Teaching with YouTube

I’m discovering that YouTube is a very neat teaching tool. Here are a few ways I have or plan to use the site:

  1. A few weeks back Fuse #8 posted the results of her search on YouTube for Alice in Wonderland clips. Of course, I immediately had to check out what she had found and then go farther. Several hours later I had a bunch of really neat clips and a blog post to boot. The following day, as we are studying Carroll’s book right now, I showed a few of them to my class. It was so, so cool! They especially loved the the old commercials and “Betty Boop in Blunderland.”
  2. In years past I’ve avoided showing my class any of the live action Alice features, not being a fan of most of the child-friendly ones. (There are some interesting dark ones, but I wouldn’t show them to my 4th graders.) This year we’ve gotten into a routine of watching old and/or obscure movies during lunch (starting with Charlie Chaplin) and so I decided to show them some of those live action movies as they will be doing a quazi-anime themselves in April. Watching these films could help them figure what doesn’t work well as well as what does. As we watched one from 1985 I commented that Natalie Gregory, the young girl playing Alice, looked a bit like Shirley Temple. Surprisingly, several kids knew who she was and agreed with me. As the movie went on, I quietly went to my laptop and search YouTube for “Shirley Temple.” Immediately, a bunch of familiar clips appeared. When the movie was over I connected the laptop to the Smartboard (I’m SO lucky to have all this amazing technology to teach with) and showed the kids the results of my search. The kids who knew Shirley urged me to show certain clips (e.g. “Animal Crackers in My Soup”) to the class. All were fascinated and then agreed that Gregory indeed looked and acted very much like Temple.
  3. Our big class project on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will be a quazi-anime video. In years past I’ve put them on our website. (Here’s one from 2002.) This year I plan to have the kids put them on our class blog and now also plan to put them on YouTube. Any reason why not? The kids will be thrilled, I know!

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