Activity Plan: Brain Breaks

Grades K to 3 | Physical and Health Education

Big question

How can you prepare your brain for learning?

Activity description

Students will inquire about strategies to regulate their mind and body.

Grades and curricular area(s)

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3
  • Physical and Health Education (PHE)

Big ideas

Physical and Health Education (PHE)
Kindergarten Good health comprises physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3

Curricular competencies

Physical and Health Education (PHE)
Kindergarten Students are able to identify and describe practices that promote mental well-being
Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3


Title Author Notes
Breathe Like a Bear Kira Willey Optional read-aloud video
Finding Om Rashmi Bismark Optional read-aloud video
I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness Susan Verde Optional read-aloud video
Meena’s Mindful Moment Tina Athaide
Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda Lauren Alderfer
Moody Cow Meditates Kerry MacLean
My Magic Breath Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor
The Lemonade Hurricane: A Story of Mindfulness and Meditation Licia Morelli

Meditation videos

Easy Mantra Meditation for Kids (1:33)

Rainbow Relaxation: Mindfulness for Children (3:46)

Learn to Bring Down Stress: Guided Meditation for Kids (3:27)

Balloon (Peace Out: Guided Meditation) (6:22)

Starfish (Peace Out: Guided Meditation) (5:59)


Download My Three Brain Break Strategies (.docx)

Step 1

Class discussion:

  • At school, how do we know that our bodies and minds are ready to learn?
  • What are some indicators that our bodies are not ready to learn?
  • What activities can you do to feel ready to learn?

Step 2

Read one of the books suggested or show the class a video of the books being read aloud (see Materials/Resources).

Step 3

As a class, discuss the story (book or video) using these questions:

  • What is meditation?
    • Students may not be familiar with meditation, but many will be familiar with calming breaths or relaxation breathing.
  • What places in the world do you think meditation came from? (India, China, Japan, Tibet, and other Asian countries)
  • Do you meditate? Do you know anyone who meditates?
  • How do you think people feel after meditating?

Step 4

Engage students in a meditation exercise by using a breathing activity video (see Materials/Resources) or by seating students on the carpet in a comfortable position and guiding them through deep breathing.

Step 5

As a class, discuss how students feel after the meditation exercise and why meditation is helpful and important.

  • There are many ways to calm our bodies down.
  • Sometimes we may want to try a different strategy.

Step 1

Brainstorm calming strategies as a class. Ideas might include:

  • Meditate
  • Go for a walk
  • Do Jumping Jacks
  • Dance
  • Stretch
  • Run
  • Read
  • Take small sips of water
  • Take deep breaths
  • Find a quiet space
  • Think happy thoughts
  • Listen to music
  • Play with blocks
  • Pat a pet
  • Count
  • Hug a stuffed toy
  • Play with playdough
  • Listen to calming music
  • Dim lights
  • Do yoga
  • Look out the window
  • Go outside

Step 2

Have students choose their three favourite calming strategies and create a small poster to keep on their desk. Students can create this from scratch or use the My Three Brain Break Strategies template.

  • Grades K to 1: Students can illustrate their strategies
  • Grades 2 to 3: Students can illustrate and describe/name their strategies

Students can illustrate each strategy and use the poster as a reminder of things they can try when they are not focused for learning.

Step 1

Ask students how they currently feel. Share how you currently feel.

Step 2

As a class, do a guided meditation, using a resource such as:

Step 3

Ask students how they feel after meditating. Was this similar to something they’ve done before?

Step 4

As a class, discuss:

  • How do you know if your brain break is working?
  • What should you do if it’s not working?


You may choose to use a single-point rubric, a picture-based self-reflection, or another assessment tool.

Download sample single-point rubric and reflection (.docx)

Yoga is like a physical meditation. Ask students:

  • Do you know what yoga is?
  • Do you know anyone who does yoga?
  • Have you ever done yoga?

Do yoga as a class. Ask students:

  • How does yoga feel similar or different to meditation?

Yoga activities

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