magazine search. Have students search for stories or pictures that display the Heart-Mind Well-being quality.

Step 4: Ask students to summarize and analyze the stories/pictures for the rest of the class, explaining why the pictures represent the quality to them.

Step 5: Add an action challenge. Have students choose an action that increases Heart-Mind Well-being to implement over a set period of time. Ask students to write up their experiences in a “Heart-Mind Well-being Report/Journal.”  It is not recommended that this report be graded but be used an opportunity for teachers to give encouraging/constructive feedback to each child that reflects what difference their actions made to their own or someone else’s life.

Adaptations:

  • Pictures can be collected day by day and made into a “Classroom Heart-Mind Well-being Collage”

  • Use a “graffiti” approach, and dedicate wall space to post a variety of items related to the Heart-Mind quality. This may include quotes, photos, drawings, short stories, newspaper clippings etc…

  • Divide the class into 5 groups, assigning one Heart-Mind Well-being quality to each group. Have students teach each other about the qualities using the visual collage and group presentations or dialogue circles.

A meta-analysis, done by Loyola University and the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is the largest, most scientifically rigorous review of research ever done on interventions that promote the social and emotional development of students between the ages of 5 and 18. The results from the school-based study are based on 207 studies of programs involving 288,000 students from rural, suburban and urban areas.

In this study, researchers used statistical techniques to summarize the findings across all the studies and found a broad range of benefits for students. 

•23% improvement in social and emotional skills such as self-awareness and self-management
•9% improvement in attitudes about self, others, and school
•9% improvement in prosocial school and classroom behavior
•9% decrease in classroom misbehavior and aggression
•10% decrease in emotional distress, such as anxiety and depression
•11 % improvement in academic performance

This teacher resource was created to promote kindness and happiness in children by:

  • Dr. Schonert-Reichl, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Lyubomirsky, Professor, University of California Riverside
  • Eva Oberle, Ph.D. candidate, University of British Columbia
  • Kristin Layous, Ph.D. student, University of California Riverside
  • Katie Nelson, Ph.D. student, University of California Riverside
  • Ice Lee, B.A.A. student, Kwantlen University 

The Heart-Mind Well-being Framework was created by the Human Early Learning Partnership and the Dalai Lama Center for Peace + Education. The five postive human qualities are anchored in evidence-based research related to the social and emotional development of children.

Here are some examples:

Gets Along with Others - offer a friendly smile to people around you, play as a team

Compassionate and Kind - help a friend with homework, invite someone to join a game

Solves Problems Peacefully - find a solution calmly, prevent a fight

Secure and Clam - try new experiences, share feelings

Alert and Engaged - take turns, listen attentively

  • Secure and Calm

    Secure and calm describes the ability to take part in daily activities and approach new situations without being overwhelmed with worries, sadness or anxiety. To be secure and calm also means being able to cope with stress and pressure, and to bounce back from difficulties.
  • Gets Along with Others

    Getting along with others is the ability to form positive and healthy relationships with peers and adults. Children with better abilities to regulate their emotions and behaviours have more friends and experience more positive playtime with their peers.
  • Alert and Engaged

    Being alert and engaged is the ability to manage and direct one's own feelings, thoughts and emotions. In general, the ability to be 'present' and to exercise self-control.
  • Compassionate and Kind

    Being compassionate and kind is closely related to empathy. While empathy refers more generally to the ability to take the perspective of and to feel the emotions of another person, compassion goes one step further.
  • Solves Problems Peacefully

    Managing conflict effectively is about creating an atmosphere where violence and aggression are not likely. To resolve conflict means using empathy, problem-solving skills, understanding other points of view and coming up with ways to make things right in a fair way.