As a member of the first co-hort of TED Ed Innovative Educators, I’ve had the opportunity to develop TED Ed lessons targeted to high school students. However, TED Ed video lessons, many of which are created by TED’s professional animators, are also available for elementary students. Please consider adding TED Ed into your instructional practice as we move into the second half of the 2016-2017 school year. You can access TED lessons by visiting ed.ted.com.
Why TED Ed?
TED Ed video lessons are an excellent way to introduce students to a new topic in the curriculum. Whether it be social studies, science, or math, TED Ed lessons can be fully customized, or remixed, to meet the objectives of a specific unit. TED Ed lessons are available for elementary students in the following core subject areas:
Anthropology, Area Studies, Civics, Geography, Civics, History, Media & Journalism, Sociology
TED Ed Lesson Format
TED Ed lessons generally have four parts: Watch, Think, Dig Deeper, and Discuss. Teachers who choose to customize lessons can decide which parts to include. Each lesson starts with a “let’s begin” statement which provides context to the video students will be watching.
After watching the TED Ed video (usually three to five minutes long, perfect for the elementary level) students are asked to “think” or answer questions about the video they just viewed. Teachers can use the existing questions, or create their own true/false, multiple choice, or short answer questions, and students’ answers are automatically graded. The “dig deeper” section of a TED Ed lesson is where teachers can begin to differentiate and provide additional resources for students to explore. The final section, “discuss” is where students can have an online discussion (in or outside of the classroom) about what they learned. The discussion section of the lesson is an effective way to integrate digital citizenship into the classroom and specifically digital communication skills.
TED Ed lessons can be based around any TED Ed Original, TED Talk, or You Tube video. They are easy to create, will engage students in their learning, and can be meaningful homework assignments. Please come visit Mr. Murphy and I in the Fox Hill Learning Commons if you’d like to learn more about how to bring TED Ed to your classroom.