Actively watching – a small idea for watching videos in the classroom

Hello everyone,

Today I began a new unit in our 8th grade book, about laughter. I found a great Ted Talk by Sophia Scott about laughter and what’s it all about. It is a 17 minutes talk and although it stands for itself, I still prefer students to have something to do while watching. If they’re doing something it means they are more focused, they learn more and will be able to use the experience of watching the video better in the future.

Here is a link to the video

I began writing on the board: “Choose 5 interesing facts from the video….” but then I realised that I could try something a little bit nicer. I wrote the following words on the board, arount the word: Interesting, funny, new, old, boring, nice around the word “facts”. I told the kids to choose one fact for each adjective and write it down.


During the video, the kids were concentrated and laughed (it’s a very good talk) but most of them were also quite busy taking notes.

The following lesson that day, I gave them a sheet of paper I made for them, where they could put the facts that they collected, write it down clearly and grammatically correct and color it, if they wanted. They were very busy collecting data.

Another interesting outcome was that the kids understood that there is not one answer and their answer is personal. They compared each other’s work and were surprised to see that what they defined as “new” was “old” for someone else, that their “boring” was “interesting” for their friends and so forth.


interesting – pick up an interesting fact.

Funny – Pick up a funny fact.

New – Pick up a fact you didn’t know before.

Old – Pick up a fact you already knew.

Boring – something that wasn’t that interesting for you.

Nice – something that is nice to know about.

Sad – A fact that you consider sad.

Here is their work. I enjoyed it because many times you bring a video like this and there’s little attention, some of the kids get lost…here they have a chance of doing something that has choice on the one hand, but has clear rules on the other hand.

I’d love to know what you do for watching movies…be in touch! Irit.


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