Week 7: Virtual Library Videos

Who doesn’t love watching videos online? I don’t know how many hours an average kid watches YouTube videos, but I’m sure it’s shocking. I know it is in my house. So when I told students we are watching online videos today during information literacy, they were immediately engaged.


I asked how many students watch videos online at least every week? (everyone), and at least once a day? (everyone again). I let them share out what kinds of videos they like (gaming mostly).

I then asked how they learn from videos. This question didn’t get much of a response, so I explained how we use videos to learn through images and audio, and sometimes there are captions or words within a video, but it’s mostly a matter of paying attention, pausing and reflecting, and rewatching as needed.


Visit Virtual Library, “Videos” as a class and give a very brief overview of what different video sites are linked through Virtual Library.

Then I visited Brainpop and showed how to turn off / on closed captioning and why I prefer to have it on when watching informative videos to better understand and comprehend the information.

I picked a video related to their current PBL Unit and demonstrated how to pause the video and jot notes (on a different tab in Google Docs) throughout the video.

During the pauses, also ask questions and jot those down, then listen for the answers and pause / note when you hear the answer to your question or rewind (what is it called in an online video? skip back?) to hear something you missed.

When the video was over, I still had unanswered questions, so we rewatched the video to see if there was something I missed, then discussed other resources we’ve used where I could find answers to my questions.


Students paired up and asked a question that would most likely be answerable through a BrainPop video, then watched a video to answer that question.


We shared out how our partner activity went and how we learn from videos differently from how we learn from books to review the lesson. Most of the kids felt like learning from a video was easier, but I was sure to remind students how the attention needed to truly learn from a video is different from watching videos for entertainment. 


This lesson was more teacher-heavy than I originally anticipated, but I felt the note taking modeling was important, and I wanted to be deliberate in sharing my thinking as I watch a video for an educational purpose compared to a recreational purpose.

My fifth graders thought BrainPop was lame, and I had to switch down to BrainPop Jr. for my second graders and modify to the ask / answer questions through a video without the notes taking lesson.

I think because so many of us now watch online videos regularly, this was one of the easier lessons to teach in this series. Do you explicitly teach students how to watch videos for learning?


One thought on “Week 7: Virtual Library Videos

  1. Angela Casteel says:

    Great lessons! So important for students to understand how to watch (or read) for different purposes. Thanks for sharing, Laura.


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