The Comfort Zone Challenge

I can't.
I don't know how.
I don't want to.
I'm afraid.

We've all heard these phrases uttered from the mouths of students young and old.  Although some kids are fearless risk-takers, that can't be said for everyone.  As teachers, we are tasked with instructing in the content areas, but we're also responsible for shaping the minds and souls of the leaders of tomorrow.  Students need to learn that taking risks in the classroom, at home, or with friends can be a safe and positive thing to do. How can we deliver that message in an effective and engaging way? Try a Comfort Zone Challenge!

The Comfort Zone Challenge is a 5 day activity geared towards facing fears, enhancing mindfulness, and reflecting.  It works for students, social groups, or even faculty. 

I start the lesson using quote from NASA Astronaut Anne McClain, "If you don't face your fears the only thing you'll ever see is what's in your comfort zone."  

Then, we discuss as a group the meaning of a comfort zone.  You'd be surprised how many kids think it's a pillow! Students often think that stepping outside their zone is a big, bad, and scary, so I give them plenty of time to talk about their fears before moving on.  

As a group or individuals, students visualize themselves IN their comfort zone, and then visualize themselves OUT of their comfort zone.  Then comes the challenge- a series of activities students choose on their own to complete for 5 days straight.

Students can reflect in an interactive notebook, share with a friend, or share with a teacher. At the end of the challenge your group will have faced some of their fears and will have the courage to take on some more! If you're ready to try the challenge yourself, then click here


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