For the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers Blog. Each day I will be sharing a Quick Write as my way of slicing. The idea is to offer a SPARK that will kindle thinking and then write as quickly as you can for 5-10 minutes. No filters, no revisions. I’ve been curating a collection of Sparks and will share some with you all month. It’s a great way to ignite your writing life.
Video Comprehension Spark!
More and more students are learning information through online videos. But are we teaching our students HOW to comprehend this format for information or just assuming they know how to determine importance, analyze information critically, build on their schema, and synthesize ideas? From my experience I find many students to be passive consumers of video information. They process it as entertainment more than informational content.
Our students need some guided practice with comprehending visual information and digital formats, because increasingly that is the preferred choice of information consumption. Frequent quick writes that engage students in actively viewing and processing informational videos might be one approach that could support that goal.
BEFORE and AFTER
One way is to invite students to jot what they know about a topic, an event, or a concept on which they are about to view a video. Give them 3-5 minutes to activate their schema and prior knowledge and collect some thoughts on paper.
Then tell them they are going to watch a video about that topic and will be asked to quick write what they want to remember or what they learned after they view it. This sets a purpose, invites students to expand on current thinking, clear up any misconceptions they may have had, and engage more intentionally.
After the video give them another 3-5 minutes to quick write. Then invite students to look at their before and after and see what they notice? Ask them how their comprehension might have changed knowing they would have to write about it afterwards.
You could also try this activity by showing a video without any introduction or purpose setting and then ask them to quick write what they learned AFTER they’ve already watched it, and then try this frontloading process BEFORE viewing and ask them what they notice about their quick writes. Were they able to remember/recall more information? Was their thinking different in any way? Did they take any notes (mental or physical?)
In honor of our SUPER MOON this week, here is a video that you could try with your kids and an example of my quick write.
Let me know how it goes if you try it, or if you have some other approaches that could support student comprehension with visual and video information.