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7-Step Lesson Plan for Using Instructional TV in the Classroom By Elizabeth Reeves, KQED-TV
Instructional television (ITV) programs can add a new dimension to your classroom and home, promote active learning among your students and children. The following steps can guide you in preparing a lesson using UNC-TV or any of PBS's quality general audience series such as National Geographic Specials or Scientific American Frontiers.
STEP 1: Learning Objectives - Start with specific, identified objectives. For Instructional Television (ITV) lessons there are two objectives:
Most ITV programs have several layers of information, so, during previewing you may determine what specific information you wish to emphasize to enhance your lesson.
STEP 2: Lead-In Activities - Lead-in activities should set the tone for viewing and let students know how the program material relates to previous lessons or subsequent activities. Some generic suggestions for previewing activities are:
STEP 3: Focus Viewing Activities - Focus questions can make viewing more interactive by involving the students in the information presented. You may ask students specific informational questions which will be answered in the program; ask intuitive or interpretive questions such as assigning students to identify with various characters for a discussion following the program; or ask students to develop questions unanswered in the program, concerning topics they'd like to know more about.
STEP 4: Segmented Viewing Activities - Segmenting can be a valuable technique to enhance students' learning while enabling you to adapt the medium to your teaching style.
There are many instances when segmenting (showing only a portion of the program at a time, or pausing the video during viewing) may be appropriate. For example, you may choose to show only a brief section of the program that illustrates a specific lesson objective.
You may also want to get students' reactions to individual bits of information in the program, or give separate focus questions for each segment.
It is recommended that ITV programs be viewed with the lights on (or sufficient natural light) so that students may take notes during the program. This also allows you to watch your students' reaction to various parts of the program. Segmenting activities may include:
STEP 5: Post-Viewing Discussion - To give students an opportunity to react to the program, express opinions or questions about what they have seen, and to review, reinforce, and elaborate on the concepts presented, plan time for discussion following the viewing. "Tell me what you saw" is a good starting point for discussion. It's a non-threatening question that all students can answer.
Also, as each student talks about the part of the program they most remember, a review of the concepts presented comes from the students rather than the teacher.
This type of response also gives you information about which concepts caught the interest of various students, allowing you to gauge follow-up activities to expand on students' interests.
Post-viewing time may also be used as an opportunity for instilling critical viewing skills, discussing technical quality, the transfer from print to video character portrayals, and the use of visuals or sound effects to enhance the content.
STEP 6: Follow-Through Activities - Activities should be planned to reinforce and integrate concepts presented, and provide "hands on" experiences with the information. Activities may include:
Teacher's guides include suggestions for class activities including experiments, worksheets, additional reading suggestions, writing topics and creative projects. Students may develop their own post-viewing activities based on ideas presented in the programs.
STEP 7: Evaluation - Your evaluation of the success of the lesson is an important part of any instructional process. Consider whether objectives were information was (or could have been) highlighted. Was the video used as effectively as possible?
What additional activities might you integrate next time? What techniques worked well and could it be incorporated into future lessons?
Evaluation of each component of the lesson can provide valuable insight into the use of video with your students and enhance your use of the medium.
Elizabeth Reeves is an ITV Utilization Specialist for KQED, San Francisco, CA.
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