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Dreams: myths and realities

A new study on the myth of dreams teaches us that several popular beliefs are, in fact, completely unsupported. Let's take a closer look at what happens in our body when the arms of Morpheus rock us during the night.

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"Dreams where you have the impression of falling? Much rarer than we think. Nightmares that end well? Quite possible (it even happens 20 % of the time). Bug nightmares are the prerogative of little girls? Absolutely not, in fact men do it more often than women! "
Source: The sun
“Even though the days of oracles and their premonitory dreams are over, the function of dreams is still poorly understood. Four major hypotheses exist on this subject, according to Antonio Zadra, a Montreal specialist on the issue. "
Source: La Presse
Through the following activities, this new study will allow us to better understand the myths surrounding dreams.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Make assumptions about the factors that influence sleep;
- Compare its hypotheses with those of researchers;
- Identify the differences between slow sleep and REM sleep;
- Share a personal experience concerning a dream or a nightmare;
- Make a comic strip relating a dream or a nightmare.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: Am I dreaming or what?

To get started, introduce this study to your students, then initiate a discussion to find out what your students' beliefs and knowledge are related to dreams and sleep.

Continue this activity by asking your students to hypothesize about the reasons, or factors, as to why dreams are essential in humans.
Check the students' hypotheses by consulting the article Why are you dreaming? which describes the researchers' four hypotheses related to the same questioning.
Here are the hypotheses raised in the article:
1- The dream has no specific function.
2- Sleep has independent biological or psychological functions.
3- Give the dream functions that vary according to different factors.
4- The dream with the telescope of evolution.
To facilitate this activity, use the following interactive whiteboard handout.


Click on picture to enlarge.

Download the file in SMART Notebook (.notebook) format
Download the source file in ActivInspire (.flp) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)
No BIT? Download the SMART Notebook version and open it using 
of the online application SMART Notebook Express.


ACTIVITY 2: The phases of sleep and their roles

To start this activity, show the video  What does my body do when I sleep? by asking your students to pay attention to the different phases of sleep and their characteristics.
As a large group, have students complete the second activity in the interactive whiteboard support material downloaded in Activity 1. In this activity, they have to replace the 14 different components of slow sleep and REM sleep. These are presented in the form of tag words to be classified according to the two types of sleep.

Click on picture to enlarge.

Download the file in SMART Notebook (.notebook) format
Download the source file in ActivInspire (.flp) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)
No BIT? Download the SMART Notebook version and open it using
of the online application SMART Notebook Express.


ACTIVITY 3: Like in a dream

Ask your students to find out what dreams and nightmares make them happy, monopolize their minds or even worry them.
Suggest that your students make a comic strip describing a dream or nightmare they have had in the past. To do this, you could present this comic recounting the different phases of sleep and the reactions of the human body during this period of the night.
Use this open canvas in order to write the draft of the comic book related to a dream or a nightmare.

 Click on picture to enlarge.
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

ICT track: 
Use the website of Bitstrip for schools so that your students can make their comic book about a dream or a nightmare. Hundreds of scenes are provided and students will be able to create very realistic avatars to include in this project.
This tool is also available for mobile devices on itunes as well as on top GooglePlay.

For further

Have your students find popular phrases that include the word dream, sleep, or sleep.
Do not dream in color;
You can dream well;
Sleep before midnight counts double.
You can also suggest that your students design a Dreams Catcher.

More about the magazine

The secret of sleep
Video revealing the secret of sleep (8 minutes)
Can dreams be premonitory?
Video explaining the mystery of premonitory dreams (43 minutes)
Sleep and dreams
Dossier on Junior Sciences
The smartphone invites itself to bed to improve sleep
File on Le Figaro
Sleep report
RTS discovery

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