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Short, Motivational Videos to Evoke Discussion in Your Classroom


Hi Everyone!
Happy October! Tis the season for pumpkin spice lattes, your favorite boots and sweater, and the beauty of leaves changing. 
Every day, I start all of my classes off with some sort of bell ringer or prompt to engage my students to discuss, share opinions, or argue a thought or idea.  I really try to differentiate my prompts, and I try to change the prompts from analyzing quotations, “What If” questions, “This or That” prompts, moral dilemmas and other thought-provoking writing questions.  However, after a while, the prompts can become repetitive and mundane.  I started to incorporate short video clips (3-5 minutes) for the students to watch and answer questions.
I wanted to share some of my favorites with you, along with questions your students can respond to after watching the clips.

1.  Kindness Boomerang-Ugh. This video…I don’t know what it is about it, but it brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.  Maybe it is the music or just the overall message, but every student in middle school and high school should watch this video about kindness and its ability to become a chain reaction.


1.  Give two ways the videographer incorporates kindness into this video.
2.  What is the central message of “Kindness Boomerang”?
3.  What is the theme of the video? What lesson can be learned from the video?
4.  What is your favorite part of the video?

2.  Elephant & Dog Who are Best Friends-This video will make you say, “Awwww!”, and it has the ability to teach humans the meaning of friendship.  There are so many takeaways from this video!


1.  There are a few message and lessons people can learn from this video. What are the lessons someone can take away from this video?
2.  What can animals teach people about friendship?
3.  What part of the video resonates with you the most? Why? Explain your thinking.

3.  Don’t Eat the Marshmallow!-This is such a eye-opening video about success and patience.  This video is incredibly interesting, and it has such a great lesson about the correlation of patience and successful people.


1.  What is the purpose of the professor’s research? What were his findings?
2.  Do you consider yourself impulsive or patient?
3.  What did you learn from this video?

4. How Bad Do You Want It?– This is perfect video to show students the results of hard work.  This video is not about trying a little, but putting one’s best effort in accomplishing a goal.


1.  What are the results of this young man’s hard work?
2.  What is the central idea of the video?

5. Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes: This is an essential lesson for any grade level, and the message that is portrayed in this video is just breathtaking.  Understanding perspectives and what others endure is key aspect of developing character, kindness and empathy.


1.  What does it mean to “walk in someone else’s shoes”?
2.  What kind of mood did the cinematographer create for the viewer? Explain your thinking.
3.  Why is this video such a valuable lesson for any age level?

I hope you find these videos helpful and engaging, and I hope they bring deep discussions into your classroom.

Please let me know if you use any of the videos!  I would love to hear what you think!


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