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Activity Steps with Pupils - Primary 7

Spending too much time watching TV, playing video games, or using a computer, tablet, or smartphone can increase children’s chances of becoming overweight, decrease school performance, and interfere with relationships with friends and family. These activities will help pupils learn the importance of choosing healthy, active alternatives to being glued to a screen.

Discussion Questions

Ask pupils:

  1. How can spending too much time watching TV, playing video games, or using a computer, tablet, or smartphone affect your health?
  2. Why is it important to be active, play sports, or just play with friends every day?
  3. What are the current guidelines for entertainment screen time?
  4. What are some of your favourite physical activities? List active things you can do inside and outside.
  5. Children who spend lots of time in front of screen (TV, computer, mobile device, iPad, laptop) are more likely to be overweight. Do you think it’s important for grown-ups to follow this advice, too? What are some ways your family can be active together?

Activity:

How much time do you think you spend watching TV, playing video games, and using a computer, tablet, or smartphone in a week? Five hours? Ten? Forty? During this week, try to cut down on screen time and use that time to do other activities. Play outside, create a piece of art, practice a sport, or read a book. The possibilities are endless.

In pairs come up with a list of fun things to do.

Ask pupils to shout out their suggestions & write answers on a smart board. See how long you can make the list. Put the list up in class room.

Class quiz

True or false class quiz: This could be made into a PowerPoint.

1.True or false: Kids who spend lots of time in front of TV, tablets, mobile phones and computer screens are more likely to be overweight.

2.True or false: Playing video games is a kind of exercise.

3. True or false: Swimming, basketball, hockey, and jogging are all examples of aerobic exercise.

4. True or false: Push-ups, sit-ups, and swinging across the monkey bars are all activities that build muscle strength.

5. True or false: Running around on the playground counts as exercise.

6. Too much screen time can interfere with: a) being physically active b) doing homework c) playing with friends d)   spending time with family e) all of the above

7. Exercise produces chemicals that can make you feel good. These chemicals are called: a) endorphins b) morphine c) bile d) white blood cells e) plasma

Quiz Answers

  1. True or false: Children who spend lots of time in front of TV, video, and computer screens are more likely to be overweight.
  2. True or false: Playing video games is a kind of exercise.
  3. True or false: Swimming, basketball, hockey, and jogging are all examples of aerobic exercise.
  4. True or false: Push-ups, sit-ups, and swinging across the monkey bars are all activities that build muscle strength.
  5. True or false: Running around on the playground counts as exercise.
  6. Too much screen time can interfere with: a) being physically active b) doing homework c) playing with friends d) spending time with family e) all of the above
  7. Exercise produces chemicals that can make you feel good. These chemicals are called: a) endorphins b) morphine c) bile d) white blood cells e) plasma

Additional Activity

Pupils could also do a solo talk on screen time (incorporating literacy by talking and listening, sharing information they have learned or research (as this is educational) all the risks physical, social or mental risks associated with screen time.

Homework:

Ask pupils to:

  • Make copies of blank charts for each of your family members. Have a contest to see who has the least amount of screen time in a week. What were the most fun activities that didn’t involve a TV, computer, video game, tablet, or smartphone?
  • Ask pupils to keep a diary for up to a week and write a short story on the screen free activities they did over the week on their own, with family & friends.