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5 Classroom Ideas for How-To Videos

March 3, 2017

One of my most popular posts last year was a list of tools teachers and students can use to create how-to videos. It’s been lots of fun to see which ones teachers are most excited about and I often get a chance to lead hands-on workshops taking teachers through these tools in person. There are plenty of reasons you might decide to incorporate a how-to writing activity in your classroom.

This type of reading and writing activity is extremely relevant. With over a billion hours of YouTube watched everyday it is becoming a norm for students (and adults) to search for a video to help them learn how-to do something. Whether you use Spark Video, Explain Everything, or another on this list, there are plenty of ways to incorporate a how-to video into your classroom. Take a look at the list below and add your favorites in the comments section!

5 Classroom Ideas for How-To Videos

  • Students can take a simple everyday task and break down the process in steps. For example they can answer questions like, How do you tie your shoe? How do you brush your teeth?
  • Ask students to think of a favorite recipe. They can make a plan for how to make their favorite sandwich, salad or chosen dish. Students can snap pictures and record video to create a how-to video for their class.
  • Have each student pick something they love to do or feel confident doing. Have them map out the steps to this favorite task and create a how-to video.
  • Ask students to find a simple problem in their school community and figure out steps to solve it. For example, How can we reduce our waste in the cafeteria? How do you start a compost heap?
  • Students can interview an expert to figure out how to accomplish something new. With their mentor students can breakdown the steps and create a how-to video

Don’t forget! Student videos need an audience – try sharing their creations on Twitter or connecting them to a QR code for an interactive display with #ScannableTech.


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Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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