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All Work and No Play

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According to a study released last week, children who are unruly in schools may simply work too much and play too little. The study examined more than 10,000 elementary school children between the ages of eight and nine in the US. It discovered that children behaved notably better when they played for at least fifteen minutes during the school day. More recess resulted in children who were even better behaved.

The researchers who conducted the study concluded that children use creativity and imagination when on the playground. Kids also learn how to socially interact with one another, as well as develop problem-solving skills. Therefore recess plays an important role in the education of children. Child psychiatrists agreed with the study's findings, describing the learning environment created when children are play.

In recent years, though, recess has been cut at many schools, in part because of an increased emphasis placed on tests. More attention has been placed on academics because American children regularly score lower on international tests. Thus the Bush administration created No Child Left Behind in 2001, in an attempt to help US kids become more academically competitive with their international peers. Schools with poor test results were punished. Unfortunately, as a result to boost scores, students studied more and played less.

As a result of the study, another discovery was also made. The schools with the shortest amount of breaks tended to originate from areas with lower incomes and lower education levels. Therefore, these already disadvantaged children were harmed more with little or no playtime at school. All work and no play can thus be viewed as a path to poorer social skills, poorer behavior in the classroom, and poorer test scores.


Preview some of the lesson material:

Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  1. Children should spend most of their day studying.
  2. Children should study at home at least two or three hours every night.
  3. Recess is a waste of time.
  4. Children who have piano, soccer, and other activities become smart adults.
  5. Tests accurately measure a child's intelligence, skills, and/or abilities.

Fragments: Remember how the fragments were used, and complete the sentence from today's article.

  1. The study examined more than 10,000 elementary school children...
  2. Kids also learn how to socially interact with one another, as well as...
  3. Child psychiatrists agreed with the study's findings, describing the...
  4. More attention has been placed on academics because...
  5. Therefore, these already disadvantaged children were...

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. What's a good balance between study and play for children? Why do you think so?
  2. How important are tests for children? Why do you think so?
  3. How important are tests, the scores of which are then compared around the world? Why do you think so?
  4. What is the education system like in your home country? Please explain.
  5. How can the education system in your home country be improved? Please explain.

Google Search: Type "recess" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.


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