Lesson Introduction & Overview
Young people take a walk and then reflect on what they saw, heard, thought about and felt during the walk. Three year olds are going to have a very different experience of this activity than eight year olds, so adjust your instructions and expectations accordingly.
- Prepare young people for the walk with the following explanation:
- Today we are going to go on a Noticing Walk. What do you think I might mean when I say, “Noticing Walk?” Let young people respond with what they saw, heard, thought about and felt during the walk.
- Describe the area in which you will walk. Ask them what they think they might notice in that place or space.
- Encourage young people to pay attention to (notice) their experiences, including what they see, hear, think about and feel during the walk. It’s okay for them to talk to each other about their experiences when walking, but they might be able to notice better if they are mostly quiet.
- Tell them that at the halfway point, you are going to ask for one minute of silence. During this time, you’ll keep walking but no one should be talking.
- Go on a short walk (ranging from 10-20 minutes), preferably outside, but inside is okay too.
- Every so often, remind them that the point of the walk is to be paying attention to sights, sounds, thoughts and feelings.
- Return to your classroom or home base and handout blank sheets of paper and crayons or markers. Ask young people to draw or write about something they noticed on the walk.
- After young people are done with coloring, ask them to share what they drew or wrote with the rest of the group.
A nice practice in mindfulness is gratitude. At the end of your activity, thank young people for participating and express your appreciation for some aspect of what happened.
Continuing the Conversation
Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong so that families can go on a noticing walk at home.