When All Else Fails, Show a Video!


 frazzled teacher

“Just show a video.” What teacher hasn’t heard that? And let’s be all honest, we’ve all said it from time to time. I have the Planet Earth DVDs and season 1 of Bones in my desk, ready to go at a moment’s notice! But I noticed last year that I don’t have the time to show full 90 (or even 30) minute videos anymore (not really sure why, but probably has something to do with adding more detail to my curriculum, plus more research days for student projects, not to mention time for things like local assessments).
But the students love to watch videos! And sometimes I just need a few minutes to do something else. So what I have started doing in finding litle clips (usually around 5 minutes) that I can use at pretty much any time. Sometimes they’re an introduction, sometimes a review. Other times I just like to play something silly while they are walking in the door (check out the rollar skating babies singing about fetal circulation…). It takes a lot of time to find and collect these videos (thank you Pinterest). And if I tried to stream them at school…. forget about it. So I use a youtube downloader to save everything. Makes life easy. Here are some that I love:

http://www.youtube.com/user/scishow SciShow Channel- TONS of videos on TONS of concepts. And he’s funny (but possibly the fastest talker alive).

http://www.youtube.com/user/AsapSCIENCE ASAP Science- One of my absolute favorites. Again, they’re funny and my kids love that. WORD OF ADVICE- Watch the video all the way through! Not all topics are “school appropriate”, depending on the grade you teach. There is a preview of the next episode at the end of each video… I played “Margarine vs. Butter” in class and at the end it says check out our next clip- “The Science of Pornography”….. “Mrs. M, what’s pornography?” Me: “Ask your mother, wait. NO DON’T”

http://www.youtube.com/user/AmoebaSisters Amoeba Sisters: Cute animations and language that my students can understand. Who doesn’t love little colorful critters telling you about meiosis??

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3EED4C1D684D3ADF Crash Course Biology: Same guy from SciShow, but usually more detail here. Sometimes a little higher level than my kids get, but never hurts to expose them to more information!

http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDEducation/featured TED-ed. (TED talks) If you’ve never looked at TED talks, they’re amazing! So many different topics it can be a black hole I often get sucked in to, but I’m not complaining.

http://www.youtube.com/user/sciencestatedclearly/featured  Stated Clearly. Good explanations on a variety of bio topics. All animated.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFC4EE4355ADEBDB1 The Symphony of Science. LOVE THIS. They take speeches from real scientists and remix them. My kids don’t quite know what hit them when I play them.

Now on to specific videos…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B2xOvKFFz4  “7 Billion People: Are You Typical” from Nat. Geo. Not the most biological, but the kids think it’s really interesting. Good bell ringer! I use it for genetics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zGbibn5xmY  “10 Extremely Dangerous Insects” The name says it all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmFEoCFDi-w “How Do Cancer Cells Behave DIfferently than Healthy Ones” A TED-ed video. Love it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBTnVoEIb98 “Renewable vs. Nonrenewable energy” Stop motion video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBBGKx65Ygg “The How, Why, and How Much of Oil” From SciShow. You already know how I feel about them….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWZG50VD9_o “Stalking the Wild Mushroom” From Science Friday (who you should also check out….). My kids like that the guy is a little….. cooky.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJvAL-iiLnQ “The Glucose Song” Silly. Great bell ringer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSbbDnbSEyM “The Circulatory System Rap” Scientifically accurate sillines. If I can get kids rapping along at the end, it makes my day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SdCoNpDzqw  “How Special are your Physical Traits?” Weird genetic traits. Good reinforcement that dominant does not necassarily mean more common.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPimn229Ezg  “The Chemistry of Chili” Haven’t had time to look into the whole channel, but this one is really interesting on why chili is “hot”. Something my students always ask when we study the sense of taste.


I realize that’s a lot, so thanks for sticking with me. If you have clips you LOVE please share them in the comments!



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