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Neurological research indicates that children's experiences, both inside and outside of school, significantly influence brain development. But little is known about children's out-of-school activities and the influence such activities may have on academic achievement. To better understand this relationship, the extra-school activities of 75 fifth-grade students with below average academic achievement and who attended a semi-rural school are reported here. The instrument which measured the children's activity was administered daily to the children for one week. The findings indicate that watching television was by far the most prevalent activity. When combined with watching videotapes and playing video games, television watching surpassed all other reasonable combination of activities. Reading received a low-activity index rating, but it was third in the children's best-liked category. The best-liked activity was playing outside. Activities pursued with parents during the week and the weekend varied. Activities in the category titled other included eating dinner, sleeping, going to church, and using personal computers. The findings support other studies that show that children watch television too much and read too little. (RJM)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Action Research, Child Behavior, Child Development, Childhood Interests, Cognitive Development, Grade 5, Intermediate Grades, Play, Recreational Activities, Television Viewing

Autor: Wells, Lauren; Blendinger, Jack


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