Did you know that yoga is an excellent tool to integrate literacy in the classroom?
By combining yoga and literacy, we can develop contextual themes for the classroom. We can infuse basic literacy skills directly into the class through active learning—one example is by reading our yoga card cues and having students learn the sequential flow, just like a story! Students will develop active listening and observation skills to both the story sequence and the yoga poses. We can even create yoga stories and then bring the story to life with movement. Promoting creativity and imagination is only some of the benefits of integrating yoga and literacy.
Here are three ways you can integrate yoga and literacy to your classroom:
1. Yoga Sequences
Just as stories have a sequential plot, yoga sequences can as well. Introduce students to a yoga sequence (try out our Spring Yoga Sequence, perfect for welcoming springtime!) by reading out each of the yoga poses and cues. Then, explain to students that these poses can be performed in a sequence. Move through the sequence, and afterwards, have students write down the sequential order.See if they can remember the sequence they just learned.
2. Create a Story
Write a yoga short story by infusing the poses. Ask children to come up with a plot and introduce characters as yoga poses. Writing short stories helps children discover spontaneous creativity and the fundamentals of sentence structures. Have children act out the yoga pose and story. For instance, in our Spring Yoga Sequence, we can use the poses to write a short story:
Rainbow: Spring has finally arrived and with Spring comes springtime showers. The rain pitter-patters and leaves a rainbow in the sky.
Flower:The rain brings flowers. Look around at all of the flowers blooming! Take in a deep breath and smell them.
Snake: Do you see that in the tall grass? A snake slithers around and finds a nice rock for some shade.
Mouse: A mouse runs across the field.. He scurries to the pond for a drink of water.
Turtle: At the pond, we see a turtle. She hides in her shell. What a great Spring day!
3. Integrate Yoga with Existing Books
We recently developed a literacy lesson plan for the childhood classic, When Spring Comes. In our lesson plan, each page is paired with a yoga pose. As the sequence builds, the poses come together in a beautiful flow. We’ve included a story script and a list of poses so children can learn the yoga sequence.
After reading the book together, have children act out the yoga sequence and tying it back to the story of When Spring Comes.
We’ve also included powerful mindfulness and breathing exercises that tie into the Spring theme.
Try taking an already existing book and creating yoga poses and movement out of the story!
This week, we go over the Turtle Pose. Inspired by the patient turtle, this pose increases mental focus and stretches the arms, back, and legs. This pose looks like a turtle withdrawing into its shell!