Sunday, March 13, 2016

Day 13: SOL#16- Video Clips Lead to Great Conversations

The Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by the inspirational writers of Two Writing Teachers. Each March, they invite people to join them in a commitment to write every day. Here's to another year of daily slicing!

I'm also linking to Margaret Simon's DigLit Sunday this morning. 

On Friday afternoon, the UConn men's basketball team tied their tournament game in the very last second of the third overtime. The young man who shot the ball was a freshman--talk about making his name known! We watched the play many times in our house, and I got to thinking about what a powerful conversation could happen around never giving up--if you watch this 30 second clip, pay attention to the time on the game clock. 

Last fall, I participated in a series of workshops, and the presenter wove in short video clips in several places. These clips were not only engaging, but they were also powerful conversation starters that launched several learning moments. Even now, as I think back, the memories of the videos help me remember the messages about coaching, teaching, and learning. 

Since then, I watch short clips differently. I watch them for potential learning springboards. Could it be used it a classroom? What lesson could it pair with? Could it start a PD session? Could I use it as an inquiry demonstration lesson? Short videos have so many uses! Here are a few others I love. 

When Derek Redmond, running in the 1994 Barcelona olympics, pulls his hamstring, his father came down and helped him finish the race. It's an incredible clip to begin conversations about growth mindset, never giving up, finishing a job, leaning on others for support. It's also a guaranteed tear-jerker if anyone wants an emotional moment.

Nico Calabria is my new hero, as I have been working on a novel about a girl who plays soccer and loses her leg to cancer. Even though this video is a Powerade commercial, I'd use it because the messages around resilience and overcoming disabilities are so strong.

I have several other favorite video clips, but I'd love to add to my collection. If anyone has other favorite 2-3 minute videos that they use for educational purposes, please share!

Happy Slicing,


  1. I wish I used videos more often. I find it difficult to put it together with a teaching moment as you have done so brilliantly here. Thanks for these three suggestions. I think this qualifies as a DigiLit post. Consider linking today.

  2. These, and others, will touch kids, and bring conversations you may not have had just bringing up the subject. I know the Derek Redmond clip, so powerful. Thanks for the others, Melanie, I'll try to remember some I've seen before & share if I do. Thank you for showing your ideas to help kids see new ways of thinking about themselves.

  3. I went to a session at a literacy conference about this - I think maybe Franki Sibberson taught it. I thought it was such a great idea and so engaging. Thank you for reminding me of this technique! Showing those clips is a great way to transition from introducing a lesson to the work the kids are going to do.

  4. I am currently reading Amplify by Kristin Ziemke and Katie Muhtaris and they share the power of video clips as learning tools as well. In addition, I know Katherine Sokolowski uses clips all the time. I will continue to keep this powerful tool of video in my coaching bag of tricks as I collaborate with teachers about how to engage students in talking and thinking and close reading.
    Thanks so much for reminding me of the power of the visual image, and for sharing these 3 clips as well.

  5. Melanie, I also love to use video clips in presentations. I thank you for these videos to add to my collection. Here is a quick one that would work in the classroom- I have used others but need to find them. Maybe we should make a Google doc of titles when life seems quieter.

  6. Oh my goodness. I cried and was amazed. I'm sure you've read Emanuel's Dream. That story really touched my kids. I'm going to share NIco tomorrow. Thank you.

  7. Kid President is, of course, a favorite for both the kids and me. I wish I had my own little Kid President to walk around beside me to whisper words of awesomeness in my ear.

  8. I thought I might fine one. Another blogger friend shared this: See what you think!

  9. Thanks for sharing these, Melanie. Here is one I've used with 5th graders about triathletes Conner & Cayden Long:
    I'd love to use video clips more often, but I find it challenging to manage my time when I'm searching. I could spend all day looking for good ones!

  10. Ok, we have watched that UConn clip and scream every time. For the thousands of players who have launched that last ditch effort, it is so sweet to watch one go in. Inspiration at its best. And the Olympics clip, I just glanced at the photo and I got choked up. That's an intense one.

  11. Love this post - read and shared it on FB/twitter but forgot to comment. This will be helpful to so many teachers --thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge and expertise with us all.

  12. Thank you so much for this post! I love the idea of using short video clips like these with teachers and kids alike.

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