About this Inquiry Tool
“Inquiry is inherently a contemplative form of questioning”.
This inquiry tool provides students with a guided mindful experience using an immersive 360° video and reflection activity. Practicing mindfulness can help students to prepare themselves to learn, and to become aware of their own attentiveness and feelings. Mindfulness practice can also help students to hone their powers of observation and inquiry.
What is mindfulness?
“Mindfulness meditation gives us a time in our lives when we can suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind...” Mindful staff
Mindfulness is the basic practice of being fully present or remembering to pay attention to the present experience. Awareness of the present experience is accompanied by non-judgemental acceptance of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. We can cultivate mindfulness through different techniques like guided imagery, seated, walking, and standing meditation. 1
What is mindful inquiry?
“Mindful inquiry incorporates active inquiry to probe problems, while holding open a receptive space for contemplation.” Ann Webster-Wright
Mindful inquiry is a guided discussion technique developed by practitioners of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Using a series of questions, facilitators help learners to reflect on their experiences.
When to use this lesson
Providing a safe space for exploration empowers students to take risks with their learning. This lesson and 360° experience provide an opportunity for students to explore mindful inquiry. We recommend completing this lesson at any point while using Ocean School.
This inquiry tool pairs well with the inquiry tools Powerful observations and Critical reflection.
As students complete the lesson and activity, they will
explore the benefits of mindfulness
practice mindful inquiry using a 360° video experience
reflect on their experience
Video: Moments of mindfulness
Tablets and/or phones, headphones (optional)
About 360° videos
360° videos are video recordings where an omnidirectional camera films a view in every direction at once. It’s like being the passenger in a car. You can look all around you, but the driver (filmmaker) decides where to take you.
Virtual reality headsets provide greater immersion in the 360° videos, but you can also view them in a web browser. The ‘Magic Window’ on a mobile device allows users to view 360° content without a headset. Move and rotate the tablet or phone to change the viewing angle.
Note - If you are using Safari on an iPad or iPhone to view a 360° video or VR experience, you will need to adjust your browser settings to allow motion tracking. For more information, see our Troubleshooting guide.
Part 1 - Mindful breathing
Begin by inviting your students to have a mindful moment by closing their eyes and taking a few deep breaths.
Ask them to pay attention to their breathing.
Here are some guiding questions that you can use:
What does it feel like when you breathe in and out?
Notice your thoughts. Is your mind really busy or quiet right now?
If your students need some support when they start practicing a mindful moment, here are two resources to help.
After a minute, bring students’ focus back to the group.
Ask if anyone wants to share what they observed about their breathing or thoughts. It’s okay at this point if students are too shy to share. However, you may still want to model the reflection.
Part 2 - Moments of mindfulness- Underwater forest
Explain to students that they are going to embark on an underwater mindful experience.
Invite students to watch the video 360° video, Moments of mindfulness, on their own.
Once students have watched the video, ask them to complete the reflection activity that follows on the platform. See the preview of the student activity below.
Once students have completed the reflection activity, invite them to share their thoughts. You can use their reflections to begin a discussion using the following questions as a guide:
What did you notice?
What were you aware of?
What was present?
How might this be different from how you normally pay attention?
Were you wondering anything? What were you wondering?
How did the experience make you feel?
Have you ever felt like this before? Where? When?
How can you have the feeling more often?
If you liked the feeling, how can you transfer it to your everyday life?
Highlight that mindfulness is a skill that can be grown.
Below we provide links to additional mindful activities and resources to use in your classroom.
Building a framework for the practice of mindful inquiry is a resource for teachers that explains in detail how to recognize and build the skills of mindful inquiry.
Calm breathing by Anxiety Canada provides how-tos and other tools for mindfulness and calm breathing.
Mindful Choices is a mindful awareness Social and Emotional Learning program for K-12 students that helps them manage stress and anxiety, increase self-control, and sustain attention.
Preview the student activity
For more information, go to the Inquiry tools guide.