Teaching Mindfulness: A Guidebook for Teachers, Parents, Counselors, and Caregivers

Book Publishing Company. Jul. 2022. 120p. pap. $19.95. ISBN 9781939053411.
Written especially for teachers working with children from five to 11 years old, this book aims to introduce mindfulness through an eight-week program with 15-minute lessons twice a week. Psychologist and professor Beckstein shares mindfulness lessons and activities in six units: Attention, Experience, Investigate, Observe, Understand, and You. The inconsistent format of each unit makes the lessons less accessible than the activities. The most impressive part of this text is the number of thoughtfully scripted activities; not only can these activities be adapted outside the classroom—to libraries, therapy, and clubs—they can also be scaled for use with older children. This may be preferable, given the content and vocabulary presented in some of the lessons, which seem more appropriate for a middle grade age group; some lesson plans involve content too advanced for a five-year-old, including background on Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, advanced vocabulary, and information about brain science. Asides in the text quote Jon Kabat-Zinn and Kung Fu Panda, explain the brain science behind mindfulness, present useful infographics, refer to online video clips, and share tips for teachers.
VERDICT A good choice for teachers who have the capacity to interpret and create lessons from the resources presented, or who want to incorporate mindfulness activities in their classrooms. Though the direct audience is teachers, the text can also be used by parents, counselors, caregivers, and others, as long as they are willing to be flexible.

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