Lesson Plan II: Trip to Korea 2011



By Dara Cattani,

School Counselor, Hillside Elementary School in Closter, New Jersey

AREA ADDRESSED: Personal / Social Development

TARGET LEVEL: Elementary School Grades


Sejong Cultural Education, Inc offered me the wonderful opportunity to spend time in South Korea this summer. I had wonderful experiences on my trip. One experience was the temple stay at Baek Yang Sa Temple in Gwangju. A temple-stay was an invitation to discover the temple's exotic 1700 year old Korean Buddhist tradition of monastric life. We learned about the Korean Buddhist lifestyle, Buddhist meal, tea ceremony, zen meditation, and homage ceremony. What I took from this was a certain way of life. This way of life is similar to 'a mindful' life.


Mindfulness is embodying awareness, attention and emotional balance and therefore opening up space for new response options to emerge, or re-engagement to occur. Mindfulness is directly experiencing what's happening in and around you. Mindfulness can increase attention span, improve impulse control, reduce stress, establish empathy, improve concentration, and build a climate of calm in the classroom. (Schoeberlein, 2009) Mindfulness practice includes techniques, strategies, and activities that hone awareness and focus. They include exercises that bring awareness to:

-              breathing

-              the various physical sensations of emotions

-              noticing thoughts as they pass through the mind without attachment

-              the senses

-              noticing stress and reducing it

-              reflection and re-focusing



Students will gain an understanding of being mindful


Students will be asked to close their eyes and listen to all the sounds they hear inside themselves, such as stomach growling, swallowing, etc. After, students will go around and share what they heard.