Watching the Tube (Grades 11-12)

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Watching the Tube

Watching the Tube

If there is one thing virtually all Americans have in common is that they like their television sets. Ninety-nine percent of all American homes have at least one, and 65 percent have three or more. Each year students spend an average of 900 hours in school—and 300 more than that sitting front of the television. The pervasiveness of television is not in question in this country, but the question of whether or not these hours spent watching is beneficial or damaging certainly is.

Certainly, there are enormous advantages to watching television. A number of shows encourage reading to learn additional information, and multiple educational channels facilitate learning in multimedia ways. In addition, as many proponents point out, television opens the world to people, allowing them an effective way to witness places, creatures, and events they would not be able to do otherwise. Families who watch the same shows have a bond and connection that leads to conversation and rapport.
On the other hand, opponents to television emphasize that if people are watching then they are not reading, playing outside, exercising, and a variety of other healthy activities. If families watch different shows, it pulls them apart, keeping them separate within the home, and further limiting interaction.
1. 
What two things is this passage comparing?
  1. The number of televisions in the U.S. and in other countries
  2. The amount of time in school and spent watching television
  3. The best and worst channels for educational broadcasting
  4. The pros and cons of watching television
2. 
Which statement about watching television is the most accurate?
  1. People who watch too much stop doing any other activities.
  2. Television watchers always become avid readers.
  3. Watching television shows can bring families together.
  4. Many people use more than one television at a time.
3. 
What is a one way television could support a student in school?
  1. By featuring educational channels
  2. By restricting how many hours they can watch
  3. By mandating only one television set per household
  4. By encouraging families to watch shows together
4. 
More than half of the homes in the U.S. own at least three television sets.
  1. True
  2. False
5. 
When families watch separate shows in separate rooms, it can damage the amount of                                they have.

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