Portrait of a cute teenage boy hiker on a rainy autumn day. The boy is smiling and looking up.

Look Up Vibe (LUV Moment)

Students step outside, take a pause, and gently look up to experience the interconnected nature of life.

Level: High School, College
Duration: ≤ 30 minutes
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Planning For It

When You Might Use This Practice

  • To mindfully transition from an indoor environment to the outdoors
  • Outside during recess (e.g., school yard)
  • To mediate feelings of awe-deprivation that can result from being disconnected with the natural environment
  • When students are feeling under pressure
  • To build positive peer relationships or a classroom climate in which students are considerate of others or to encourage humility in students


Time Required

  • 15 – 30 minutes




Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Slow down by taking a momentary pause to notice the natural environment
  • Visually explore the shifting patterns and sounds of life unfolding
  • Kinesthetically encounter being a part of a mysterious vital force larger than the self


Additional Supports


Character Strengths

  • Curiosity
  • Perspective
  • Spirituality/Transcendence


SEL Competencies

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Social Awareness


Mindfulness Components

  • Focused Attention
  • Open Awareness
  • Equanimity

How To Do It

Reflection Before the Practice

  • Take a moment to go outdoors, and, while paying attention to all your senses, gently look up at the sky. Notice what you experience.
  • Consider the potential for this activity to be trauma triggering. For example, seeing the vast sky may trigger a fear reaction to awe. Prior to the practice, acknowledge that awe can trigger feelings of both wonder and fear. Some student(s) can be participant observer(s) or stand near the teacher in a safe proximal space.


  • Begin the activity by asking:
    • Please give an example of something or someone you consider to be “awesome” (inspiring, incredible, moving). What makes your example “awesome”?
  • After a few students have shared their response, provide a working definition of awe:
    • Awe is the emotion we experience when we encounter vast mysteries that we don’t understand.
    • When we experience awe, we often feel goosebumps or our eyes may tear up.
  • Introduce the value of experiencing awe by saying:
    • Awe opens us up to the idea that we are connected and that we are part of something larger than the self.
    • Brief experiences of awe are beneficial for our physical and mental well-being.
  • Tell students:
    • Being in nature is often a source of awe. Therefore, we will take turns in reading aloud a narrative about being in nature.
  • Two student volunteers read aloud A LUV Moment
  • Tell students:
    • Now, let’s step outdoors and notice what happens when we pause, and gently look up towards the sky.
  • When outside, invite students to look up gently while they:
    • Option 1: Take 3 slow inhales and 3 slow exhales (optional Alphabreaths for students with special needs)
    • Option 2: Take 3 inhales and 3 slow exhales with a Jin Shin Jyutsu thumb hold—a light touch practice that research has found to increase physical and emotional well-being.
    • Option 3: Take 3 inhales and 3 slow exhales placing one hand on your stomach/head (for students with special needs)



  • After returning to the classroom, ask students to reflect on the prompt:
    • We each may experience awe differently. Please share your experience.
      (Students may choose different representations: drawing, writing, or musical/dramatic enactments.)


Optional Extension Activities

  • Before or after the LUV Moment, students read aloud “Slow Me Down” and then share strands of the poem that are resonant.
  • Over the course of one week, encourage students to practice an LUV Moment daily. At the end of the week, invite students to use one or two words or a phrase to share what they noticed (this may become a collective word web of the experience).
  • For a month-long LUV practice, ask students to record their thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors using a self-selected method of data representation (graph/chart, weave, haiku, etc.). Ask students to identify and describe any patterns, themes, or non-patterns that emerge in what they notice.



Keltner, D. (2023). Awe: The new science of everyday wonder and how it can transform your life. Penguin Press.

Reflection After the Practice

  • Incorporate a journal reflection(s) on any changes in students and/or classroom climate.
  • Consider what worked or did not work.
  • What modifications would you make?
  • Conduct a student focus group discussion to learn from their experiences.

The Research Behind It

Evidence That It Works

Research tells us that awe is deeply connected to experiences in nature. In a study of a diverse group of 90 undergraduate students, participants were asked to gaze up at towering eucalyptus trees for 1 minute (awe condition) or to look up at a tall building (control condition). Next, the experimenter “accidentally” dropped a box of pens, giving the participants an opportunity to help pick them up. The ones in the awe condition were more likely to help gather the pens, as well as report increased ethicality and lower levels of entitlement.


Why Does It Matter?

Students who feel awe are more committed to school through a sense of interconnection, purpose, and meaning. Indeed, awe can help students learn about themselves, encouraging them to ask at a critical point in their development the essential question, “Who am I?” At the same time, awe can also foster a wonder and curiosity in students about the interrelatedness and dependence of life, helping them to locate themselves within a systems view of life that is impermanent and ever-evolving.

Awe may also help to foster empathic, prosocial relationships between students by lessening students’ focus on themselves. By cultivating open-mindedness and humility, awe may ultimately support greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in classrooms, schools, and beyond.

“It is hard to imagine a single thing you can do that is better for your body and mind than finding awe outdoors.”
–Dacher Keltner
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