The most recent research again confirms what parents and educators have said for years and years: TV rots the brain. Investigators followed a community of 678 mother-child pairs in upstate New York. All the children were 14 years of age, and the study continued for eight years. The results demonstrated that the more TV that teens watched, the greater the possibility for learning and attention problems. And with shorter attention spans, the children usually did poorer at school.
The researchers admit that they aren't sure on several points. Does TV lead to poor academic performance? Do poor performers at school tend to watch more TV? Or do factors such as poverty and neglect contribute to both increased TV time and lower grades? Yet the outcome remained clear for those glued to the idiot box. These children were more likely to be lax at school. They avoided homework, were bored in the classroom, dropped out of high school, and even had a general hatred toward school and learning.
Children in first world countries around the world generally watch two or more hours of TV on a daily basis. According to this new round of research, two hours seems to be the recommended limit. Children in the study who watched two hours or less, and who then raised their viewing time by one hour, doubled their risk of learning difficulties. Children with two hours or more in front of the TV, and who then reduced their viewing time by one hour, halved their risk for failure.
The researchers offered a way to combat children from becoming couch potatoes. They suggested schools and community centers develop more extracurricular activities. It would help limit how many hours children watch TV during their adolescent years.
Preview some of the lesson material:
Brainstorm: Brainstorm with a partner(s) words and ideas associated with "TV" for 2 minutes. Spend another 5 minutes or less discussing the words and ideas together.
Questions: Answer the questions to check comprehension.
- What did research confirm about TV?
- What specifically happened to children who watched TV?
- How many hours of TV do children in first world countries watch every day?
- What happened when children watched more than two hours?
- What can be done to prevent children from watching too much TV?
post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
- How many hours of TV did you watch per week when you were a child?
- Did TV affect your schoolwork? If yes, how?
- Would you limit how many hours your children watch TV? Why/not?
- What would you do if your child's grades were poor?
- Would you ever consider getting rid of your TV? Why/not?
Google Search: Type "TV" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.