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10-15 minutes


Junior / Intermediate


Writing tools (i.e., paper/pencil, digital)


To help students practise, learn and reflect about their development, and deepen their appreciation and understanding of themselves, others, and their health and well-being

Invite students to reflect on their emotions and energy level at the onset of the day.  Ask students to begin writing a letter addressed to themselves.  Consider the following:

  • How am I feeling at this moment? Why?  What circumstances may have contributed to how I feel?
  • What are my intentions for the day/week/month (i.e., socially, emotionally, spiritually, academically)?
  • What do I need from myself and/or from others to fulfill my intentions?
  • What strategies do I have/need to further support or shift my present state?
  • How will I know that I am successfully nurturing my health and well-being?
  • Students can choose to address their letter to someone else (i.e., a friend, family member, teacher, coach).
  • Students could ‘turn and talk’ with a peer before writing.
  • Integration of imagery/sketch can be used.
  • Using a notebook/journal-record daily is a way for students to check-in with themselves and with their teacher.
  • Students can draw/collage/make a visual “Dear me”.

Evidence learning to identify emotions is an important skill required to stay on task in the classroom, regulate emotions that are not helpful for learning, and stay motivated and engaged in learning (Nix, Bierman, Domitrovich, & Gill, 2013). Providing students with an opportunity to reflect on their emotions at the beginning of the day will provide them with a reference point to which they can compare their emotion states throughout the rest of the day and regulate emotions as needed (Schonert-Reichl et al., 2015).

References Nix, R. L., Bierman, K. L., Domitrovich, C. E., & Gill, S. (2013). Promoting children’s social-emotional skills in preschool can enhance academic and behavioral functioning in kindergarten: Findings from Head Start REDI. EARLY EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT, 24(7), 1000-1019. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10409289.2013.825565

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Oberle, E., Lawlor, M. S., Abbott, D., Thomson, K., Oberlander, T. F., & Diamond, A. (2015). Enhancing Cognitive and Social–Emotional Development Through a Simple-to-Administer Mindfulness-Based School Program for Elementary School Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Developmental Psychology, 51(1), 52-66.doi:10.1037/a0038454

Opportunities for self-reflection supports the development of self-awareness and reminds both student and teacher of our unique journey while living in community with others.

(5b) A collaborative contributor who thinks critically about the meaning and purpose of work.