My Brain Needs a Break

My Brain Needs A Break

Promote healthy sleep habits and discuss why sleep is important for proper brain function. Use Crayola® Bright Fabric Markers and decorate a pillowcase with colorful tips for peaceful sleep!

  • 1.

    Ask students if they ever feel groggy or grumpy? Are there days when you have trouble focusing at school or don’t feel like going to soccer practice? Inform them that they may not be getting enough sleep!

  • 2.

    Invite students working in small groups to research the importance of sleep to their bodies' overall health. Organize text and Internet resources to assist them with this investigation.

  • 3.

    Once research is complete, have students share their new knowledge in small group or a whole class setting. Allow each group of students to determine the format they will use to present their learning to classmates.

  • 4.

    Once presentations are complete, students brainstorm a list of suggestions and tips for healthy sleep habits.

  • 5.

    Invite student groups to create colorful designs that symbolize the tips selected. Designs can be sketched on a pillowcase using Crayola® Bright Fabric Markers. For best results, use 100% cotton fabric. Place a piece of paper or recycled newspaper inside the pillowcase to prevent bleed through. Be sure to saturate the cloth when using the Bright Fabric Markers. Apply multiple layers for vivid color. Stain Advisement: Fabric markers are permanent on clothing and contain colorants that may stain household surfaces. Wear a smock to protect clothing and cover your work surface. Recap markers as soon as possible and store in a horizontal position. Do not shake markers.

  • 6.

    When finished, an adult will to iron your design. Set iron on cotton setting and iron on the reverse side using a back and forth motion for 4 minutes. Or place garment in the dryer for 30 minutes on the hottest setting. This will fix the color to the fabric.

  • 7.

    Display student pillow cases in a school hallway to generate conversation about healthy sleeping habits.


  • LA: Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
  • LA: Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
  • LA: Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • LA: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
  • SCI: Construct models and representations of body systems to demonstrate how multiple interacting subsystems and structures work together to accomplish specific functions.
  • SCI: Provide explanations of how sense receptors respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain to be processed for immediate behavior or stored as information.
  • SCI: Communicate an explanation for how the storage of long-term memories requires changes in the structure and function of millions of interconnected nerve cells in the brain.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.


  • Possible classroom resources include: Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss; A Boy and a Bear: The Children's Relaxation Book by Lori Lite; The Goodnight Caterpillar: A Children's Relaxation Story by Lori Lite
  • Invite a relaxation expert, such as a yoga instructor, to visit with the class. Prior to the meeting, students compose questions for the expert. After the visit, students post learning to a class blog.
  • Students investigate the stages of sleep. What happens during each stage? Doe the stages repeat during the night or occur only once? Why is each stage unique and important?
  • Have students log their sleeping habits over a 2-to-4 week period. Graph data (compilation of whole class) and have students comment on what patterns emerge. Have students write a response to the data in terms of their research on sleep. Is the class healthy and ready to learn?