If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students learned about analyzing their screen time habits. Part of the class activity includes a story about a family where the children spend a lot of time on computers, smartphones and watching television. Students will also have filled out a short survey called “Would You Rather” to help see what interests they might have for virtual and in-person activities.
Getting Ready for the Conversation
An active lifestyle is important for healthy living. This print lesson introduces student assessment of their own screen time and considers the alternatives to screen time that they might be missing.
Conversation Starters and Practice at Home Activities
The first two items are for follow-up after participating in class activities.
The teacher read you a story about kids spending a lot of time on screens. Tell about the story. Was this similar to our family? Why or why not?
Share your “Would You Rather” (if available) sheet from class. Why did you choose the activities you did?
Does our family do a good job of balancing screen time for everyone at home? Why or why not?
What are some things we can do together away from screens that would be healthy and fun?
Why is it important to unplug from technology from time to time? Let’s develop a plan to make sure that we keep a good screen time balance. How can you make sure that you follow through?
School to Home Resources on Would You Rather?
- Would You Rather…? worksheet
- In a remote environment, meeting software will need to have “breakout room” or similar function enabled allowing for small group discussions and handouts will need to be shared with student groups by email or chat function
No video accompanies this lesson.
1. Begin the class by telling students that today’s class is all about screen time: the amount of time we all (students and adults, alike) spend watching television, playing on electronic devices, texting on their phones, etc. They will complete a survey, analyze a story, and then analyze the survey results.
2. Ask students to define the word “anonymous.” Anonymous means that no name is attached to or
signed on the work, so other people never know who created the work. Some people forget to write their names on their work, and some people leave their names off on purpose. Today, the students will leave their names off on purpose.
3. Distribute the Would You Rather…? worksheet and tell students this will be an anonymous survey. You/student volunteers will read each line and students will select one of the choices in each line. Ask students to really think about what they prefer to do and answer honestly.
4. When they have finished, collect the surveys and shuffle the papers to use later.
Direct Instruction (I do):
1. Read the following story, “Family Togetherness,” aloud:
Every day when they get home from school, Sabrina and her brother Ruben fight over the family computer. When Sabrina “wins,” Ruben picks up his cell phone and texts his friends.
Their younger brother Daniel runs in the house, throws his book bag on the floor, and flops on the couch to play videogames with a friend. Their sister Alinna stomps on the floor shouting, “I want to watch Sponge Bob! My turn to use the TV!” Daniel does not give in, so she picks up an iPad and plays a Sponge Bob game.
When their mother comes in to check on them, every child is glued to a screen.
“It’s a beautiful day! We just bought you the new soccer net! Go practice outside.”
The children do not even look up to answer her; they simply grunt, “No thanks, Mom.”
Their mother says, “What am I going to do with you?”
Nobody answers her. They are all too involved in their electronic screens.
Guided Exploration (We do):
1. Ask students any/all of the following questions:
- Do you think this is a real story? Why or why not?
- What do you think the mother should do? What do you think the children should do?
- Do children really behave this way? How do you know?
- What will make them change their habits?
- What other kinds of activities do kids need to do instead of just being on screens? Why?
- Young people are supposed to get at least 60 minutes of active time every day. Do you think the children in the family in the story will get that hour of activity? Why or why not?
2. Tell students that they are going to look at the answers on their surveys and compare their answers to the behaviors of the children in the story. Randomly distribute the surveys to the students. If a student receives his or her paper, exchange with another person.
3. Create a T chart on the board. Down the left side, number 1-10 to chart the survey responses. Use tally marks or whatever process you have taught to count the responses
Independent Practice (You do):
1. Tell students they will analyze the data, because the choices they made say something about the
members of the class. Do the answers say most of our class…
- is active or inactive?
- enjoys electronic devices more than other activities?
- prefers to be with friends or by themselves?
- prefers to be indoors or outdoors?
- spends more or less than 6 hours a day online?
2. According to the results of the survey, do you think most of the members of our class go home and
behave like the family in the story? Why or why not?
Think about your own time that you spend on a screen and the amount of time you are active each day. Are you active enough for a person your age? What changes, if any, do you need to make to be more active?