Creating Video Guides: A Student Listening Activity

By Monica Burns 10.12.2015 blog
49233602, bigstock, dolgachov

The core English Language Arts skills students are expected to master each year include reading, writing, speaking and listening. When watching videos, like the ones created by Channel One News, students should be held accountable for demonstrating their understanding of the information presented in each clip.

One activity that can help students practice how to become better listeners is to take on the role of a video guide. By creating the video guides themselves, students will employ higher order thinking skills in order to demonstrate their understanding of what they’ve watched.

Students will need to evaluate content to pull out the important information as they summarize, write questions and identify key vocabulary. These core components will be part of the video guide they create and share with classmates. A student can choose a video for himself or teachers can assign groups of students to watch a particular video and create a guide collaboratively.

Getting Started

For this activity you may ask students to watch a video as a whole class, individually or in partners. Students should watch the video with clear guidelines of the activity in mind. Sharing an example video guide, a rubric or checklist will help students better understand your expectations.


Ask students to create a summary of the video as the first section of their guide. This summary should include the main topic of the video and information on the who, what, when and where covered in the clip. Limit students to two or three sentence summaries to make sure this section of their video guide is concise.

Develop Questions

After the summary, students should construct three to five questions that can be used to check for understanding and for discussion. These questions should focus in on key details, angles or opinions presented in the video clip. Encourage students to write a combination of questions with clear answers and questions that are open ended.

Identify Vocabulary

In every video there are key vocabulary words that will help a listener better understand the content presented in the clip. The number of key vocabulary words will vary depending on the video but you may set certain expectations for the guide. In addition to writing a definition for the vocabulary word, ask students to place the vocabulary word in context by writing a sentence with that word used appropriately.

The video guides students create will help them better understand the content presented in a video clip and produce a shareable piece of work that can be shared with classmates. It provides an opportunity for students to reflect on the content they’ve watched and teachers the chance to check student understanding.

What type of video-based activities have your students participated in? Share in the comments below.


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