Using Videos to Aid Student-And Teacher-Comprehension

By Wilson, Robert D. | Teacher Librarian, February 2004 | Go to article overview

Using Videos to Aid Student-And Teacher-Comprehension


Wilson, Robert D., Teacher Librarian


A teacher came to me in a panic: "Please tell me you have some videos about Plato's Republic Homer's Odyssey, early Rome and early Greece. I have to teach this stuff to my students and I don't know a thing about them!" Let's face it, an educator doesn't know everything. Nobody does. Occasionally, however, a teacher has to teach a lesson he or she is not too knowledgeable about. What is the teacher to do?

Videos aren't a substitute for study and preparation, of course, but they can be a lifesaver. They can complement and add to the lesson, and present the subject matter in a way that will enhance student-and teacher-comprehension.

Because videos and DVDs can be expensive, Form a committee consisting of teachers and members of the community. Select the videos and DVDs your school needs the most, then explore ways to Fund their purchase. Ask service clubs, local businesses and parents to sponsor a video or DVD from your list. Explain to potential donors the importance of your request and ask them to be partners in educating your community's students.

These videos make an excellent addition your school's video library:

Ancient Greek culture (5 pack). 2002. 156 mins (total). Discovery Channel Education [Dist], $219.95. Grades 6-12.

Greek architecture, literature and philosophy have greatly influenced Western civilization, yet few students know why or how. This excellent film series fills in the blanks, making the subject matter relevant and interesting. Each video in the series is approximately 30 minutes, allowing for discussion afterwards.

Ancient civilizations for children (9 pack). 1998. Produced by Schlessinger Media. 23 rains (each). Library Video [Dist], $29.95 (each). Teacher guides included. Grades 3-7.

Topics covered are Ancient Aegean, Africa, China, Egypt, Greece, Inca, Maya, Mesopotamia and Rome. Students learn about the rise and fall of each civilization, joining an archeologist and his young assistant as they unearth clues from the past to help them to unlock mysteries of the world's ancient civilizations. Learn how they lived, what they ate, how they were governed, what they wore and the contributions they made to modern society.

The crucible. 1996. Produced by 20th Century Fox, starring Daniel Day Lewis and Winona Ryder. 123 mins. $19.95. Grades 9-12.

Arthur Miller's drama, The crucible, is required reading in most American high schools. A powerful expose of the witch hunts and trials that occurred in 17th century Salem, MA, The crucible also serves to mirror the anti-Communist hysteria ignited by the late Senator McCarthy's "witch hunts" in the 1950s. …

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Using Videos to Aid Student-And Teacher-Comprehension
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