Literacy 7-12

Systems Change
Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Mindfulness Breaks

Mindfulness Breaks


Short breaks that include mindfulness quiet the brain to allow for improved thinking and emotional regulation. Research has shown that mindfulness can increase kindness, improve Sleep quality, reduce anxiety and stress, and even improve literacy scores.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this teacher leads the class through several different mindfulness and movement exercises, also allowing the students to lead some of them. Short exercises like these can be used in class to support students' Attention.

  • Teachers can integrate regular mindful breaks, such as listening to calming music or cues that prompt a few minutes of mindful breathing. Having students check in with themselves to monitor their Attention during lessons or during student activity periods can develop their Metacognition, so that they can refocus. Students can also complete mindful do-now activities that help students focus their thinking and exit tickets to help them to reflect on their learning after a lesson.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Learn how products like GoNoodle curate short mindfulness activities and games that can be used in the classroom for brain breaks. This example uses story-style instructions and animation to guide students through an activity to regulate their Emotion.

  • Developers can build in prompts for short mindfulness breaks at regular intervals and also provide learners with the choice of pausing their work to take a break. During these breaks, students can participate in a guided exercise or record their thoughts about the learning process while focusing their Attention.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy