Making Mental Wellness
Making things with our hands can be a powerful experience to explore the inner landscape of our minds and hearts. For this project, students set off on a multi-week adventure to investigate topics like mental health, resiliency, mindfulness, and self-care through the lens of design and creative expression.
Mitford School (Cochrane, AB)
Grade 6, 7, 8
Fall 2019 - Spring 2020
Partner: Rocky View Schools
The Art of Noticing
Kicking things off, students tapped into the superpower of their five senses. They explored the nature of attention and how a designer's special skill is their ability to use their senses to notice what's happening in the present moment; here beauty and wonder are waiting to be discovered.
Next, students were introduced to the concept of mindfulness through a regular Tea Meditation and making their own clay tea mugs.
Following a design-thinking process, students started by sketching a series of rough ideas, followed by prototyping with play dough, and receiving feedback to refine their final design.
Students took home their finished mugs to continue their Tea Meditation practice.
Many students struggle with feelings of inadequacy and limiting beliefs caused by perfectionism. The Japanses concept of Wabi Sabi offers an alternative perspective on imperfection.
During this session, students turned imperfect scribbles into pieces of art filled with postive affirmations.
The Art of Gratitude
Science can prove that the practice of gratitude can positively change our brains. So, students applied this science by using printmaking techniques to create personalized gratitude cards to share with important people in their lives.
For the final project, students designed and curated a wellness zine to share their insights and learnings with the rest of their peers.