“Old people shouldn’t be forced to learn chess, but if they want to learn chess surely they can! They’re allowed to,” a young girl assures the interviewer in The Magic of Chess.
“Even though they could be doing something else – like playing Legos,” the young boy next to her adds.
This adorable short film featured on Vimeo will inspire any young student (and maybe some old people) to try the game of chess. The filmmaker, Jenny Schweitzer Bell, captured the many positive aspects of playing chess by interviewing boys and girls at the 2019 Elementary Chess Championship. The children tout the problem solving skills they have learned, and growth mindset is a constant theme. Their passion for the game is truly inspiring!
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.
It’s the season of graduations, and Jason Mraz just released the perfect song to accompany every single one of them. I played it yesterday as my 4th graders were working on mandalas, and they left the classroom singing the chorus in unison on the way to lunch.
The song, “Have it All,” is one of those catchy tunes that you don’t have to be a music producer to predict will be an instant hit. It will lift your heart even more when you watch the video. Students from Binford Middle School in Richmond, VA, (where Mraz has mentored since last year) appear in segments of this uplifting short film. The custodian gets a starring role, too!
Jason Mraz is a master of lyrics, and your students may enjoy analyzing such lines as, “May you be as fascinating as the slap bracelet.” My favorite is the one I used to title this blog post.
Apple made some announcements yesterday regarding additional support for educators with new products and management tools. You can read about it here. As part of its “Everyone Can Create” campaign, the company released a new video, “One Person Can Change the World.” Of course, its ultimate purpose is to sell Apple products, but listening to the children narrating may make you ready to go out and do something incredible. A couple of great quotes from the short video are:
As I watched the video on YouTube, I noticed another Apple video from 2014 that I don’t remember seeing before today. This second video is called, “Perspective,” and I can’t wait to show it to my students. As Apple states in the video description, “Here’s to those who have always seen things differently.”
Jody Williams, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work as the founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, knows something about activism. You can watch this RSA Animated Short in which she speaks about the importance of trying to make a difference.
Whether you agree with the students who join in the National Walkout today or not, I think that we should take heart that they are moved enough to choose do something rather than nothing. Often accused of being self-centered and apathetic, these young people will be working to make their voices heard.
This is a sweet video from FableVision that tells the story of two friends who choose different career paths based on their personalities rather than what culture dictates they “should do.” The message that you can be happy and successful in more than one way is one that I hope that I communicate to my own students and child.