During the yearlong ‘Who We Are’ unit of inquiry, Grade 3 students learn about mindfulness, growth mindset, and metacognition.
To explore these important concepts and skills, students have practiced Shinrin-Yoku, meditation, mindfulness colouring, journaling and, more recently, enjoyed a campfire storytime with a children’s author and her two dogs. In addition to being a published children’s author, Angela Murphy is also a School Psychologist and educator, a perfect fit for this unit of inquiry. She is also, much to students’ enjoyment and surprise, parent to two big cuddly dogs, Draper and Zane, who serve as the book’s inspiration.
Angela, Draper, and Zane joined our Grade 3 classes to read together, practice mindful breathing, visualization, and speaking up for themselves. In addition to picking up some important skills, students also enjoyed petting and being around the Draper and Zane. “Many students talked about their love for animals, some talked about wanting a dog, some said they are usually afraid of big dogs, but that Draper and Zane made them feel safe,” explains Grade 3 teacher Ms. Charlene Smoke.
After a wonderful afternoon of storytelling by the campfire, students headed back to class rejuvenated and with new, practical skills. Since this unit will continue all year long, students will have many more of these types of opportunities in the weeks and months to come. “This is a very important unit to set the tone for the year,” nods Ms. Charlene Smoke.