Health, Kids

Kids Focus Better When They Are Active

When kids are allowed to move around and blow off steam, they are better able to focus on their schoolwork, say a growing number of researchers.

More educators are looking for ways to help kids be active, to help them learn better. For instance, one teacher in Toronto takes her Grade 7 kids outside to identify shapes or call out adjectives that describe what they see.

Or, she’ll have them walking around the class, talking about work that is pinned to the wall—as if it were an art museum. Then she’ll get them to write a poem about what they saw.

Letting kids move around helps them focus for longer periods of time, she says.

Other ways schools are helping kids stay active:

* Some schools let kids sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair;

* One school in Aurora, Ont. sets aside a “snowball zone” where kids can throw snowballs and even act as targets (they wear goggles);

* One teacher posts signs in the corners of her classroom that say: “Agree,” “Disagree,” “Strongly agree” and “Strongly disagree.” Then after she makes a statement like, “Homework is fun!” the kids get to run to the corner of the room that has the sign they agree with.

By combining activity with learning, letting kids take breaks often during the day and understanding that kids need to move in order to learn, schools are helping kids be their best.

There is a Primary version (ESL and Grade 2) of this article available here.


Writing/Discussion Prompt
Do you think you get enough physical activity at school?
If so – what does your teacher do to ensure that you move around both in class and outside?
If not – pretend you are the teacher and create activities that could be used in your class that would increase the activity level of you and your classmates.

Reading Prompt
The journalist of the article chose to use bullet points to list different ways teachers increase their students’ activity levels.
Why do you think the journalist chose to write with bullet points instead of paragraphs?  What are the benefits and drawbacks of writing using bullet points?

Identify a variety of text features and explain how they help readers understand texts (OME, Reading: 2.3)

Grammar Feature: Compound Words
A compound word is made up of two words joined together.  Some examples are: doghouse, newspaper and sandcastle.
Find the compound words in the article, then think of at least 10 more compound words.