This quick video discusses both the benefits of ugly fruits and veggies and the impact of the food waste epidemic.
According to the video, the average household wastes as much as $1500 of food. At the same time, food insecurity is on the rise. After watching the video and teaching this month’s story about Sam & Louis, talk as a class about ways teens can help end food waste and food insecurity.
The Ugly Truth About ‘Ugly’ Fruits and Vegetables
In Montpelier, Vermont, one high school adjusted its schedule to include recess time. Students can participate in structured activities of their choice, including music, creative writing, exercise, meditation, and more—and they love it!
The teacher in the video mentions that recess should be “something that’s mindful, challenging, something that creates community, something that creates generosity.” He also suggests that recess can create powerful connections with students in the class. Why might this be so? Have students think and respond.
Recess for High School Students
This high school added “LEAP hour” (aka “big-kid recess”) to help students combat stress while focusing on non-school activities.
Ask students to think about why this may be beneficial to teens. The student playing drums mentioned that once he comes back to class after his break, he’s completely focused. Why might this be?
Centennial High School LEAP hour
At this high school in New Mexico, tired students can take a break—in a sleep pod! The cozy space is perfect for a quick nap, leaving students feeling rested through the rest of the day.
The video says that only ⅓ of teens get the proper amount of sleep. At the start of your lesson, do a quick poll of the class. How many get a full 8 hours? Then after reading Generation Zzzzzzzz and showing this video, have teens break into groups and discuss what they can do to try and get a couple more hours of sleep each night. To further extend the lesson, you can also assign our My Sleep Diary worksheet from page T7 of this month’s Teacher's Guide.
Students Allowed to Nap at School in Sleep Pods
Circadian rhythms are the processes that allow us to sleep at night and be alert during the day, like an internal clock. This informational, animated video describes the process in a way that will engage your class.
Show this video after reading Generation Zzzzzzzz. In the video, the narrator says seeing light at the wrong time of the day can leave the master clock confused.” Can your class think of ways they may be confusing their own circadian rhythms?
What Makes You Tick: Circadian Rhythms
In this video, YouTube star Hunter March (featured in Dear Younger Me) answers viewer questions about his teen years. Hunter’s funny commentary encourages students to see high school as a building block. *Note: There is a mention of the word “sexy” at 1:06.
This video would be a thought-provoking way to open your lesson. Ask your students: Do they identify with any of Hunter’s high school struggles?
High School Crushes / Drama | #AskHunter
Epic Author Facts: Angie Thomas
In this video, Kid President goes through his steps to making friends, which he demonstrates with his new Muslim pal, Donna. Kid President asks Donna about her religion and her hijab, and discusses his own disability and how it made making friends difficult. They find that even though they are different, they can still connect and be friends.
Donna says the world would be better if “everybody learned to accept each other even if they’re different than each other.” Have students break into groups and discuss how they can take Donna’s words to heart. This video could be a great way to open your lesson on They Changed Their School. Could You?
Kid President’s Guide to Making a New Friend
In They Changed Their School. Could You?, we profile Peyton Klein, who started the organization Global Minds, which partners English-speaking students with students learning English. This video discusses the organization and its impact on Peyton's school.
After reading They Changed Their School. Could You?, share this video with your class so they can see how much of an impact Peyton has had on her community.
How One High School is Welcoming Refugee Students
We Dine Together is a club that promotes friendliness at lunch. This video shows some of its members in action.
Show this video before teaching They Changed Their School. Could You? to get students thinking about how they handle lunchtime. Are they leaving people out? How can they make this time better for everyone?
At One High School, No One Eats Lunch Alone
In this Buzzfeed video, adults discuss what it was like to grow up multiracial—the struggle of wanting to blend in versus wanting to be able to fully identify with a certain aspect of their ethnicity.
Watch this video before your class reads "What Are You?" to introduce the issues that multiracial people deal with every day. Then, dive into our story for a more in-depth look at the topic.
The Struggle of Being Mixed Race
In this video, made by students at Santa Clarita University, students discuss what it means to them to be of mixed race and how their diversity contributes to who they are.
“Check All That Apply”
In this humorous clip from the TV show Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope, the director of the parks department, fights against the town’s ridiculous and ever-increasing soda sizes.
Show this clip to introduce the normalization of excessive sugar consumption in America. Though the video is satirical, the giant servings of soda depicted will still get students thinking. Ask: What are the effects of this practice? Can they think of any ways to fight back against it?
Soda Sizes from Parks and Recreation
UC Davis scientist Dr. Kimber Stanhope explains that our bodies are not adapted to handle as much sugar as we tend to consume.
In our debate, "Should Soda Have a Warning Label?," two teens share their perspectives on government-mandated soda labeling. Share this video with your class to help them grasp the harmful side effects of sugar consumption. Do these facts change their perspectives on labeling soda? Have them discuss in groups.
What’s So Harmful About Sodas and Sugary Drinks?
This video describes what happens to your brain after you eat a sugary treat—and why you feel the need to keep going back for more. The clip is probably better for older students, as it discusses more complex topics, like how the reward center in the brain causes cravings. Note: There is a reference to “sexual behavior” at 1:56.
This is a great video to elevate the discussion of "Should Soda Have a Warning Label?". Ask students if knowing about the addictive nature of sugar will change the amount of sugar they consume. Why or why not?
How Sugar Affects the Brain
This video dissects a Coca-Cola campaign about fighting obesity claim-by-claim, exposing the company’s sneaky marketing tactics.
Show this video to your class after reading Should Soda Have a Warning Label?. What do they think of these sneaky claims? Why would soda companies deliberately mislead consumers?
Coming Together: Translated
In this video, the Portland teens introduced in our story “We’re Standing Up for Respect” let us in on what they really talk about in the locker room—turns out it's mostly grades and sports!
At the end of the video, one of the teens says, “It just goes to show how…a group of kids can change a school and a student body.” Have students think about this statement. Why is it so important to fight back against sexual harassment? What small action can they take to create a positive change?
Teens to Trump: That’s Not Locker Room Talk
This video is intended for parents, but it covers alcohol’s impact on the brain in a simple way that teens will understand.
Show this video to your class after discussing "One Deadly Night" to get them thinking about the lasting risks of alcohol consumption.
How Alcohol Affects The Teenage Brain
Choices partnered with the YMCA of New York to create this funny video that teaches teens to say "no" to peer pressure.
After reading One Deadly Night, direct teens to the sidebar, “New Ways to Say No.” Have them reflect on these tactics, then show this video to get them thinking about other ways to turn down a drink.
How to Deal: Peer Pressure
This animated video describes the human stress response and how this phenomenon evolved from an instinctual defense mechanism from our ancestors.
Use this video in conjunction with Secret Stress Busters of the Stars to get teens thinking more about the fight or flight response's impact on their bodies. After reading the article, ask: What are some specific tactics they can use to cope when these feelings arise?
The Fight Flight Freeze Response
Between school, sports, parents, pets, and social obligations, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That's why Choices partnered with the YMCA of New York to make this hilarious video that teaches teens how to deal.
Before reading Secret Stress Busters of the Stars, show this video to teens as a discussion opener.
How To Deal With Stress
In this video, Donovan Smith (featured in our sidebar on teen volunteers!) talks about his business and entrepreneurial spirit, his soap-making process, and how he got into making soaps for the homeless.
This video is a little lengthy, but skip to 4:50 to hear Donovan discussing how he gives back to the homeless with his soap business and volunteer work. Have teens watch this video after reading The Summer of Change. What can they learn from Donovan’s giving spirit?
Entrepreneurship in ABQ: Donovan Smith
In this ABC News segment, we learn about teen volunteer Katie Pryor, who formed a group of 75 volunteers across 19 states and trained them to play "Taps" live at veterans' funerals.
Show this video to teens as a bell-ringer exercise before they read The Summer of Change. Ask: How did Katie find her volunteer opportunity? How can you put your talents to use?
Trumpet Playing Teen Is on a Mission to Change the ‘Taps’ Stereotype
In this social experiment from Europe, a vending machine advertising T-shirts that only cost two Euros was set up in a busy area. When passersby attempted to purchase a shirt, they were confronted with the facts about how it was made instead.
After reading and discussing Is it OK to Buy Cheap Clothes?, show this video to touch on the importance of creating awareness about issues and causes you believe in.
The 2-Euro T-shirt: A Social Experiment
In this video, five children from Germany set out to reveal the double standard of the fashion industry.
This video is a quick way to get students thinking about conflicting morals in the fast fashion world while you discuss Is it OK to Buy Cheap Clothes?
The Child Labour Experiment
This explainer video from Wired magazine will help students develop digital literacy by breaking down fake news: why it’s created, how it spreads, who profits, and how to stop it.
This is a great video to expand on Which One is #Fake News?, especially for teachers who want to go into more depth about how and why the 2016 Presidential Election fed a fake news epidemic. (Note: there is a reference to pornography at 1:50).
Here’s How Fake News Works and How the Internet Can Stop It
This video discusses how the speed of spreading information has led to “circular reporting,” where one news source publishes an article, then other publications reference the already published article as their source. This can lead to the subtle spread of false information if the original sources are inaccurate.
After instructing students to read Which One is #FakeNews?, show this video to give more context on how false ideas can spread so rapidly.
How Fake News Can Spread
This video by the Skin Cancer Foundation explains the three different types of skin cancer.
Show this video to your students after they read and before they do the Song of Summer activity in this month's Teaching Guide. That way, they can use this video to get some key facts to incorporate into their songs!
What is Skin Cancer?
In this powerful video, adults who have been affected by skin cancer speak to their former selves, sharing that they wish they'd known about the risks of sun exposure as teens.
After reading , show this video to students. Have them talk about potential preventative steps they can take to stay healthy. (Remind them all to put a monthly, recurring reminder on their phone so they won’t forget to do a skin check!)
Dear Me at 16
On ABC Primetime’s Would You Fall For That?, a group of people stand facing the back wall of the elevator. There’s one person who isn’t in on the joke, and as the elevator goes up, they're likely to turn to conform and face the wrong way too.
This video would make a great lesson starter to get talking about herd mentality. Have students analyze the actions of the individuals who did and didn’t follow the crowd. Ask your teens this: Would they have turned around in a similar situation?
Will People Follow the Crowd in an Elevator Experiment?
In this video by National Geographic, a group goes through an experiment to test how likely they are to follow along with the crowd.
Show this before reading Are You Following the Herd? to get teens thinking about how subtle conformity can happen. How can this be used for good?
Question the Herd | Brain Games
In this TEDx Youth video from 2014, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez discusses how he became a climate-change activist and how he uses hip-hop to spread awareness.
For students who are interested in Martinez’s story, this video presents a more in-depth look at his efforts. Show this video in class before having students discuss other creative ways to advocate for causes they believe in. (Psst. We've also got a fantastic classroom worksheet to go along with your lesson!)
Hip-Hop Environmental Activism: Xiuhtezcatl Martinez at TEDxYouth
In this Earth Guardians video, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez discusses his heritage as an indigenous person and how this makes him an original activist for the earth. He also talks about Rising Youth For a Sustainable Earth, a youth-led organization that advocates for the environment.
This video is great for inspiring teens to lead movements and make actual change, just like Martinez has done.
RYSE: Activating the Youth-Led Climate Movement
In this fun video, Bill Nye uses emojis to help explain what happens to our brains when we're on the internet.
After reading this month’s debate, Are Emojis Making Us Lazy?, show this video to get teens thinking about the implications of being over-connected. Plus, they'll see how versatile emojis can be when it comes to storytelling!
Bill Nye Explains Your Brain On the Internet
Jeremiah created a Twitter account to combat bullying and spread inclusiveness and kindness at his school.
Share this video with your class after reading Would You Stand Up To Hate?, and have a class discussion about how Jeremiah was able to gain popularity through his positive behavior.
A Sincere Compliment
Teens discuss the differences between bystanders and upstanders, pointing out that even liking a derogatory post or laughing in agreement with the bully is falling into the bystander trap. The video drives home how important it is to stand up, not stand by.
Show this video before reading Would You Stand Up To Hate? to ease students into the conversation. Try asking discussion questions like “What is a bystander?” or “What are some ways you can stand up for a friend being bullied?”
Bullies and Bystanders: What Teens Say
This video features Natalie Hampton, the 16-year-old girl who created the anti-bullying app Sit With Us. Learn more about her story and her inspiration for the app.
Show this video before reading Would You Stand Up To Hate? to ease students into the conversation. Try asking discussion questions like “What is a bystander?” or “What are some ways you can stand up for a friend being bullied?”
Fighting Back Against Bullying
This is a video story of a teenage girl who struggled for years with an eating disorder, without even realizing what she was doing to her body.
After reading This Football Player Had a Secret Eating Disorder, show this video to help teens understand that eating disorders don’t always happen suddenly, but in fact can be something stemming from a lifetime of struggle. The video will also encourage empathy and advocacy among your students.
I Am Enough: Recovering From an Eating Disorder
This in-depth report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) details many different tactics stores use to get customers to spend more. Don't have time for the whole thing? Skip to 10:28, where the explanation of the “Gruen Effect” (when shoppers are forced to meander through the store so they begin impulse shopping) begins.
This video is excellent proof of how the retail industry is tricking your students into purchasing items they don't need. Use it in conjunction with Are You Getting Scammed? to provoke group discussion about these tactics.
Retail Tricks: How Stores Make You Spend More
In this video, scientist Bill Nye explains the scientific evidence of climate change and how these changes are impacting our planet so quickly.
Show this video before reading Could His Hip-Hop Save the Planet? to help students understand the basics of climate change.
National Geographic Climate Change 101 with Bill Nye
Being a teenager is already tough, but being a teen with allergies is even more difficult. In this video, teens discuss how food allergies affect their daily lives, whether it be abstaining from certain foods or having to worry about kissing someone who has eaten an allergen.
This video is a good way to help teens who don't have food allergies relate to those who do. Show it before reading "This Cupcake Could Kill Me..." or near the beginning of your class discussion.
Teen Talk- Food Allergies
Kids are often bullied at school because of their food allergies, so this PSA is encouraging students to be more considerate of their peers.
In conjunction with this month’s story, “This Cupcake Could Kill Me...," play this video to help teens see the dangers of bullying disguised as a joke, especially when it involves a life-threatening scenario.
Food Allergy Bullying: It's Not a Joke PSA
In this video, TEDxPortland speaking coach, Amy Wolf, gives five tips to becoming a pro public speaker. Though this video is meant for adults, the tips Amy shares are perfect for teens preparing for speeches and presentations.
Share this video with the class to complement this month’s Life Skills Made Easy story, “How Can I Survive...Public Speaking?” (It could be great to save and revisit this one whenever presentations come up in class.)
5 Public Speaking Tips
Every year, at least 70 teens die from work-related injuries. This video explores the dangers inexperienced teens face on the job.
Have your students watch this video after discussing "Should Teens Earn Less Than Adults?" to open up a conversation on workplace safety for teens.
Teen Workers: Real Jobs, Real Risks
Students often worry needlessly about presentations. This Buzzfeed video presents a funnier take on the fear of public speaking that may help teens feel more normal about those concerns.
Before reading "How Can I Survive...Public Speaking?” play this video to start a discussion on this universal fear. Why are we so afraid of public speaking? Why do these anxieties sometimes keep us up at night? How can we reduce our trepidation concerning presentations?
When You're Afraid Of Public Speaking
In this classic Nike commercial, Michael Jordan discusses his basketball-related failures, saying, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”
It's the perfect opener to introduce the subject of “The League of Extraordinary Losers,” in this month’s issue of Choices.
Michael Jordan's "Failure" Nike Commercial
John Green, author of the popular YA novel, The Fault in Our Stars, discusses his most recent failure: trying to write another book but not being able to come up with a viable idea. The talented writer admits, “I don’t know if I’ll ever publish another book...I got okay with not knowing.”
In conjunction with this month’s story “The League of Extraordinary Losers,” this video will help teens realize that they aren’t alone in their failure. Have them discuss success and what defines it. Does it have to be something big, like publishing a book, or can it be something small, like successfully keeping a plant alive for more than a week, or acing a quiz?
Failing to Follow Up The Fault in Our Stars
In her Harvard commencement address, J.K. Rowling discusses failure, and how without her own personal failures, she never what have achieved her greatest successes. Her failure put her at rock bottom, yet also gave her the determination to achieve her goal of writing and publishing the Harry Potter series.
After reading “The League of Extraordinary Losers,” have students reflect on J.K. Rowling’s statement when she says this: “Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was.” What does this mean? Can failure be a fresh start?
Benefits of Failure - J. K. Rowling
This video from the One Love Foundation discusses how the phrase “I love you” can be used for manipulation in romantic relationships, and how this can escalate from something that seems harmless and benign to a dangerous, obsessive problem.
Use this video as a discussion opener before reading “Bad Romance” in this month’s issue of Choices. Have students break into groups and point out ways that certain things mentioned in the video, like “Because I love you, I waited for you after chem lab” can seem so innocent, but be dangerous and harmful. Why is this so?
#ThatsNotLove Campaign: Because I Love You - Delete
In dangerous and bad relationships, partners sometimes use seemingly genuine statements like “I love you” or “I’m sorry” to manipulate partners in certain situations. This quick video by the One Love Foundation explains this principle and why it’s dangerous to be in a relationship where these tactics are used.
After reading “Bad Romance” in this month’s issue of Choices, show this video to help students gain perspective on this manipulative tactic. Why is it unfair to use phrases like “I love you” in these types of situations? How does this emotionally harm the other partner?
#ThatsNotLove Campaign: Asterisk - I Love You
In this creative, visually engaging video, a teen talks about her experience with emotional and physical abuse in a romantic relationship. She tells her story in a way that allows the viewer to see that small things can begin to escalate quickly, leaving teens stuck in abusive relationships. (Note, this video may be a little intense for younger viewers.)
When discussing the dangers of abusive relationships, before or after reading “Bad Romance,” play this video to give students context to what the extreme bad relationship can look and feel like.
My Experience With Domestic Violence
This video uses fun illustrations and an engaging voice to discuss what it means to have an allergy in a way that would be best suited for younger students. The video breaks down meanings of things like allergens and the immune system, and discusses the top foods that can lead to allergic reactions.
After reading “This Cupcake Could Kill Me...,” share this video with students to help them understand how allergy attacks happen, and the importance of reading food labels.
What is a Food Allergy?
This NBC story introduces Marley Dias, who started #1000BlackGirlBooks. When Marley was eight, she noticed a problem with the books in her classroom—they were mostly about white boys and their dogs. So Marley started to collect 1000 books about black girls to donate to schools and libraries in need.
Let your students “meet” Marley by watching this video before or after you read “Where’s My Story?”. This can also help transition into a discussion on diversity, focusing on the importance of representation in literature and beyond. Break students into small groups to discuss ways they can make a difference for issues they care about. After all, even something as small as starting a hashtag can incite big results!
Today Show interview with Marley Dias
In this National Education Association video, Marley discusses institutional racism, and how lack of diversity in schools is still a growing problem. She says that in order to reduce the effects of institutionalized racism, the dialogue has to be changed. The more aware people are, the more kids can live up to their full potential.
This could be a good background piece for a more serious discussion after students have become familiar with Marley’s story. Have them reflect on the importance of diversity. Why is it significant that Marley had to create a special campaign just to have books that she could relate to in her school’s library?
Marley Dias talks Institutional Racism
We’ve all heard of the flu shot, but many people are still afraid to get one. This video explains why the flu shot is a smart decision and how it will help prevent the flu. There's also an explanation of how the shot is actually made—using strains of viruses from previous years and injecting them into chicken eggs.
After directing students to read “Is Homework Out of Control?,” have them watch this video and discuss possible homework alternatives. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of these alternative options? The video mentions that rethinking success may help students and teachers balance homework loads. What does this mean? How can success be redefined and understood?
How The Flu Shot Works (And Why You Should Get It)
Want to know even more dirty secrets about the junk food industry? The investigators behind this video consulted researcher and author Michael Moss (also featured in our story, “The Sinister Science of Irresistible Junk Food”) to learn more about the “holy trinity of processed food”: salt, sugar, and fat.
Play this video for the class after reading our story. Then, have students discuss why they think the food industry has made these decisions. What is the advantage of making people addicted to junk food? What are some healthy alternatives? Is it okay to eat these foods in moderation?
The Science of Addictive Junk Food
In this classic Lay’s commercial, a child offers former NHL hockey player Mark Messier a potato chip, asking, “Just one?” Naturally, Messier can’t resist, because junk food is just too addictive.
Use this video as a visual companion to the story, “The Sinister Science of Irresistible Junk Food.” After reading, have students discuss this commercial. Why did the company market their product this way? Why will it be hard for the man to eat only one chip?
Lay’s “Just One” commercial
What would happen if vegetables were marketed in the same way as junk foods like chips and candy? In this video, reporters from the New York Times join forces with an advertising firm to see just what it would take to create buzz for a sometimes-ignored vegetable like broccoli. On this quest, they visit farms and talk to chefs, where they discover that broccoli really does have potential to lead a craze.
Use this video as part of our Advocacy in Action activity in the January Teacher's Guide. Break students into groups and have them discuss ways that less popular fruits and vegetables, like broccoli and spinach could be transformed. Why are healthy, even yummy, veggies often ignored? What could a marketing plan highlight to make these healthy foods attractive to consumers? Then, they'll create a package, advertisement, or commercial for a healthy food of their choice.
Creating the Broccoli Craze
In this video, a girl talks about seeing her friends post a picture on Instagram without her, causing her to quickly jump to conclusions about her friends leaving her out of activities. She explains that it’s easy to feel this way, but most of the time, friends aren’t leaving you out on purpose.
Use this to complement this month’s story, “How to Fight Fair.” Though she wasn’t actually fighting with her friends, the girl in the video was quick to blame them for leaving her out, and never directly communicates with them. Ask: How could a situation like this be handled in real life? Could communication help avoid a falling out?
When You Feel Left Out
Women aren’t the only ones affected by the way we idealize beauty. This video goes around the world, revealing the ideal male characteristics from countries such as the United States, Mexico, and South Africa.
Conversations about body image tend to focus on girls, but men are often objectified as well. Play this video to spur a discussion on male beauty standards, along with the importance of avoiding gender and cultural stereotypes.
Men’s Standards of Beauty Around the World
This video discusses the differences between opiates and opioids, and how the chemicals in each affect the brain.
Have students watch this video before reading “Heroin Took Over Our Town,” so they can better understand what happens to the brain when someone takes drugs.
This is Your Brain on Heroin
This news report features Noah Carver, the subject of our story “Noah is Blind.” The video focuses mainly on his running, although it does mention his other interests and accomplishments, such as horseback riding, skiing, and mountain climbing.
After reading the story, let students see Noah’s impressive abilities in action. Ask students if they were surprised to see that Noah’s blindness doesn’t hold him back from completing adventurous activities.
Blind Cross Country Runner Sees Through Dad’s Eyes
Using graphic animation, narrator Steven Claunch shares the story of how he was born without fingers on his right hand, and with one leg several inches shorter than the other. He also discusses the story of his inspiration, Jim Abbott, a retired baseball player who played 10 seasons despite being born without his right hand.
Claunch says that you can either overcome an obstacle, or let the obstacle overcome you—an important message for teens to hear. If there’s time after reading “Noah Is Blind,” have students break into small groups and talk with each other about any obstacles they have faced in life, and how they overcame them.
A teen reporter discusses the scientific side of growing up, explaining why teens like to take more risks, seek adventure, and feel the need to be accepted by other teens.
You can play this video as a discussion-starter before or after reading our story, “A User’s Guide To Your Raging Brain.” (Note: There is a mention of unprotected sex around 1:25.)
The Teen Brain: Under Construction
This video uses hilarious examples of cohesive group communication used to overcome an obstacle. The fun cartoon clips were compiled from a bus ad campaign in Belgium.
These clips teach students that working in groups can be fun and beneficial, but there has to be adequate communication in order to get tasks completed in a timely, orderly fashion. This could be a great morning class opener to wake students up and get them engaged. Stop the video before the bus ad pops up at the end, and ask, "What does this video teach you about working effectively in groups?"
Teamwork Pays Off
As an experiment, a woman sent an unedited image of herself to Photoshop experts around the world, and told them to “make her beautiful.” The results reveal how where you live can affect what you find attractive.
After reading “Should Body-Shaming Ads Be Banned?”, pause the video at each image, so students have a chance to thoroughly take them in. You can also ask students why they think different cultures have such wildly different standards.
Beauty Standards Around the World
Some young kids crave the adrenaline rush they get from extreme sports. In this New York Times Magazine video, a handful of them explain why they like being afraid.
The children in the video acknowledge the risks of what they're doing, but find that the benefits of the sport make it worth it worth the danger. Let your students hear from the athletes themselves before they make a decision for the debate.
I Like Being Afraid
X Games gold medalist Paul Rodriguez talks about his love of skateboarding and the downsides of the wild lifestyle that often comes with it.
This is great for introducing your students to the concept of a natural high. After watching it as a class, ask them what activities make them feel alive. (Our Teacher's Guide materials this month include a Pursuing My Passion worksheet that will help them go more in-depth on this topic.)
Understanding a Natural High
Ashley VanPevenage records her response to the hurtful comments she received in response to a photo meme of her that went viral.
After reading the story, show this video and ask students to consider how Ashley handled the situation. What would they have done if this happened to them? Does actually seeing Ashley's reaction change how they feel about what happened to her?
Ashley VanPevenage Responds to Her Meme
In an effort to counteract cyberbullying, high school junior Jeremiah started a Twitter account that posts compliments about the kids in his school.
Screen this video after watching Ashley's, so you can highlight how social media can have a positive impact too. Is there a project that your class could take on to help spread good vibes throughout your school? Brainstorm ideas, and then work together to get it started!
A Sincere Compliment
This is a cautionary story about a teen driving accident that took three girls' lives and left six others traumatized. It features a detailed account of the crash interviews, along with some of the victims and their parents. (There is a "heck" around 21:13.)
Sometimes just reading a story isn't enough. Actually seeing the girls and their families talk about what happened (often through tears) will really help students grasp what's at stake every time they get into a car with their friends. Make sure to leave time to talk through any upset emotions afterward.
Teenage Driver Safety Campaign
This PSA asks a handful of young people about texting and driving. At first, they're a little lighthearted about their bad habits—but that quickly changes when they meet Jacy Good, whose family car was hit by a texting driver.
Let students see the actual effects of texting and driving. If you don't have time for the Teenage Driver Safety Campaign video, this drives home the message just as effectively.
It Can Wait
President Obama demonstrates five things harder than registering to vote in this lighthearted Buzzfeed video.
Students who are able to vote for the first time this November might feel intimidated or unsure of how to get started, so this is a good way to broach the subject. For younger teens, you can still use it as a segue into a discussion about the importance of voting and persuading others to head to the polls. Encourage them to share it with friends or siblings who are old enough to vote this year!
5 Things That Are Harder to Do Than Registering to Vote
This TED-Ed video breaks down the history of how American voting rights have changed since the first election in 1789.
Teaching the history of voting rights will help students understand why it's a privilege for everyone be able to vote today.
The Fight for the Right to Vote
In this video from Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre, teens talk about how practicing mindfulness has improved their lives.
Some kids might be skeptical of meditation and mindfulness, so introduce them to the topic with this video. Let them listen to real kids talk about the benefits to better understand how the process works. Then, try the relaxation exercise in our story and discuss ways to fit mindfulness into everyday life.
This video discusses tips and tricks for how to tackle everything on your busy calendar, even when it feels like you just probably can’t do it all.
Show this clip to round off the issue’s back page, then put students to work making their own to-do lists based on what they learned from the article and video.
How to Deal: Time Management and To-Do Lists
YouTuber Damian Alonso delivers a short but impassioned poem about the depth of his relationships with his “internet” friends. His argument? These friends are no different than his “real-life” friends—and he’s sick of hearing otherwise! NOTE: Other content on Damian’s channel may include inappropriate language; please take care to cue this video before projecting it to your class.
Play this video as part of a bell ringer discussion to get students thinking about the validity of digital connections. Ask: Have you made friends online? Do you keep in touch with friends via social media? How are those relationships alike and different from in-person friendships? Which type of relationship is more fun? More supportive?
“Internet” Friends: A Poem by WorldDamian
This mini-doc reveals the innate benefits of friendship and how humans, by nature, are meant to forge bonds. It also explores the science behind these connections—and what happens when the face-to-face element is removed.
This video explores the pros of in-person connections, but online connections have their benefits, too. Play the clip to add background to “The Science of In-Person vs Digital Friendships” box on page 5 of the student edition.
The Science of Friendship
In this touching and inspiring video, your students will meet 11-year-old cancer patient Maya, who has raised over $250,000 for childhood cancer research through Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
After students read about Miya’s battle with cancer, play this video to illustrate how even the smallest effort from one person can make a big impact in improving the lives of others. Then set students’ newfound inspiration into action as they raise awareness for pediatric cancer with the help of our Alex’s Lemonade research guide and fundraising kit.
Meet Childhood Cancer Hero Maya
This video will help you rethink your goals, set them, and focus on how to actually achieve them.
After students discover the health mistakes they didn’t know they were making, have then employ the strategies explained in this video to set a new goal. Use the SMART School Year worksheet on page 7 of the Teacher’s Guide to guide the process.
Choices How To Deal: Setting Goals
This video provides a few tips on how to comfort a friend in need. Comforting people is a skill that can take time to develop because it requires us to exercise emotions beyond the ones we probably use on a daily basis. With these few rules of thumb, you can be prepared to respond to any friend in need of support.
Show this clip once the class has read “Why Him? Why Me?” Then ask students: “What are some other possible tactics for supporting a friend in need?”
How To Comfort a Friend in 3 Easy Steps
This video talks about resilience, which is a skill that will help you bounce back after hard times. Though we can’t always prevent bad things from happening, this video will leave you equipped—teaching the basics about how to bounce back, no matter the situation you encounter.
Use this clip as a visual supplement to our “3 Tips for Tough Times” on page 21. Then, via the classroom activities explained in the Teaching Guide, have students reflect and write about a time when someone stepped in to support them so that they didn’t have to endure on their own.
How To Deal: Bouncing Back
Hunter Gandee’s brother, Braden, was born with cerebral palsy, which has affected his muscle coordination and motor function. This video reveals the full story about how Hunter walks miles while carrying his brother on his back in order to raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy.
Show this video before reading “Could You Walk 111 Miles?” to give students a sense of Hunter and Braden’s relationship and a history of the CP Swagger. Ask students what surprises them about Braden. (Were they expecting to see that he’s just a normal kid? Impressed that he wrestles for a local team?)
High School Athlete of the Month: Hunter Gandee
Show this trailer after reading “Who Said It?” and ask students to think about what masculinity means to them and how the film may have influenced their perspective. Click here to find out how to buy, rent, or stream the full film.
The Representation Project: The Mask You Live In
Don’t let this video’s title trick you into thinking it’s just for girls. The compilation will give students an idea of just how over-the-top some promposals really are. NOTE: Due to mildly inappropriate language (“Hell yes” at 1:12 and “Hella cute” at 2:25) and some twerking around the 1-minute mark, this video is best reserved for older students.
After reading our debate, show this video and ask students to consider each promposal as they watch: Is it thoughtful? Did the asker spend too much? Might the experience have made the askee uncomfortable? Pause the video frequently to discuss specific asks: Would your students be thrilled or humiliated/annoyed if this happened to them?
Popsugar Girls’ Guide: The Cutest Promposals That Will Melt Your Heart
Based on a book by Maria Shriver, this documentary tells the stories of five children, ages 6–15, who have grandparents with Alzheimer’s.
Ask students to brainstorm—based on what they learned in the story as well as any personal experience—what struggles families of Alzheimer's patients might face. What fears and concerns might they have for their loved one? For more ideas, head to The Alzheimer’s Project website for a film viewing guide, which features a slew of discussion questions and conversation-starters for teens, and tips for talking about Alzheimer’s disease.
HBO: Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?
This news clip offers an explanation of the promposal trend and several interesting examples, as well as the average price tag.
Show this video to set the stage for our promposal debate. Ask students to vote on whether or not promposals are fun and harmless, then see if their opinions change after reading the arguments for each side.
ABC News: Promposals—Teens Spend Big Money on Big Question
Hear from Abby Snodgrass, one of the teen heroes featured in our story for using CPR to save an infant at a local Wal-Mart.
As a segue into our CPR story, show this video to students and ask them: “Would you know what to do in this situation?”
ABC News: Teen Uses CPR Skills to Save Baby's Life at Wal-Mart Store
This fun video demonstrates the two simple steps of Hands-Only CPR: Call 911, and push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives. It also airs the tune “Stayin’ Alive,” which will help students master the chest compression rate (and get stuck in your head for the rest of the day!)
Studies show that simply watching an instructional video can mean the difference between acting as a bystander or a lifesaver in an emergency situation, so show this clip after reading our CPR story to arm your students with the knowledge they need to save a life.
American Heart Association: Keep the Beat, Learn Hands-Only CPR
This Buzzfeed segment uses humor to identify the gender roles that are forced upon kids from birth—and demonstrating how they would manifest in adult life.
Show this video before reading "Who Said It?" and challenge students to think of more ways they are "born into" gender stereotypes. Then, have them think about whether those stereotypes align with who they are, what they believe, and what they're passionate about.
Buzzfeed: Childhood Gender Roles in Adult Life
Women's lifestyle digital media company SheKnows gathered several tween and teen girls for a candid and insightful discussion about the gender roles present in media and advertising.
Before reading "Who Said It?" provide the class with a variety of magazines and ask them to page through in search of advertisements that perpetuate female stereotypes. Ask students how the ads make them feel and why they are or are not effective.
SheKnows: #HatchKids Discuss Gender Roles and the Rise of #Femvertising
Similar to the #Femvertising piece, this SheKnows clips observes gender stereotypes and body images as they pertain to men, asking tween boys to list male stereotypes and define what it means to "be a man."
Before reading "Who Said It?" ask your students what they think it means to "be a man" and what impact the media's portrayal of masculinity may have on young boys (and girls). Then, have them repeat the magazine advertisement search activity above, this time hunting for male stereotypes.
SheKnows: #HatchKids Discuss Male Gender Stereotypes
MTV's Gender Bent series uses narrated photo animations and historical references to highlight the ridiculousness of the gender stereotypes that we hold true today. The videos are informative, engaging, and fast-paced, each clocking in at just under one minute.
Each of these videos corresponds perfectly with our gender stereotypes story, allowing your students to gain a better understanding of the concepts that we outline. Use the "Boys are Better at Math" video to expand upon the story's first Big Question: "Are Boys Better at Some Things—and Vice Versa?"; then show the "Pink for Girls, Blue for Boys" video to supplement the story's "The Evolution of Gender" box, and the "Men Don't Cry" video to supplement "The Making of a Stereotype" box.
MTV: Gender Bent Series
Surprise! Taste buds change over time, and this video demonstrates why and how.
Kick off class with this video before reading this month’s Challenge. Then, start planning! Give them the opportunity to change their minds about Brussels sprouts or spinach by having a class feast.
DNews: How Your Taste Buds Change Over Time
Can’t devote a day to a giant fruit or veggie feast, as our Challenge suggests? Use this video and our Junk Food, Why Can’t I Quit You? story to round out a class period that focuses on the forces that influence what we eat. How powerful is marketing? How powerful is taste? Encourage students to break into groups and create their own image-makeover campaign for a fruit or vegetable of their choosing.
New York Times: Creating The Broccoli Craze
Your students know that they crave Doritos and candy. But do they understand that those foods are engineered to be addictive? This video breaks down the fascinating science behind junk food’s irresistible nature.
Start by asking your students what their favorite junk foods are and why they like them, then show them this video. While they watch, have them make a list of things that surprised them about the junk food industry. Discuss whether the knowledge that junk food is engineered to be addictive makes them want to change their eating habits. (Read our Junk Food, Why Can’t I Quit You? story to convince them there are healthier alternatives!)
The National: The Science of Addictive Food
Humans (especially teens!) need role models. This video makes the case that celebrities aren’t bad—we just need to look up to better celebrities.
After reading our debate, show your students this video. Ask questions to engage them in a lively discussion that considers all of the points of views they’ve just heard: Whom do they consider their role models? Is it possible to be a fan of a celebrity without looking up to them? Are there people who are famous for no reason? What type of role models should get more recognition in our society?
The School of Life: Better Celebrities
Show this video to open your class period, then read our Junk Food, Why Can’t I Quit You? story. Point out the nutrients that are strategically present in our healthier creations and explain why those nutrients can help them outsmart their primitive preference to eat lots of starchy, fatty foods. (Say how protein satisfies you, fiber makes you feel full—you get the idea!)
Caution: Video uses the word “frickin’” at 2:24
SciShow: Why Our Brains Love Junk Food
This short segment is the perfect bell ringer for a class spent examining the difference between reporting and tattling. Afterwards, ask students: Besides catching wind of a school shooting, what are some other situations where they may need to alert an adult about a safety concern or health issue—even if it’s against that person’s wishes? Then read our To Tell or Not to Tell story, which opens with the student featured in the video.
PBS Newshour: These Student Whistleblowers Spoke Up To Prevent A Shooting
This video (produced by Sandy Hook Promise) effectively combines telling statistics and troubling news clips to hammer home the importance of speaking up.
Short and powerful, this video is the perfect closer for a class period spent reading our To Tell or Not to Tell story. Encourage students to think about exactly who they would go to—a parent, adult, or administrator—if they needed to “Say Something.”
Sandy Hook Promise: Say Something
In this short documentary, a 17-year-old Syrian girl films an intimate portrait of life in her refugee camp.
Our “Different Like You” series is intended to inspire empathy in your students. Open class with this video, then ask students what stereotypes or challenges this girl might face if she started a new life in America. Then, read Zain’s story in the magazine. What surprised them about Zain’s experiences? How could they help someone like Zain if he came to their school?
New York Times Op-Doc: Another Kind Of Girl
Lack of access to affordable, healthy food is one of the leading causes of obesity in America. The trailer for this film, by the creators of Food, Inc., highlights the problems facing those 50 million Americans who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
Read about Sophie’s garden, then ask your class: Why do they think the first food bank Sophie went to was stocked with junk food? (Answer: It’s cheap!) Then watch this video, which can help to open a discussion about how cost and availability serve to limit many Americans’ access to fresh produce. What could your students do to help?
Take Part: A Place At The Table (film trailer)
In this video, your students will learn about a school in the middle of a food desert in the South Bronx. It grows its own food for students learning to become chefs.
A food desert is an area in which it is extremely difficult for residents, especially those without a vehicle, to access fresh, healthy food. Ask your students: What do they have to do to access fruits and vegetables? As a class, visit the USDA’s food desert map and find the food deserts closest to your school.
PBS: A Food Desert Blooms
Stephen Ritz, the educator from the previous video, has grown 25,000 pounds of vegetables in collaboration with students in the South Bronx area. He talks about why his successes are so crucial.
This video is probably more interesting for teachers than for students. Watch it and get excited to teach your students about the importance of produce and the power of small-scale agriculture in the communities that need it most.