Health Education, Technology
Material Type:
Assessment, Homework/Assignment, Lesson Plan
Middle School, High School
Digital Citizenship, Lesson Plan, Media Balance, Screen Time
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Media Formats:

Reflecting Upon Screen Time

Reflecting Upon Screen Time


This lesson plan will help students reflect upon their screen time use, their digital habits, and improving their media balance. 


In this lesson, students will learn about the effects of screen time, reflect upon their own screen time and the screen time of others, and make a plan to have better media balance.

  • Time frame: 1 class period (plus prior "flipped" homework task)
  • Format: Syncronous, though it could be adapted to fit other formats
  • Grade level: Middle/High School

Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

Step 1 Goals and Outcomes

Learning Intentions:

  • Students will be able to understand the effects of screen time, and reflect upon the screen time of themselves and others.

Success Criteria:

  • Students will make a plan to improve media balance within their lives. 

ISTE Student Standard for Digital Citizen: 

  • 2b: Students engage in positive, safe, legal, and ethical behavior when using technology, including soical intersactions online or when using networked devices.


Step 2 - Planning Instruction

Step 2 Planning Instruction

Student Background Knowledge

  • Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of the terms screen time and media balance. If students have smart phones of their own, they will need to know how to view their screen time. 

Strategies for Diverse Learners

  • Possible scaffolds include: using closed captioning on the video, printing out hard copies of digital items, enlarging fonts, aid from a peer tutor, etc. For an extention, if the teacher wanted students to practice tech tools, students could input their data into an Excel Spreadsheet/Google sheet and create pie charts using the information they gathered.

Step 3 - Instruction

Step 3 Instruction

Day 1: The first portion of this lesson will be "flipped" -- students will be given a task to do outside of school, the day before the next class period. The task consists of gathering data on screen time use of 10 teenagers (including themselves) and 10 adults (18+ years of age). They will collect data on the Day 1 sheet (found here), which can be done digitally or on a hard copy. Students are to bring the data and reflection to the next class period for discussion and as an introduction to that day's lesson. (NOTE: Prior to this task, students should have an understaning of what the term screen time means.)

Day 2: Have students share the screen time averages with a partner and talk about their reflections. With the whole class, have volunteers share what their takeaways were from the data/task. 

After the discussion, play the video "Screen Time: How Much is Too Much?" and have the students fill out the "View" section on the Day 2 portion of the lesson. After the video, have students share with a partner one or 2 pieces of information they found interesting from their notes. Discuss the video as a class. 

Next, have students look at the list of digital habits and check the boxes that they participate in. Then, have them do the "Reflect" portion of the sheet. As a whole group, discuss what students noticed about their habits, whether or not they feel their screen time is active or passive, whether or not they believe their habits are positive or negative to having a healthy media balance, etc.

Have students create a "plan" to improve their media balance. 

Step 4 - Assessments

Step 4 Assessments

Student learning will be assessed through questioning during discussions, reflections on screen time data, reflections on their digital habits, making a plan for improving their media balance, as well as this "quiz".