Utilizing Videos as an Instructional Tool

By Raquel Vigil
Raquel Vigil is a Curriculum Specialist at the Edible Schoolyard Project.

At The Edible Schoolyard Project, we know students learn best when they are engaging all of their senses. Furthermore, we believe that students are most engaged when information is conveyed via multiple modalities—through movement, drawing, visuals, as well as in audio and text. As we explore how to adapt our teaching philosophies to the home learning context, videos have become an essential tool for learning. Videos offer a wealth of opportunities for engagement and make crucial information accessible to students. We want to share some useful tips and suggestions to encourage you to integrate video into your content as well. 

In our lessons, we utilize videos in a few different ways. We use them 1) as lesson lead-ins, 2) as texts—to explain the main content of a lesson—and 3) to add context and personal stories to our lessons. Think about how you want to utilize videos in your lessons. Determining why you are using a video will help you decide how and where in the lesson you will use it. Ask yourself: What is the purpose of using this video? How does this video support what I am trying to get students to understand, be able to do, or reflect on in the lesson?

Once you determine what kind of video you want to use and where to use that video, choose an approach for how you are going to support students in understanding or reflecting. Ask yourself: What activities can we use to assist students in comprehending and analyzing the video? In all of our lessons, we offer ways for students to engage further with the video. At times this can be as simple as a 3, 2, 1  prompt. See our Food Memory lesson for an example. Other times, when the video is introducing students to new vocabulary, like in our How Do We Smell? lesson. In this case, we give students a structured worksheet because the video contains dense information. In some instances, we simply ask students to practice what they see in the video, like in our Learning How to Flip Food lesson.

Regardless of how you plan to use videos, we encourage you to try it out! Once you start using and making videos, you’ll realize how fun and accessible it is. To support you in using videos as an instructional tool, we have compiled some Tips for Utilizing Videos

We would love to hear from you! If you have any thoughts or questions, feel free to email us at learning@edibleschoolyard.org.


3-2-1 (n.d). Facing History and Ourselves. Retrieved from https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/teaching-strategies/3-2-1