Blue Health Learning Resources – For Schools
Hey Teachers… Happy World Ocean Day…
Here are some simple resources for you to help your class connect with Blue Mind.
Play the Blue Marble Game with your friends and students. Share Blue Marbles as a global symbol of connection and gratitude.
Find out more and buy your Blue Marbles HERE.
Not sure what Blue Mind is? Check out these links:
Blue Mind and Blue Health
One of the ways that we learn to look after our environment is to learn to fall in love with it. Think about it – when we truly appreciate the value of something the chances are we pay attention it and take action to protect it from harm.
The Ocean is no different from any other asset and as a free health resource for us all it is important we all fall in love with, and take care of our water system, so that it can take care of us.
By encouraging your class or group to “Get their Blue Mind on” this World Ocean Day – you are improving their cognitive, psychological, social, spiritual and emotional health… and in turn they are likely to value and protect their blue spaces all the more #winwin.
So… what simple activities can we get involved in to enhance our Blue Mind?
FREE FLOW BLUE MIND ACTIVITIES:
Activity 1 (all ages)
Are you based in a city? Perhaps you cannot get to the coast. Arrange a school trip to your local aquarium. Your class will learn a lot about marine wildlife of course, but they will gain so much more than that.
Did you know that watching aquarium exhibits directly impacts heart rate and blood pressure? Aquariums have been proven to calm their visitors – not only impacting their self assessed mood, but actually impacting physiology. Your class might arrive in one state and leave in another. Explore how the watery ecosystem is interconnected – perhaps your class might do a project on a particular species? Highlight how we really have ONE OCEAN in that all water bodies are connected… This links well with the blue marble game.
Activity 2 (all ages)
This activity requires minimal preparation. Have you ever watched clouds? I don’t mean a momentary glance up at the sky – I mean REALLY taken a good look at them? Cloud watching is a great activity to promote creativity within children, but also to encourage mindfulness. You can even link in curriculum activities exploring the water cycle and weather systems.
Find a space outdoors (at the coast if you are lucky). Ask your class or group to each lay down on the floor and gaze up at the sky, remaining silent for 15 minutes and simply being with the weather. Invite them to observe the shape, form and movement of clouds… Water suspended!
Once they have taken a really good look at the sky ask them to reflect and share what they saw, heard and felt. Maybe ask them to paint different cloud formations or create a story about the shapes and forms they saw.
Activity 3 (ages 5 – 7)
Do you have a stream or river near you? The sport of Pooh sticks is an almost lost art, retained in country locations, there is even a Pooh sticks World Championship.
Pooh sticks is a game first mentioned in The House at Pooh Corner, a Winnie-the-Pooh book by A. A. Milne. It is a simple game which may be played on any bridge over running water; each player drops a stick on the upstream side of a bridge and the one whose stick first appears on the downstream side is the winner. This game provides and opportunity to explore water currents and over coming obstacles. Visit England recommend great places to play Pooh Sticks HERE
Activity 4 (all ages)
Design a project to encourage your class to create movement with their body that symbolises water. Do a Mexican wave every 30 minutes to re energise them for instance.
Choreograph something more in depth such as dancing different water sources… explore the energy they evoke and discover why different bodies of water have differing levels of attraction for each individual. Perhaps you could select some of your favourite natural water sources: Niagara maybe with powerful water falls or one of the Great Lakes with a sense of expansiveness, a natural spring or a playful river such as the River Dart in the UK that runs through moorland with variable speeds and shifting direction. Explore how more fluid movement increases their spatial awareness and balance.
Activity 5 (ages 7 – 11)
Source 10 water sounds online perhaps you might have waves crashing or an ocean roar, underwater scuba sounds or rain falling, even a tap dripping counts!
Compile an audio file and play these sounds to your class without descriptors – this works well if the students close their eyes to listen fully.
Ask the class to select the watery sounds they most enjoy and to describe how each soundscape makes them feel – they could create art work to represent the sound they loved the most.
Activity 6 (ages 5 -7)
Make a rainstorm
1. First you silently rub your fingers together, and the students do the same.
2. Then you rub your two hands together, making a very soft sound, and the students follow.
3. Next you very softly clap your hands together while the students follow, it should still be quiet.
4. Then snap your fingers.
5. Now go back to clapping and clap a little louder than you were snapping.
6. Then a little louder.
7. Then clap loudly.
8. Then stomp your feet and clap, making a lot of noise.
9. Now do it in reverse until it is silent again.
*This game signifies a rainstorm starting soft, getting louder and louder until it is pouring, with lightning and thunder, and then the calm after the storm when it is quiet again.
Activity 7 (ages 7 – 11)
Invite your group or class to create a Blue Haiku, piece of poetry or compose some music to celebrate our coastlines and ocean.
If you can take your class to visit the coast to inspire them – great… and if not find film footage and images of their local coastline.
Encourage the class to include not only the seas and sand, but also the flora, fauna, seabirds and marine mammals in their writing.
Activity 8 (all ages)
One ocean / ecosystems – Make a school mural out of ocean images, like a blue mood board, different classes can create different panels which fit together to make one connected piece of art. You could alternatively collectively create art from beach litter?
Perhaps you could make a school rockpool. If possible – go and visit the coast and take a look at the amazing creatures that inhabit our rockpools – many of them look like aliens! Hire some go pros so that the children can take some under water photos to get a closer look at the watery world.
Once back in school re-create the rockpool using sand, clay, water and paints and other materials to make your very own school rockpool. You could even make a stop motion animation movie to share how much you love the seaside!
Activity 9 (all ages)
Watch The Click Effect interactive video and challenge the class to create a communication system made out of clicks only… what words would they choose? How would different click emphasis and volume convey their message. This is a great exercise for developing listening and empathy.
The film URL is below and when viewed on an iPad you can scroll around the underwater world. this can also be viewed on smart phone with a VR headset.
Activity 10 (all ages)
How do hot and cold water currents work? This is a great activity to show how water moves around our blue planet. For this activity you will need a large white baking dish, some red food colouring and some blue food colouring, a jug, plus access to ice and boiling water.
Half fill the baking dish with cold water (in this have a small qty of blue colouring so that it is just off clear (not too dark).
Put in plenty of ice and allow the ice to really cool the water down and let it begin to melt without disturbing the water.
Now fill a jug with boiling water and add some red food dye to this. Gently pour a small amount of this boiling red water into the corner of the dish, sit back and watch the currents form.
Bonus Activities (for teachers)
Use real and virtual space so that you can bring your best self to your teaching: literal blue space and water metaphors to create flow within yourself and your students.
- Take yourself for some virtual blue immersion. Floatation tanks have been proven to be highly restorative HERE is some great research from one of our Blue Mind Summit Alumni Justin Feinstein.
- Join 100 Days of Blue each Summer getting yourself near in on and under water from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 100 Days of Blue 2019
- Breathe Blue – Take ten minutes to enjoy some Ocean Breathing… Learn how HERE
- Play the Blue Marble Game with your friends and students. Share blue marbles as a global symbol of connection and gratitude. Find out more and buy your blue marbles HERE.