Students will demonstrate their ability to listen as a means of focus by participating in a series of listening activities.
Large space to move freely in
Anticipatory Set/Hook Mirror Game After you take role, have the students find a partner and find a place in the room. Have them stand parallel to one another looking at each other. Tell them to pick a partner A and a partner B. Have partner A start by being the mirror and partner B be the person moving. Tell the students to practice moving together mirroring each other’s movements so that it is almost impossible to distinguish who is initiating it. After a few minutes of this, have them switch roles.
What was your experience with this activity? What did you enjoy more and why? How was focus involved in this activity? How were you focusing? By looking, by feeling, by listening?
Transition: We have worked on focusing as individuals, as a team, and by watching. Today we will be exploring a few other ways to focus.
Step 1: Simultaneous Jump Have the students stand in one large circle holding each other’s hands. The goal for this activity is to all be able to jump simultaneously as a whole group. However, they must be absolutely silent without making noises, counting down, or mouthing words. Have the students begin when everyone is quiet.
Step 2: Spontaneous Counting Have the students take a seat in their circle. Now tell them that they will have to use that same kind of focus that they used to accomplish the jump and use it to count up to 37 (or however many people are in the class). They will all close their eyes and start by one person deciding to say, “one” and then another unappointed person will say, “two” and so on until they get to 37. However, if two people say the same number at the same time they will have to start back at one. Tell the students that they must keep quiet and not prompt any “plans” for how they will accomplish this. This activity is not about finding an easy way to count to 37 but about listening to the group and feeling for the impulse to say a number.
Step 3: Discussion What was your strategy for accomplishing the last challenge? How does this mode of focus relate to visual focus? How is it different? What is more difficult? How can you improve your focus skills?
Step 4: Group Conducting Rhythm Lead the students in starting another simple beat by patting their legs and then clapping. Tell them that when you say go that they will try to gradually speed up or slow down the tempo of the rhythm as a group. Once they have changed the tempo a few times, encourage them to gradually bring it to silence. Have them try this again but this time tell them to slowly build the rhythm by adding in noises, beats, or other motions in between the rhythm. Encourage them to listen to the group as a whole and feel what sounds or spaces could be enhanced or added to. Again, look around to see if all are participating in changing the rhythm in some way and after several minutes of a changing rhythm tell them to gradually as a group bring the rhythm to silence.
Questions: How did this activity utilize all aspects of Focus/Concentration that we have talked about and practiced so far? (listening, watching, teamwork, and feeling) Which aspect is most prevalent? Why?
Homework: Personal Goal
Have the students go back to their seats and take out a sheet of paper. On the paper, have them write “My focus goal is…” and then complete the sentence. If they feel like they need to work on listening, or on watching, or on working as a team have them write it down and then tonight, tell them to find an opportunity to practice focusing in the area that they want to work on. For example, they could work on listening focus by listening to the TV playing in another room while drawing a picture of what they are hearing. Or practice watching by watching a TV show and listening to music at the same time and try to tune out one of the two for a whole minute. Tell them that they will need to write a one paragraph description (5-8 sentences) describing the activity they chose to do and how it helped them with their focus goal.