Saturday, July 2, 2016

Back Drawing- Inspired by Yoga Calm

I recently went to Yoga Calm training and was asked to come up with lessons that would fit well in my classroom implementing some of the techniques of Yoga Calm.  I am using the book Yoga Calm for Children: Educating Heart, Mind, and Body by Lynea and Jim Gillen.

One lesson that I thought would fit well is something that I use on a regular basis. I posted on this game in 2010 on this blog.  I called it Teledraw.  My version shares a lot of the same possibilities and it's a perfect game to play in any class (or, as you can see, on the lake). I was inspired by page 62 of the book explaining the lesson, but was also inspired by this video found on youtube. 

I love the visualization of Lynea's words.  She brings her group through weather and rain.  That would be a great warm-up for a weather inspired artwork.  I can see where this lesson would be calming and support the 'whole child'.  The book suggest that this activity encompass three of the five principles of Yoga Calm; Stillness, Listening, and Community. 

In my class, I have used this as a teledraw game.  The person in the back is shown a shape. They draw the shape they were shown on the back of the person in front of them using their finger.  Then that person passes it forward as well, and so on until the person in the front 'gets' it and draws it on a white board.  I typically will have several rows/teams doing this activity at the same time.  Once all teams have something drawn on the whiteboard, they reveal it to the class.  Some shapes are spot on and others are way off.

In my version, we do several rounds.  First one we just do... there are students talking and upset because they can't figure it out.  There are people upset because their group didn't 'get the right answer'.  We then stop before the second round and talk about how we could improve the system.  Typically students will come up with the following answers after several rounds to make this activity more successful. 
  • Be calm
  • Be quiet
  • Close eyes
  • Designate signs for a redraw or an erase
  • Cheer on and support your team.
Other versions of this game might be a shape review.  This is when two kids work together at the end of a task in the last minutes of class.  They draw shapes that have been covered in class on each others backs and guess the shape.  

I love the suggestion of a circle draw in this book.  That would really create community and is most relaxing to many of the students to have the positive touch.  I will most definitely implement this in my class. Of course, I would always allow for an 'opt out' if a student doesn't feel comfortable, but I haven't run into a student who didn't like to play this game thus far.

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