Subject: SEL (Social-Emotional Learning)

Lesson Length: 20 - 45 mins

Topic: Digital Habits

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will take a true or false quiz to test their knowledge about digital usage and their mental health, and then create a comic showing some positive alternatives.

Know Before You Start:

  • This lesson is a great discussion starter. 
  • Vocabulary e.g., digital responsibility, habits.

Hook:

  • Have students raise their hand if they use the following technology everyday: 
    • TV.
    • Game console.
    • Computer.
    • iPad/tablet.
    • Phone.
  • Ask students how much time per day they spend using those items. Discuss.
  • Explain that reflecting on how much time we spend on technology is important for our emotional and mental health and that sometimes we can become addicted to using technology because of routine or distraction.

Activity:

  • Display or print the sample comic for students to read. 
  • Have students number a piece of paper one to six and answer each question with a T for True, or F for False.
  • Have students create their own comic showing themselves doing or not doing the activity shown or described in each panel of the sample comic. 
    • What do they do with their friends in real life instead of playing on their devices?
    • What's something they've learned by researching online?
    • What do they do before bed to help them keep healthy sleep habits?
    • What type of exercise do they enjoy most?
    • What can they be doing instead of continuously scrolling?
    • What's something they do to help manage anxiety?

Closure: Share and discuss the following answers with students. 

  1. True –Studies suggest that those that stick to technology and spend less time with people in real life can struggle with making friends or keeping their attention on people in the space they’re in.
  2. True – Although there is great information that helps us learn and research online; learning technology skills can be helpful in other ways. Learning how to code, create animations, and design can help with creative ideas. 
  3. False – It’s suggested to cut any screen time out thirty minutes before bed. Using technology of any kind can be a problem for sleep. It can decrease natural melatonin that is in the brain that makes you sleepy, and keep the brain active so it stays alert instead of starting to relax, which can cause anxiety.  
  4. True – Unless someone is using technology and TVs to do recorded workouts, most tech time involves a lot of sitting for long periods of time which can make us lethargic and not want to get active.
  5. False – Sometimes tech habits start to take over our other responsibilities or even more important things we should be present for. Setting a timer for how long to use tech can help with this. 
  6. True – Video games can be fun, but spending too much time playing video games can cause a addiction or even lead to anxiety; especially violent video games that can cause a lack of empathy.

Possible Reflection:

  • What are your current digital habits? 
  • Are you surprised about how technology can be good and bad for our mental health? Why or why not? 
  • What could you change in your digital routine to cut back on the time you spend using tech?

Differentiation:

  • Allow students to share their comics with a partner or group.
  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
  • Have students track their digital habits for a week and write a reflection on their results.

Resources:

  • Comic to print or display: Comic.

Suggested Reading: