Some of the following visualizations were first published in Sue Roffey’s Teacher’s Resource Books for The Whole Child series of stories (2008), which appear to be out of print.
Ask students to sit with their feet on the floor, their hands in their laps and their eyes closed. Tell them they are going on a journey in their head to a special place.
Read out the following visualization:
You are walking through a garden; the birds are singing, and the sun is shining. There are lots of trees. You walk around a corner and there in front of you is a big round tent, much taller than you. It is made of silvery blue material and is glowing inside with a soft golden light.
As you get closer, you see that there is a big sign on the front. There is a picture of you and a banner that says, ‘Welcome Home’ with your name.
The flap of the tent opens and as you walk inside you suddenly see everyone in your life who has ever cared for you, grown-ups, children, animals. They are all smiling at you. Some of these people you do not know very well, and though they are not part of your family, they still think you are special. They could be your teacher, or someone who took care of you as a baby.
You have a wonderful, warm feeling inside. Think about that warm feeling, how good it feels in your tummy, in your hands and in your head, how it makes you want to smile and cry all at the same time. Hold onto that warm feeling as you open your eyes.
Ask students to sit with their feet on the floor, their hands in their laps and their eyes closed. Read out a visualization with pauses for reflection:
You are in a room full of unfamiliar people. Everyone is chatting and you feel all alone. Then someone comes up to you with a big smile and says how pleased they are to meet you. They introduce you to a friend who says they have a surprise for you.
They each take one of your hands and walk you into a beautiful garden. Suddenly, you see someone who has been your friend in the past. They call out your name and wave. As you walk towards them, several others come and join you. All of them look really pleased to see you. Some you don’t really know, but you feel as if you have met them somewhere. Some are adults, some are smaller children, some are the same age as you.
You suddenly realise that this is your world in the past, the present and in the future. All the people there care about you, believe in you and want the best for you. You feel as if you are walking on air – it is a wonderful feeling. Hold onto that feeling as you slowly open your eyes and come back into the classroom.
You arrive at a wonderful beach; it has the best waves, the best sand. As the beach comes into view, you see that it looks like a hundred people have had a wild party there and not bothered to clean up. There are bottles lying in the sand and cardboard plates with bits of food left on them. There is hardly a place to put your stuff-and there are flies buzzing around all the old food. What do you feel now?
You were looking forward to today and now it is spoilt. Suddenly, over the top of the sand dunes comes a whole group of people; kids and adults of all ages. One of them comes up and says, “We had a great party here last night but forgot to bring torches and rubbish bags to clear up the mess. We are sorry you arrived to all this, but we are here to fix it now.” Your family offers to help to get it done more quickly.
You sit and think for a moment. You didn’t make this mess, so why should you clean it up? But everyone is getting on with it and you decide to join in. In no time the beach is clean again and you have made new friends. What are you feeling now? Hold this feeling as you open your eyes.
You are standing with a group of adults who are all very busy talking to each other. You only know one of the adults, a person you feel very safe with. This person looks at you and smiles.
Someone beckons you into a very brightly lit room and you can see that this is a TV studio. You can see the cameras – and they are all pointing at you.
A friendly looking woman asks you to sit down on a sofa. She whispers and asks if you are OK. You smile at her and take five breaths to feel calm, one … two … three … four … five …
She is an interviewer who is going to ask you about something you have done for someone else. Think about what that is. For each person it will be different.
You think about all the hard work you have done and all the people who have helped. You feel proud of yourself and pleased with what you have achieved. What is that feeling like?
Hold onto that feeling as you open your eyes and come back into the classroom.
Ask students to close their eyes and imagine all those people, young or old, who are or have been a friend to them.
Encourage them to think about what those people said and did to show they were a good friend. Give them some time to do this. Then invite students to think of themselves as a friend. Ask:
» What do you do to show others you like them and care about what happens to them?
» What have you done to support your friends?
Give students a few moments to reflect on this. Then ask them to open their eyes.