Writing Prompts for Video Viewing

By Monica Burns 02.08.2015 blog

Most students watch video clips in their day to day life, from YouTube videos in a Facebook newsfeed to a Vine clip recorded by a friend. When it comes to gathering information from videos in an educational setting, students have to change their purpose for viewing. Similar to the way that readers change the way we engage with text when moving from a novel to a textbook, students need to use a critical eye when watching a video to gather information.

When students are given a clear focus for a watching a video, they will know what to look for or what details are important to note. This focus could take a few different forms including discussion questions or writing prompts. Setting an expectation for your students as viewers of content might include a writing prompt. Teens will be asked to write about what they have viewed, turning their clear focus into a written response.

Channel One News provides new video clips every day that you can show to your students. Subscribers have access to teacher materials that include writing prompts. You might ask students to watch a clip once before giving them the writing prompt. Before they watch the clip the second time, you can share the writing response and discuss what details they picked up during their first viewing. This can help them focus on the clip during the second viewing. They will already have an idea of what to look for and can spend their note taking time wisely, recording only key details that relate to the writing response.

You may include this type of writing in your daily lessons or rotate your schedule to include writing in response to video viewing just a few times a week. The Common Core State Standards discusses the expectations for middle and high school students to gather information from multimedia texts. By providing opportunities for teens to engage with video comments through writing, they will develop skills that will strengthen their college and career readiness. Students will learn how important it is to watch multimedia content with a purpose, the same way that they read a text to gather information. This skill can translate across the content areas and is extremely important for students in the social studies classroom who will be expected to use critical thinking skills as they engage with multimedia.

Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.


  1. Trinity Gormley

    That was really fascinating, I learned some new things!!

  2. Helovesmelol


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