Monday, January 17, 2011

Video Viewing Activity: "Record, Elaborate, Extend"

I'm sure that I've mentioned somewhere in an earlier post that I'm not the biggest fan of using videos extensively in my classroom. I feel that there are too many other ways to effectively teach students health education that encourage them to be active, as opposed to passive, in their education. Unfortunately, in some districts health education is thrust upon teachers who are not trained or who have no interest in teaching health; this has led to health education being stereotyped as a class where videos are shown and nothing else really goes on. This is not to say that videos should be banned from the classroom! I do use short video clips whenever I can, to bring a different element to the classroom. In the May/June 2010 issue of the American Journal of Health Education, there's an article about using video clips in a health literacy program and their implication for providing context for classroom topics. I rarely show full length videos, but find that video clips can help stimulate discussion about topics, among other things.

In the situations where I do show actual videos, I don't want the students to sit there idly and fall asleep; nor do I want them to simply write down "facts" as they watch. After all, there is a point to the video! I want them to take specific information away from their viewing, and to expand upon this information later in class or during our unit. Recently during our seventh grade ATOD unit, I showed an eighteen minute video called, "Spit Tobacco Exposed." It's a little dated, from the era when green screens and flashy graphics were popular, but the content is accurate and is presented in a way that gets the attention of students. It also reviews some other information we will have already covered regarding tobacco and nicotine, so I'm able to get some review in while also presenting new content. The rest of the lesson builds off of this video.

Prior to the video, each student received a handout with a chart on it. The chart was entitled, "Record, Elaborate, and Extend." (Please see below for an embedded version of the chart) I came upon this idea from a colleague in the social studies department, who read about it in Educational Leadership. The article, entitled "Putting Gel Pen to Paper" is written by a seventh grade history teacher. The article's premise is that students can improve their writing skills while enhancing their understanding of course content.

Because the video I showed was brief (and only part of the lesson for the day) I didn't really need to focus too much on what I wanted the students to look for. But, if you look at the handout embedded below, you'll see I did highlight specific information I wanted the students to pick up on. Some students recognized the format and knew immediately what to do because they had seen this format elsewhere with other teachers. I model what to do using the Boston Red Sox as an example.

Below is a brief summary of the chart, with some information quoted from page 65 of the article "Putting Gel Pen to Paper." After the summary of each section, I've written what I specifically was looking for for this lesson.

Record (during video). "While they view the video, students jot down key points and significant ideas in the Record section of their viewing guide. Students should keep their points brief, recording only short phrases, because the process of transcribing should interfere as little as possible with the process of watching and listening." Record brief notes and short phrases on smokeless tobacco: what it is, its effects on the body, why people do it, negative health effects, etc.

Elaborate (during break or breaks). "The teacher pauses the video to allow students to process the information they have seen and heard. Students examine their recorded notes and write a specified number of full sentences in the Elaborate section of their viewing guide that describe what they have learned. Teachers may use sentence stems to help students start writing." Re-read your recorded notes. Write full sentences, making sense of the recorded notes and linking information together. Please note that because of the short length of this video, we did not pause at all. However, the video does provide an opportunity to pause for discussion towards the end; I just choose to wait until the video is over.

Extend (after the video). "The entire class discusses the elaborated points. Students can then respond to an open-ended question in the Extend section of their viewing guides, synthesizing what they have learned from the video." Use your notes to answer the following prompts: (1) Identify three ways smokeless tobacco could alter your life. (2) Justify the need for smokeless tobacco education in schools. For the next round of classes, I am going to change these questions.

Overall, I like using this format; it also allows students to practice note taking skills. They're not sitting back passively, focusing so much on the next question that they drown other information out, and they're not just writing down random facts and tidbits information that might not have relevance to the curriculum. It also ensures one hundred percent student participation. I have not yet had to modify this for any students in my classes, but the format can be made as specific as possible and is easy to modify.

It's also important to highlight that during the video, the students should only record brief phrases, so that they don't spend a lot of time away from paying attention to the video. It's fun to see the light bulbs go off when students link information together and make connections, too!

I've embedded an example of the chart I use below. Finally, here are two student examples from one of my seventh grade classes. These examples are not perfect (I had to clarify some items when I handed them back), but they are real-life student examples from a seventh grade class. If anything, they simply provide a visual of the "Record, Elaborate, Extend" format in action.

Student Sample #1:
Student Example #1

Student Sample #2:

Student Example #2

Here is the example chart:

As always, please feel free to e-mail me with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Article Citation: Yell, M.M. (2002). Putting gel pen to paper.Educational Leadership60(3), 63-66.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with HRM Video, the creators of "Spit Tobacco Exposed" nor am I affiliated with ASCD, the publishers of Educational Leadership. However, their publication is a GREAT resource that teachers can always take something from!

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