I have been uplifted by the many videos that have been shared on social media lately showing how people are making their own joy with others despite our physical distances. I wanted to share a few today.
This first one was brought to my attention in a blog post by @LarryFerlazzo:
For a dose of absolutely adorable cuteness, you should listen to “Virus in a Tree.”
My daughters (Fenn 4, Bess 6) made a virus related song today. It’s called ‘Virus in The Tree’. It’s written from the perspective of the virus. They’re trying their best to process it all. 🌳 pic.twitter.com/27RuYeWkOo
And finally, for those of us looking for some humor, watch this clever and talented family perform the pandemic version of “One Day More” from Les Miserables. (Thanks to @jtrayers for sharing this on FB.)
If you can’t go to the zoo, the zoo will come to you! Each weekday, at 11 am (EDT), the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is presenting a Virtual Classroom experience using Facebook Live. From what I can tell, a couple of the previous experiences (meeting alpacas and bathing an elephant) are archived on the Facebook page. According to comments, requests have been made to also make them available somewhere else so that people who do not have Facebook can still view them. You can also find some archived videos along with lesson plans on this page.
The Cincinnati Zoo is also providing Facebook Live Safaris. These are happening at 3 PM (EDT) each weekday, but you can also access past videos along with suggested home activities on this page.
There are many more, but I’m trying not to overwhelm readers with too many resources in one post. Thanks to all of you out there who are keeping our students engaged during these tough times!
With various media outlets reporting on the current coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), it is important that students who may be exposed to this onslaught of information understand the facts. Educating younger children about the virus may be as simple as reminding them how to wash their hands, and other common methods that can help prevent the spread of many diseases. Older children may benefit from more specific information, and this can also be seen as an opportunity for broader learning as they compare/contrast pandemics throughout history, analyze mathematical models, and develop their own ideas about how to avoid further outbreaks. I’ve curated some resources below that might be useful in the classroom setting. As always, please review materials before using with your class to determine their appropriateness for your particular audience.
In yesterday’s post about a website that archives short video animations for kids I mentioned that I would be writing about another source for videos to use in the classroom. The site is called, “Class Hook,” and I have mentioned it before in a post about using video clips. That post gave information about some tools that you can use to make your own clips if you are trying to use parts of longer films. But Class Hook actually provides clips for you.
I have worked in two different school districts, and one of them blocked Class Hook, so definitely try it out on campus before you choose to rely on it for a lesson. Even if it doesn’t work at school, you can still use it at home to find clips relevant to your content. Most of the clips come from videos already accessible on YouTube, which can be a work-around (if YouTube isn’t also blocked!). Class Hook’s tools will allow you to quickly narrow down the unlimited content that you would find in a Google search to a few suggestions.
Class Hook has a tiered pricing plan, but I can only tell you about my experience with the free version, which was perfectly adequate for my needs. On this plan, you can browse all of the clips, filter by grade strands, clip length, and by series. You can also choose a subject or search for a topic and create playlists.
An example of how I used Class Hook in class was when I was searching for a clip for my Engineering class. I knew there was something in Apollo 13 that I had once thought would be perfect, but I couldn’t remember the exact part of the movie. A quick search on Class Hook revealed, “A Square Peg in a Round Hole,” which was exactly what I was looking for.
For ideas on possible uses for Class Hook, take a look a this page. I doubt you will need it, though, as I’m sure you will see many potential benefits of this tool once you try it.
Although it looks like this site has not been updated in awhile (since 2016?), “Kids Love Short Films” has an archive of animated shorts that are considered appropriate for a young audience. I say, “considered appropriate” because I always advise that you preview any videos before showing them to a class, knowing that “appropriate” is a subjective word.
Short videos like the one above often don’t have any dialogue, so they are good for students to summarize. You can also discuss theme with your students or, depending on your curriculum, the design elements used in the film. Some may be inspiring, like the ones that I collect on this Pinterest Board, while others may be directly related to the content you are teaching.
Thursday Appointment is an Iranian short film by a 20 year old director that won an award at the Luxor Film Festival. Though many of us may not understand the language, we can certainly comprehend the messages of kindness and forgiveness. I am adding this to my Inspirational Videos for Students Pinterest Board. Once you’ve watched it, you may want to click here to better understand the tradition that makes this film so beautiful. This could also lead to a classroom discussion regarding customs in different cultures. I am including the original and a dubbed version here.
Could the fact that I just noticed the title of this NBC show is a double entendre be in any way related to the fact that I now spend my days teaching teenagers?
It could just be that Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler hosting a show about amazing makers distracted me from any other interpretation of the title other than crafting incredible stuff.
If you are a STEMer, STEAMer, or STREAMer, you should definitely take a peek at this weekly show to get some inspiration. Though it is not directly related to education, you will get some ideas of what is possible with a little bit of imagination and a lot of glitter and balsa wood.
You can stream the episodes here if you don’t have NBC or Hulu. So far, my favorite has been Episode 2, in which the makers were challenged to design forts and corresponding toys for children. The versatility and creativity of each entry blew me away. I am really glad I’m not one of the judges.
If you love watching people rip each other apart or run naked through the woods, then this show might not be your cup of tea. But if you enjoy seeing people who appear to be genuinely nice and sometimes a little bit goofy produce amazing works of art with unusual tools and supplies, “Making It” should be your goal for tonight.
Okay, that didn’t quite come out the way I meant it. But you can take it any way you want. I’m not in charge of your personal life. Most of the time I’m not even in charge of mine.