Level 6

Mindful Listening

Johnnyrandom Bespoken

PHOTO: Johnnyrandom

The five senses are sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing. A person is mindful when they focus one or more senses on a single thought, emotion, flavor, texture, color or sound. Johnnyrandom is an artist and a mindful listener. He pays close attention to the sounds everyday things make. The sounds interest him so much that he records them with microphones, then creates songs.

Johnnyrandom Bicycle Sounds

PHOTO: Johnnyrandom

Bespoken is the name of a song Johnnyrandom created without piano, drums, guitars, or voice. Every single sound was made by a bicycle. Close your eyes and listen mindfully:


1. What is the main idea of this article?

2. How can a person be more mindful?

3. What does focus mean? Click here for a kids’ online dictionary. Use the word in a sentence with an adverb.

4. Are other animals more mindful than humans? Explain.

5. How is Johnyrandom’s music different from music you enjoy?

6. How is his music similar to what you listen to?

7. If you could create a song with sounds made by a common object like a bicycle, what would it be? Describe what it would sound like. How would you make the sounds?

8. Use the following sentence frame to describe Johnnyrandom: I think Johnnyrandom is (adjective)because…

9. How are you and Johnnyrandom alike (compare)?

10. How are you and Johnnyrandom different (contrast)?

11. How can being mindful make life better?

12. If you could interview Johnnyrandom, what questions would you ask?


E     X     T     E     N     D     .     .     .     .

1. Close your eyes and listen mindfully to the song. Make tally marks on a sheet of paper each time you hear a new sound. Listen mindfully once more. Analyze the sounds and write down as many adjectives as you can that describe them. Use a thesaurus to discover the perfect word for each sound. Click here for an online thesaurus.

2. Do sounds have color? Can they form shapes? Create a drawing or painting that illustrates the sounds and adjectives from the question above. When finished, click here for a video that shows what sound waves actually look like.

3. A soundscape is a group of sounds that come together to form a setting you can hear. Explore the links to blog posts with sound recordings below. Close you eyes and listen mindfully. Create drawings, paintings or sculptures that illustrate the soundscapes of the recordings.

Under the Pier

From the Porch

On Lake Chapman

Valparaiso Funicular

“Dead as a Dodo” (Indykids)

PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons


Click the image above or right here to read the article.


1. Why do people say “dead as a dodo”?

2. How does the suffix less change the meaning of flight?

3. How many years ago was the last dodo killed?

4. Why couldn’t the dodo fly?

5. Why don’t we know exactly what the dodo looked like?

6. If scientists can bring back extinct animals like the dodo, should they?

7. After reading the article, what questions do you have?


E     X     T     E     N     D     .     .     .     .

1. Create a comic strip about the dodo. Include what you learned about the extinct bird from the article. Click here for free, blank comic templates available for download and printing.

Getting Wild With the Great White Shark (Indykids)

PHOTO: Terry Goss

PHOTO: Terry Goss

Click the image above or right here to read the article.


1. What does the word serrated mean? Click here for a children’s online dictionary. Use the word in two sentences.

2. Why are sharks important for environmental balance?

3. How are facts and myths different?

4. Why don’t great whites attack humans more often?

5. How are myths and facts alike?

6. Why are great white sharks killed?

7. Why is it not a good idea to buy things made from sharks?

8. After reading the article, what do you want to know?


E     X     T     E     N     D     .     .     .     .

1. Love animals? Global Animal is an online news magazine for people who love pets, and believe all animals have the right to live a healthy, happy life. Click here to read about people around the world who are working to help species other than our own.