MindUp Curriculum was developed by the Hawn Foundation is one of many excellent resources educators can use in classrooms and schools to create awareness around, social and emotional learning, self-regulation, and mindfulness.

It is an easy to follow research-based curriculum with ready to go lesson plans that cover a variety of learning outcomes in Language Arts, Health and Career Education, and Science.

By introducing students to important parts of the brain such the amygdala, hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, it is possible for students to develop a scientific understanding of how their brains process and react to incoming stimuli. This understanding helps students monitor and regulate their behaviour by calming themselves and focusing their attention. Only when the mind is calm and attention is focused can real learning occur.

The foundation of the program centers on ‘core breathing’ activities. By engaging in several cycles of deep breathing, several times per day, it is possible to settle the mind and refocus ones attention. This is extremely helpful at the beginning and end of the day, and between classroom transitions. In my classroom students use the 7-7 method were they breathe in for a count of 7 and breathe out for a count of 7.

MindUp Curriculum is broken down into four key units:

  • Focusing attention
    • Developing mindful breathing practices and brain science
  • Developing the sense
    • Being aware of one's senses can increase can lead to more meaningful and fulfilling personal experiences
  • Attitude
    • By learning to view the world with a more positive mindset, students can develop healthier relationships
  • Engaging in mindful practice
    • Teaches students express gratitude and engage in acts of kindness in order to develop compassion and the confidence to their classroom, school, and community

This MindUp Curriculum complements the Restorative Practices framework nicely, as they both work to address student’s social and emotional needs. MindUp lessons work to develop social awareness, relationship skills, and responsibility decision-making; Restorative Practices focus on building and rebuilding relationships. Mindful breathing and the MindUp lesson plans can easily be incorporated into classroom circles.