TV Rots the Brain
- Parent Category: Upper-Intermediate News Lessons
- Category: Education Lessons
- Written by Chris Cotter
For years and years, parents and educators have warned about too much TV. They say that it rots the brain. Another report with new research confirms this. Investigators followed a community of 678 mother-child pairs in upstate New York. All the children were 14 years old, and the study continued for eight years. The report concluded that learning and attention problems increased with the number of hours of TV that was watched. And with shorter attention spans, the children usually did poorer at school.
The researchers disclose that several points aren't clear. Does TV lead to lower grades? Do children with lower grades turn to TV more than better students? Or does increased TV time and lower grades come from poverty and neglect? But the outcome remained clear for those glued to the idiot box. These children were less likely to work hard at school. They avoided homework, were bored in the classroom, dropped out of high school, and often had a general hatred toward school and learning.
Children in first world countries around the world generally watch two or more hours of TV every day. According to this new set of research, two hours seems to be the recommended limit. Children in the study who watched two hours or less, and then increased their TV time by one hour, doubled their risk of learning difficulties. Children with two hours or more in front of the TV, and who then lowered their viewing time by one hour, halved their risk for failure.
The researchers offered a way to prevent children from becoming couch potatoes. They suggested schools and community centers develop more activities after school. It would help limit how many hours children watch TV during their teen 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.