Video Enhanced Lesson and Blog

Hypermedia Integration

Relative Advantage of Hypermedia: Video Blog


Photo Credits

  • Creative Commons: Children using a computer in the library: San Jose Library Willow Glen Branch is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
  • Creative Commons: Child with headphones by Chris Parfitt is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
  • Creative Commons: Kenyan boy with flip cam by Erik (HASH) Hersman is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
  • Creative Commons: Quote by Brian Metcalfe is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
  • Creative commons: Computer photo by computers33458 is licensed under CC BY 2.0
  • Creative Commons: Close up video camera by Luke Roberts is licensed under CC BY 2.0
  • Creative Commons: Computer and speakers by Alejandro Castro licensed under CC BY 2.0
  • Creative Commons: Interactive Whiteboard by Edward is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
  • Interactive storybook screenshot from Clifford Interactive Storybooks Home. (n.d.). Retrieved February 27, 2015, from
  • Photoshop Screen shot provided by Jen Crook via Jing
  • GarageBand screenshot provided by Jen Crook via Jing
  • iMovie screenshot provided by Jen Crook via Jing


Bemular Music. (2012, March 14). The Planets Song [Video file]. Retrieved from

Deviant Art. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from

Husbye, N. E., & Vander Zanden, S. (2015).Composing film: Multimodality and production in elementary classrooms. Theory Into Practice. doi: 10.1080/00405841.2015.1010840

Kay, R.H. (2012). Exploring the use of video podcasts in education: A comprehensive review of the literature. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(3), 820-831. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2012.01.011

(n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2015, from

Roblyer, M.D., & Doering, A.H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching. (6th ed.). [Kindle version]. Retrieved from

Yildirim, Z. (2005). Hypermedia as a cognitive tool: Student teachers’ experiences in learning by doing. Educational Technology & Society, 8 (2), 107-117.

Part One: Video Library

1. Mission U.S.: For Crown or Colony

I found this multimedia/interactive learning video a few years ago in a social studies instruction course I took. It is called Mission U.S.: For Crown or Colony and can be found at PBS Learning Media. This particular game is set in 1770 in Boston at the time of the Boston Massacre. The student assumes the identity of Nate Wheeler, an apprentice to a printer. Nate is asked to complete a variety of tasks and navigates through the city during some critical events in the history of our country. There are other versions of this particular simulation that take students through other events in history. While this particular multimedia tool does not relate directly with reading instruction, it is safe to assume that reading definitely goes with social studies. I believe that if something like this particular games sparks an interest in a student, then he/she is more likely to become engaged to learn more through reading and research.

2. Book Reviews

Reading Rainbow is famous for book reviews. I found this particular video to show students an example of how to create their own book review via video. It’s not difficult or complicated and I know students will love sharing their book with the class in this method as opposed to the boring old book reports. This video can be found on Teacher Tube HERE.

3. School House Rocks

I don’t think there is anyone alive today that hasn’t learned something from School House Rock. I went to elementary school in the late 70’s to early 80’s and School House Rock was a scheduled part of our day. We joke that my own children are STILL learning from these fun videos and songs. Anytime a video is combined with a tune, we are just more likely to remember. This particular video is on nouns and can also be found on Teacher Tube HERE.

4. Preposition Sing Along

Once again, combine fun images with a catchy little tune and kids will remember what a preposition is! These are not easy things to remember, especially as an adult because we don’t classify our words in our everyday language. However, for an English language learner, these types of classifications help them to understand our complicated language just a little better. This video can be found at Teacher Tube HERE.

5. Reading Buddies

Reading buddies are a popular and fun thing that many schools implement. Younger students really look forward to and respond to students in an older grade as they work together. Pairing a struggling older reader with a fluent younger reader can benefit both students. I found this video (available for streaming only) at PBS Learning Media and can be viewed HERE. This particular video is part of the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies program. Students watch the video then the buddy pairs talk about the episode, play a Choose and Chat game, read a children’s book together, and write in their journal. This particular video is actually part of a larger series of Reading Buddies program offered on this website.

6. Interactive Story Predictions

“Ask Prunella” can also be found on PBS Learning Media HERE and is an interactive reading activity that allows students to predict and create their own story. This video can only be streamed online so Wi-Fi is an essential component in using most content from PBS Learning Media.

7. Historical Research: History Detectives

This might be one of the most exciting video learning tools I have seen yet and the possibilities that can go with it are endless. This video (available for streaming only) can be found at PBS Learning Media HERE and is more suitable for slightly older children (10+) due to some war violence. The premise of the video is best described on the website itself, “This video is set in the middle of the 19th century where a vast new territory from New Mexico to California invited settlers and homesteaders. As their wagon trains migrated from Missouri, along the Santa Fe Trail, they moved through the heart of Indian country and came under attack frequently. More than a century and a half after these violent events, “History Detectives” takes a closer look at an old paper that shows President Millard Fillmore engaged in what appears to be an unusual act for the time – sparing the life of a Native American convicted of murder. In the paper the President commutes the death sentence to life in prison for a solitary Native American named See-See-Sah-Mah, convicted of murdering a St. Louis trader along the Santa Fe Trail. Fillmore’s pardon saved See-See-Sah-Mah’s life, but why?”

I love this activity not only for the way it incorporates social studies and history into language arts, but also because of the way it keeps students engaged. For teachers, there is a vast amount of additional material to go along with this particular video to make it a full lesson plan. These ideas can be found under the “supported materials” “for teachers” section below the video.

8. Hatshepsut’s Mystery

In 6th grade, students are required to study ancient civilizations. When learning about ancient Egypt, perhaps it would be fun to watch the mystery of this female pharaoh during the New Kingdom in Egypt. 20 years after she died, someone smashed her statues, took a chisel and attempted to erase the pharaoh’s name and image from history. Who did it? And why? This video investigates Hatshepsut’s history for clues to this ancient puzzle. This video can be be found on TedEd HERE.

As most language arts lessons can, this particular lesson can easily span across history and social studies. I can easily this video becoming a springboard for a writing activity having students answer what they think happened to the pharaoh.

9. The Silk Road

Much like the previous video, this one is about the history of the 5,000-mile Silk Road, a network of multiple routes that used the common language of commerce to connect the world’s major settlements, thread by thread. This video can also be found on TedEd HERE along with some links to a full lesson plan for teachers. This would also be a great springboard for a variety of writing activities.

10. Immigrants

Because I am focussing my findings on langauge arts, I am always searching for ideas. The teacher resource page has so many great ideas for integrating reading and writing into every subject area. One particular thing I found of interest, was a lesson full of short video clips on modern day immigrants HERE. When learning about immigrants, it would be a good idea to study Ellis Island HERE. While the Ellis Island tour does not really include videos, the interactive nature of the tour through this massive immigration port is priceless. Students can definitely connect immigrants of today with immgrants of the past. I can also envision this as a springboard for a variety of writing assignments from researching an ancestor that was an immigrant, comparing and contrasting immigrants of today vs. 100+ years ago, and so much more. is full a wonderful tools for teachers, parents, and students.

11. Interactive Storybooks

No language arts/reading instruction list of video resources would be complete without some kind of interactive stories. I found this Clifford story at HERE. I believe interactive stories are so valuable for struggling readers or ELL students. Modeling fluency and expression is a great way to help students work on their reading skills. Obviously there are never enough minutes in a day to do everything and reading to one individual student is usually a rarity. Thankfully, has many different books to choose from that have activities to help tie in comprehension strategies after the story is read.

12. Book Trailer

This fun activity combines the aspect of a movie trailer with a book report. I love this idea because it gives students the opportunity to show their learning through a creative movie trailer. I found this particular book trailer on HERE.

Part Two: Video Enchanced Lesson Plan

Lesson Title

Student created book trailer (as adapted from

Grade and Content Area

Grade 6 Reading & Language Arts


Students will combine the aspects of a movie trailer with a book report to create a video advertisement for the book they chose to read.  The students will read a book of their choice then write a script for their own trailer.  Students will find images or video clips online to help them illustrate the key points of their book trailer.  Students will add text, narration, and music as well as any digital movie effects they think will help their video. Last, the students will share their final production with the class.

Student Learning Objectives
  • Identify the elements of a comprehensive book report.
  • Create a video book trailer to be viewed by the class
  • Follow the guidelines on the rubric
Relative Advantage

Aside from all of the standards that this project meets, this particular activity not only gets a student to read but also engages them in the creative process of creating a book trailer. This particular activity is definitely at the top end of Bloom’s higher order thinking skills as it allows students to plan and produce a book trailer. Every level of Bloom’s taxonomy is addressed in this activity (Heer, R. n.d.).

English Language Arts Standards. Grade 6
    • Standard: 6.LA.2.1.3. – The student will be able to make inferences, draw conclusions and form opinions based on information gathered from text and cite evidence to support.
    • Standard: 6.LA.2.2.3. – The student will be able to identify the facts and details that support the author’s argument and summarize the findings.
    • Standard: 6.LA.4.4.1. – The student will be able to write a response that identifies a text to self, text to world, and/or text to text connection.
    • Standard: 6.LA.6.2.6. – The student will be able to deliver oral responses to literature that develop an interpretation that shows careful reading, understanding, and insight.
    • Standard: RL.6.2. – Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
    • Standard: RL.6.10. – By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
    • Standard: W.6.6. – Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
    • Standard: SL.6.5. – Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.

This particular activity will take a full term to complete.

      • iMovie or Microsoft Photo Story 3
      • Computer or iPads
      • Book Review template (download HERE)
      • Rubric (download HERE)
      • Trailer Checklist (download HERE)
      • Headphones and microphones may be useful but not required
Grouping Strategies

Students will complete this activity independently during their computer lab time or as needed on the classroom computers. Ipad’s may also be used.

Lesson Description
      1. Choose a book to read. This lesson can be given at the beginning of a term and then again when book trailers are due as a review). Give students the book review template and instruct to make notes as they read the book. Give students the rubric and assist them in making notes on what will be expected. The rubric should be revisited multiple times throughout the term to avoid misconceptions or communication errors.
      2. Discuss the purpose of a book trailer: Give students a chance to and help other people discover books they might love.
      3. Talk about the information they would typically share when recommending a good book to a friend.
      4. Give the students the trailer checklist and have them mark it as they view the examples below. Discuss what things are good to have in a book trailer (add to this list after viewing each of the examples below).
      5. View examples of other book trailers created by students.

      6. Create the book trailer

        Introduce your book: Includes the title, the author’s name.

        Tell about the book: Introduce the main characters and some key events of the story without telling every detail.

        Tell about your favorite part of the book or make a connection: Persuade your audience to read the book and leaves them wanting to know more. For example, explain what the main character has to overcome but don’t tell if he/she is successful.

        Give a recommendation: Provides closure for the book trailer. It also helps match the perfect reader for the book.

        Keep it short and concise, your goal is to encourage others to want to read the book!

      7. Explain any deadlines or special instructions you have for the assignment (rubric).
      8. The teacher will check in periodically through the term for progress. 2 weeks before the due date, students will be given time in the computer lab to create their finished product. Timing will depend on the teacher but time does need to be allowed for the writing of the script and image collection portion of this project.

The book trailer video will be the final assessment for this activity. Trailers will be graded on a rubric established by the teacher prior to activity and give to students at the beginning and end of the project.

Adaptations for Learners with Special Needs

To accommodate struggling readers or ELL students, make this a small-group activity. Have the group read the book together and then create the video trailer together with help from the small-group instructor.

Lesson Plan References
©Jenifer Crook 2014



2 thoughts on “Video Enhanced Lesson and Blog

  1. Jen, your video came out very well, even the parts in the car 🙂 Thank you for sharing the Planet Song, its annoying catchy-ness reminded me of one of my students favorite songs: The Polygon Song, you can watch it here I now feel I have paid you back for the Planet Song.

    As for the rest of your post, you have some great resources and as a fellow language arts teacher, I will definitely be borrowing some of them. I never thought of book reviews or book trailers and your lesson to have students create their own trailers is amazing. Have you ever had your students make their own book trailers? I have had students do book review videos before but I love the idea of doing book trailers.


  2. Hi Jen,

    Your video was very complete, you shouldn’t have apologized for being in your car; in the beginning I thought it was part of the plan and a great idea! When I watched the video of the planets I remembered I learned the order of the planets with a song too. Back in the 80’s we didn’t have youtube or a projector in the classroom, it was the teacher singing. Even though the result may have been the same I can see how students can be more enthusiastic if the song is accompanied by great funny but relevant images. Incorporating video does make a difference.


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