Welcome to a brand new online feature here at Choices! You told us you wanted more videos, and we listened. Each month—in addition to one piece of original video content—we’ll be curating the very best on-topic clips and short documentaries, which you can use to complement our articles between the bells. Check out our picks below, and email us if you’ve got a fan favorite in your classroom or other recommendations: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our ultimate goal is to become a rich repository of appropriate and engaging videos that will help you liven up your classroom. (Take note: If there’s no video for a particular story, that means we didn’t find anything compelling enough to recommend. But again, if you’ve got suggestions, we want to hear them!)
DEBATE: Are Healthy School Lunches Working?
PBS Newshour: California School District Rewrites Lunch
Summary: Your students will learn about Oakland, California’s ambitious plan to transform school lunches with healthier, locally sourced food. (Bonus: Student journalists produced the segment!)
How to use it: Open class with this brief clip, which will help students not only consider the quality of their lunches while debating this topic — but also the sources of the food on their trays.
PBS Food Forward: School Lunch Revival
Summary: This program offers a brief history of our National School Lunch Program, then turns the lens on revolutionary programs being used to overhaul cafeteria food and teach students about nutrition.
How to use it: Inspire your class to think about goal-setting (NHES.6) and advocacy (NHES.8)! Break students into groups, and then ask them to take what they learned from this video to come up with a plan for one meaningful change in their own cafeteria.
YOUR FUTURE: “You’re Hired!”
Choices TV: How to Deal: Interviews
Summary: With her own unique brand of humor, Choices TV host Berna covers the dos and don’ts of interviewing, giving your students the tools they need to stand out.
How to use it: Berna suggests practicing with a friend, so have your students pair up and take turns interviewing each other. Encourage them to politely offer feedback and discuss what skills they should play up in order to sell themselves as a viable job candidate.
Snagajob YouTube Channel: No Work Experience? Why Should We Hire You?
Summary: This video helps teens tackle the tricky “why should we hire you?” question when they haven't had any formal job experience.
How to use it: As the video shows, all kinds of experience—not just a formal job—can be used to talk up your students’ skills. So pick several valuable job skills—including leadership, teamwork, and communication—and have your class collaborate to come up personal experiences that support each skill.
YOUR WORLD: The Real Social Media Stars
TIFF Doc: Mo’s Bows Trailer
Summary: This short trailer teases a documentary about Moziah Bridges, who started his own company selling bowties at age 9.
How to use it: Start the period with this brief clip, then ask your students to consider the following question: How might a young person like Mo promote and publicize his own venture, whether it’s a business or an art project? When the conversation takes a turn toward social media, have students read our story—which talks about how Mo (and two other teens!) have made their marks online.
Independent Documentary: Instafame
Summary: This short documentary (best for grades 9-12) focuses on Shawn Megira, a high schooler who—at the time—had racked up more than 81,000 followers on Instagram. (Caution: Check 3:13 to 3:30 for sensitive language)
How to use it: Start by watching this video, then have your class read our profiles of social media stars. Compare and contrast the two to create a lively discussion: Why is the teen in the documentary famous? How are the teens in the Choices article using social media differently? Are the pressures of social media similar to the pressures of teens' social lives in general? Gently nudge them to recognize the positives of these teens' online presences—like substance, passion, authenticity, and engagement.
Common Sense Media: Dealing With Haters and Trolls
Summary: This quick clip for middle schoolers lists five ways to handle online harassment.
How to use it: After using our story to explore the positive side of social media, ask students if they’ve ever been targeted by haters or trolls. Did they fight back? If so, how? After discussing their experiences, show the video to equip them with the proper type of response.
YOUR RELATIONSHIPS: How to Break Up (Without Being a Jerk)
Choices How-To: How to Break Up Better
Summary: With sensitivity and a little bit of humor, our video breaks down the awkward and dread-inducing topic of breakups into seven steps, emphasizing honesty and respect.
How to use it: This bell ringer will warm students up to what could be an awkward topic to teach. Tell them to pay close attention, as these tips will come in handy on their post-reading Breakup Worksheet.
CHANGEMAKER: He’s Putting the Fun in Fitness
Let’s Move: Move Your Body Music Video
Summary: In this music video-style PSA from First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative, Beyoncé literally sings the praises of exercise while performing a step-by-step flash dance-style workout (with help from a group of teens!).
How to use it: Brave teachers can dare to lead a dance-along! But if you’re not quite up for a full workout, let the beat grab your students as they settle into class. It’s the perfect bell ringer to lead up to a discussion about our March Changemaker and his efforts to get his fellow students moving during the school day.
Edutopia: Fit Lit: How Movement Impacts Learning
Summary: Your students will visit a Fit Lit class at Casey Middle School in Boulder, Colorado—and learn how exercise enhanced teens’ capacity to learn.
How to use it: Read about our Changemaker John Dugan, then watch this video and discuss the benefits of exercise on the brain: Do your students find that they are more focused in class after they’ve been to gym class or gone on a walk? How can they work more movement into their school day? (Ask them to commit to doing so for a full week, keeping track of how they feel.)
CHALLENGE: Stand Up!
AsapSCIENCE: Why sitting is bad for you
Summary: This video illustrates the drastic changes that occur in your body when sitting for too long. Students will learn how crucial it is to incorporate a little bit of movement into every hour.
How to use it: Read our March Choices Challenge, then show this clip to help students with Step No. 1 (that is: research the science behind why sitting all day is unhealthy).