Early classes — sleepy teens

Monday and Thursday are my least favourite school days. I don’t have a very busy timetable on Monday and Thursday, on the contrary, but I have to get up very early on these days. Once I asked my colleague to make me a cup of coffee as I was nearly falling asleep and couldn’t teach my pupils. Fortunately, it helped. Nevertheless, when I think of an alarm clock ringing at 5.45 in the morning (better to say «at night») I feel how I go all to pieces beforehand.

I think, the following piece of listening activity would be interesting  for both  pupils and teachers who feel the same way as I do.

Source: VOA Special English

Read and listen to the article.

Half of American teenagers don’t get enough sleep on school nights.  They get an average of 60- 90 minutes less than they need, experts say.

One problem is biology.  Teens are programmed to go to sleep later and wake up later than other age groups, but many schools start classes as early as 7:00 a.m.

Many students go to class feeling tired.  One student, Danny, says that getting up in the morning is terrible.  He feels tired.  During his first classes of the day, it’s difficult to stay awake.

Michael Breus is a psychologist.  He’s an expert in sleep problems.  He says that teenagers need eight to ten hours of sleep a night.  He feels that sleepy teens can become depressed.  This can also affect their ability in sports and driving.  Michael Breus says a tired driver, especially a tired teenage driver, is dangerous.
What can schools do?  Psychologists say schools can start classes later in the morning.  Studies show that students’ grades improved by starting classes later.

St. George’s School in Rhode Island wanted to try this.  They started classes just thirty minutes later.

Visits to the health center by tired students decreased by half.  Late arrivals to first period decreased by one/third.  Students felt less sleepy during the day.  The teachers also noticed that students were happier and more awake.


Think of some activities to this text, I guess it’ll be great on the topic «Health».


Answer the questions:mish
1. What problem do some American teenagers have?
2. How many hours of sleep a night do teenagers need?
3. How do sleepy teens feel?
4. Can schools solve the problem? In what way?
5. Do you have the same problem?


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