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SESSION 3 For S1 Pupils

BACKGROUND

This session provides pupils with a challenge to join millions of other people around the world who have gone screen-free for up to a week and to do some of the screen-free activities they identified in Session 2. 

OBJECTIVES

Pupils Will:

  • Try to do more screen-free activities.
  • Engage in screen-free activities for one week and cut out recreational screen-time during the week.

TIME NEEDED

  • 50-60 minutes 

GETTING READY

  •  Copies of Screen-Free Things to Do hand-out. 
  •  Brainstorm ways to work around the challenges of going screen-free.

Have:

  • Markers and a flip chart
  • The list of ways the pupils said they would like to spend their free time from Session II. Optional: Make a copy of the list for pupils to take and use over the next week.

Activity Steps with Pupils

  1. Ask pupils to think about the time they spend in front of a screen, like watching TV, surfing the internet, and playing computer games. Ask them why they typically do these activities? Ask for a volunteer to record on a flip chart their answers (e.g., bored, want background noise, interested in the activity, etc). Ask pupils when they typically do screen-based activities (before school, after school, at a friend’s house, etc). Note-it is important for young people to know when and why they do a behaviour in order to change it.
  2. Ask pupils to pull out their completed Screen Time Tracking Form. If not many pupils have completed the forms, ask them to think back to yesterday and estimate how much time they spent in front of the TV, computer games or screens. Ask pupils to focus on the number of hours in front of the screen as opposed to discussing the shows watched.
  3. Ask pupils if they were surprised at the amount of TV they watched and computer activities they did.
  4. Ask pupils if they know what the recommendation is as the maximum amount of time each day to watch TV, use the computer/screens, and play computer games. Note that health experts recommend no more than 2 hours of TV and computer/screen use (combined) each day and less is even better! Ask pupils for possible reasons for this recommendation.
  5. Note that you are challenging them to go screen-free (give up TV, computer- and screen-based activities) for one week. The only exception is if they need the computer for homework assignments.  Inform pupils that they will go screen-free so they can do some of the activities they listed in Session 2. Pull out the flip chart list from Session 2 that highlights screen-free ways they would like to spend their free time. Review their ideas and the Screen-Free Things to Do hand-out. Have pupils select things to do instead of using the screen and list on the Screen-Free Things to Do hand out.
  6. Ask pupils to imagine they are trying not to watch TV or spend time on tablets, smart phones or computer games. Ask them how they will do this in the following situations. For instance:
  • “What if you come home from school after having a disagreement with your best friend and you just want a distraction? What are you going to do?” (Possible tips: Think of a distraction that is not screen-based like reading a book or magazine, writing your friend a letter, or listening to music and dancing.)
  • Or, “what if you come home and your parents or brother or sister have the TV on, what are you going to do?” (Possible tips: Invite your parents or brother or sister to do something else with you like play a board game or a card game; go outside and ride a bike or play football.)
  • Or, “imagine that you go home and you’re not watching TV or you’re not in front of the tablet, smart phone or computer screen. What would you be doing instead? What would make that happen more often?”
  1. Break-up into teams and have each team make a list of screen-free activities they will do and ways to support each other during the challenge. Encourage teams to do some of the fun screen-free activities together.
  2. Break-up into groups and ask the young people to design a leaflet on encouraging young people too spend less time on screens. What information and images would they have in a leaflet. Share with the rest of the class.
  3. Together as a class explore ways your school could take up a whole school approach in encouraging screen-free activities in school. Ask the pupils to come up with arguments to present to the head teacher about why it is important that the school take part in adopting positive screen habits and encouraging screen-free activities within the school and home.
  4. Over the next few days, remind pupils that the screen-free challenge is their chance to do some of the fun screen-free activities they would like to do.

Homework:

  • Ask pupils to take a note of the screen-free activities they will do every day and how they felt after taking part in the activities.
  • Ask pupils to also note at the end of the week how they felt by cutting out screens for entertainment for one week.  (Following week pupils can share their experiences with the class).