Why Sleep Matters for Children: Kindergarten SEL Lesson on Health

KindergartenLesson: 206

Why Sleep Matters for Children: Kindergarten SEL Lesson on Health

During the day, children spend a lot of energy attending to various responsibilities in school, at home, and to themselves. Since they exhaust their physical and mental strength in such activities, it is vital that they get sufficient rest at night. An adequate amount of sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle; it replenishes the energy lost during the day, improves cognitive function, and repairs damage in the body. It also reduces the risk of depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and obesity in adulthood.

Sufficient sleep, or lack thereof, also affects children’s social health and development. A healthy sleep routine restores energy and mental clarity for socialization and productivity the next day. Sleep deprivation, however, can cause irritability and is proven to cause disinterest in social engagement.

The best example to illustrate the significance of sleep to physical, mental, social, and emotional health is the story of Suzie Sleep-Enough. In this SEL lesson, Suzie’s story teaches kindergarten students why a healthy sleep routine and adequate rest matter to their overall health.

Suzie is a girl who greets every morning with angry words and meets every person with a frown. She likes to spend her day acting like a dragon breathing fire or a grizzly bear growling. Why is Suzie like that?

"Sufficient sleep, or lack thereof, also affects children’s social health and development. A healthy sleep routine restores energy and mental clarity for socialization and productivity the next day."

One important thing to know about Suzie is she hates going to bed at night. She often loses many hours of sleep, which causes her to dread getting up in the morning and interacting with people. One night, she dreams about breathing fire like a dragon, growling like a bear, and snarling like a dog to every person she encounters. Upon waking up, she is so relieved that she consciously decides to be more mindful of her sleep. That is how she becomes Suzie Sleep-Enough, a girl from the Goodbody family who places great value on proper rest.

Sleep plays a vital role in recharging and rejuvenating the body, allowing it to function at its best. This is the focus of the class discussion that follows. Together, the class discusses important reflection points on the story of Suzie, and the students share their thoughts on their sleeping habits.

To end the lesson, the students participate in a reinforcing SEL activity involving a clock activity sheet. The students color and draw their clocks according to their bedtime. They then bring their clocks home and hang them in their rooms to remind themselves of the time they should be in bed. This aims to establish a structured sleeping routine in kindergarten students.

Sleep is not merely a luxury or a time of inactivity. It is a vital process that recharges the body, allowing it to function optimally. leep impacts nearly every aspect of one's well-being, from physical rejuvenation and cognitive processing to better social engagement and improved self-concept.

Valuing and prioritizing sufficient and restful sleep allows kindergartners to unlock their potential and enjoy healthier, happier lives.

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