Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Inspiring Life Lessons Told Through Video

I found these “Do Now” assignment suggestions in the Ning in Education. The assignment asks students to watch a video. Beforehand, they reflect on a series of question, and after viewing the video, they contemplate a prompt the teacher provides. To see the original plan as presented by the teacher, Scott Habeeb, use this link: http://education.ning.com/profiles/blogs/want-to-teach-your-students-1

Scott concludes, “Lessons like these, embedded into a Do Now assignment, can be a fun way to start off class, a great way to connect with your students, and an opportunity to teach your students about life.”

For now, I am posted two of his suggestions as he describes them verbatim, and have embedded the accompanying videos.

1) The Life Lesson: One person can completely change another person's life:

A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video and answer the following questions: If you could choose and had to choose, would you rather be remembered the way this father is remembered or would you rather be remembered for being rich, famous, and powerful? Why?

B. The Object Lesson: The following video:

The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. Make sure they understand the power of sacrifice. There is great strength in loving and sacrificing. Amazing things can happen when one person sacrifices for another.

2) The Life Lesson: It's better to build someone up than to tear someone down:

A. The Do Now Assignment: Watch the following video and write a reflection on why you think this video makes people happy.

B. The Object Lesson: The following video

C. The Follow Up: Ask students to share their answers. The reason this makes people happy is because it is natural for us to enjoy watching the underdog do well and be happy. Unfortunately, many people tend to find it easier to tear down others or to bring people down to their level instead of helping to build others up. What would it be like in a high school if EVERYONE treated EVERYONE else the way that those students treated Jason?

Do you see the value of these kinds of "To Do Now" video lessons? Would you consider the same format, begining with "A To Do Now," followed by the video, and finishing with The Follow-up? Think of ways in which you can use this structure within your subject area or teaching grade level.


Christina said...

I think this is a fantastic idea. I love how this teacher incorporated interesting videos that were thought provoking and inspiring. I especially liked the video featuring Tom Brady. I believe that we need to prepare our children to succeed in the real world. We need to teach so much more than just content. This might be a great way to begin a lesson and spark students' creativity. There is always a way to incorporate real life lessons into every content area. Tying these videos and "teachable moments" into daily lessons is a powerful tool. Students are more likely to remember content that somehow relates to their own lives. I think this teacher has some very good ideas, I wish that more teachers saw the importance of incorporating life lessons into their curriculum.

Jenny G said...

I completely agree with Christina: this is a fantastic idea! What better way to use technology in the classroom than in the interest of cultivating students' critical thinking skills? The use of inspiring, discussion-provoking videos such as the ones shown here demands students' attention and participation. Students would be hard-pressed not to care at least a little. This is a great opportunity not only to integrate any content area with real life events, but also to tap into the array of (Garner's) multiple intelligences. Now we can have sports, artists, naturalists, activists, altogether in an English classroom. We can tie their stories to the unit of study, and voila, student engagement, participation, and attendance may increase; and I'm guessing behavior problems may decrease!

Nancy Dulz said...

What a great way to get students to truly understand the ideas of sacrifice, doing something for someone else and realizing that here are some truly amazing individuals doing incredible things. The story of the blind son and his father in the Louisville Marching Band is a wonderful example of selfless love. The teacher could have asked students to write about an experience without the benefit of the video, but it becomes a much more powerful teaching moment when there is a visual involved that students can relate to. It is impossible not to feel moved by these stories and the videos are directly connected to an emotional response which will as Christina said "spark their creativity". What a great teaching tool and I am sure that the students really enjoy this class - it gives them an opportunity to relate situations to their own lives. I also think it will let students give a much more honest an open response because of the emotional connection.

Mary Beth Cadieux said...

It is so important that we teach our students empathy in all that we do. In order for our students to thrive they must understand themselves and others around them. I cannot tell you hope excited I am to do this with my student leadership class. I think both videos show two remarkable young people, who never gave up. I hope this would encourage my students to work hard. In my school many students come from poverty and are frustrated at not getting a fair shake. And while I totally agree, students still need to be able to work hard to "pull themselves up by the bootstraps" as much as possible. Through tireless hard work it is possible to succeed. These two videos would hopefully inspire my students to be grateful for what they were given and work to attain their goals.

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