I recently attended a wonderful presentation by Jamie Keddie outlining his idea of "Video Telling". It was very interesting to hear his description (and demonstration) of how the teacher tells stories in a way that compliments the narrative of the video itself and engages students with strong, level appropriate input.
My own style of using a video in class revolves around activities that "retell" the video, video retelling. Recyling the language and narrative thread in the video and also allowing students to "remix" the video story and make it their own. It involves 4 basic parts.
1. Prewatching. Prompt student background knowledge through an activity like brainstorming or discussion about the topic / main idea of the video story.
2. Watching. Watching is the "fifth skill" Students watch the video with a task, for a purpose. But make sure the task is very simple. One question to answer or simply watching for a set of vocabulary. The task shouldn't be so demanding as to interfer with the enjoyment and language input of the video.
3. Retelling. Prepare simple pictures which detail the narrative of the video story. It's easy to do and all computers now have image capturing tools. Take a snapshot of the video and put it in a folder. After, put them all together in a powerpoint or flashcard tool like Quizlet. Print out and students retell the video story by putting the pictures together in the right order. Retell together as a class showing the correct order. Put in key words on the ppt pictures to help lower level students retell.
4. Remixing / Remaking. Extend the basic lesson by asking students to create their own story based on the same narrative but with a twist. A different topic. A different ending. I usually use a blank storyboard and they fill it in with descriptions under each scene/photo.
I've been a mega huge cheerleader of video based lessons and on this community you'll find only the best available to English language teachers. Also download videos so you can reliably show them in class and share with students. My own work building EnglishCentral is central to my core belief that the video revolution will transform the way we learn and teach language.
Here are my own top 10 video lessons on EFL Classroom 2.0. We have hundreds and find them through our Best Videos presentation, our video library, video + page or our award winning Lessons In A Can series.
1. George & Rosemary. Academy award winner and sensational story of true love.
2. Split Screen. Perfect for teaching beginning language about routines.
3. Make a P and J Sandwich. "How to" videos are excellent and provide sequential structure (steps) for student retelling.
4. The Big Snit. A student favorite animation and a perfect lesson for all students to ponder.
5. Man vs Nature. Another split screen video from the World Wildlife Fund showing 2 different worlds.
6. What is a moment? One of two Radiolab videos that are musts for video fans.
7. Words. 2nd Radiolab video for adv. students and focus is on collocations. Amazing!
8. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Commercials with narratives are excellent for video retelling! None better than this one...
9. Did You Know..? A video that teaches a lot of interesting stuff besides language.
10. Forgotten. Haunting video great for teaching about places in the home.
**** BONUS - Try this vocab. video Symmetry.
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