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TED Talks

TED Talks are wonderful for adults and high school students, but I use them with my fifth graders – most often in small groups to extend guided reading or book club discussions.

If you’re not familiar with TED Talks they are worth checking out! Speakers are given 5 to 20 minutes to wow an audience with their knowledge, perspective and discoveries on their area of expertise. Topics range greatly and can be applied as extension lessons for all sorts of activities. There are even TED talks where the speakers are children.

Just like the website, the TED Talks app let’s you search by speaker and category.
Birke Baehr discusses “What’s wrong with our food system”

These talks can be shown to the whole class or played for small groups who are studying aparticular topic. After spending a week practicing nonfiction strategies using a text on the oceans, I loved ending my small group session by playing a TED talk on bioluminescence!

Here is a link to the TED talks iPad app, and some of my favorite talks. (Make sure to preview each talk before showing the class – I haven’t found anything inappropriate, but a few included some jokes that wouldn’t suit my class of fifth graders.)

The iPad app allows you to save these talks for offline viewing. If you’ve found TED talks that you love leave suggestions in the comments below.

Check out my common core aligned lesson plan using TED Talks in the classroom!

This app is also available on Android devices.

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