What can be learned from edutainment?
Lots of teachers use videos in the classroom. Sometimes, however, we let videos do the heavy lifting for our lesson goals. Below you'll see a teacher working with edutainment as its own text in the classroom. We often think about ways students can "talk back" to mass media and popular culture, but educational videos also provide a way for students to give warm and cool feedback to media.
1. Start with Experience. Watch Taking Photos by Brainpop Jr. Discuss:
How did this video make you feel?
What are some of the main ideas in this video?
Who created it? Why do you think it was created? Is it to inform, to persuade or to entertain?
How was this video created?
Then watch the BrainPop video on Digital Animation. Discuss: What did you learn? What do you like and dislike about this style of animation?
2. Explore Examples to Consider Adaptation to Learners and Contexts. View the short video, Analyzing Edutainment, Grade 3. In this, you see some moments from the classroom where a teacher is viewing and discussing a Schoolhouse Rock video. After viewing, discuss: What do you notice about children's behavior? What do you notice about the teacher's behavior?
3. Compose, Create and Take Action. View and discuss an example of edutainment with children and listen carefully to their ideas. Use warm and cool feedback to generate ideas. Document your class responses in writing and compose a Class Letter to the Author describing your reactions to the video. Emphasize the important of "talking back" to media.
GUIDING QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
What do students learn by critiquing educational media like textbooks and edutainment videos in the classroom?
Why is learning to "talk back" to the media useful for children?
What would you have to do to create your own educational media for the classroom?