VITAL Guide to Learning with Video

This guide is designed to help you make optimum use of the video resources found on VITAL and Teachers' Domain.

  • Building Video Literacy: Framing

    In this activity created by EDC's Center for Children and Technology, students move frames over parts of an image to note what information would be conveyed with different types of shots.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Building Video Literacy: Movement

    In this activity developed by EDC's Center for Children and Technology, student explore the different ways movement can occur within a shot. Some movement is due to the action taking place inside the frame, some is made by the camera, and some by the way the filmmaker edits or cuts the shots and puts them together.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Building Video Literacy: Purpose

    The basis for a filmmaker’s decision regarding how a shot is framed, what sound to include or add and what movement to show has to do with the purpose of the shot. Those decisions hinge on what the shot is designed to accomplish in order to create the overall meaning of the film.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Building Video Literacy: Response

    The meaning of a film is not only in the mind of the filmmaker, but also in how each shot affects the viewer. Sometimes a shot evokes a very strong response in the viewer, and sometimes it evokes several more subtle responses all at once – and sometimes the response changes if the film is viewed more than once. The specific response evoked in a viewer may be very individual, but the way the shot is composed provides clues about what the filmmaker might have intended.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Building Video Literacy: Sound

    In this activity developed by EDC's Center for Children and Technology, students explore how sound is used to create meaning in a shot by listening for three types of sound: voice-over, music, and ambient sound.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Building Video Literacy: Storyboarding

    This activity, created by EDC's Center for Children and Technology, lets students explore the relationship between types of shots and storytelling. Before viewing the video referenced below, students choose six different images that represent at least three of the five different types of shots: panorama, wide, two (medium), close-up, and extreme close up. Then, they sequence the six shots to tell a unique story, and write the words that go with each shot in the text box.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Building Video Literacy: Types of Shots

    What does it mean to be video literate? It means understanding that a video documentary is not a record of real life but a deliberately composed presentation of the author's point of view on the subject. Each part of the video is the result of specific choices made by the filmmaker. This document, developed by EDC's Center for Children and Technology, illustrates the different types of shots filmmakers use and explains the purposes of each.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Building Video Literacy: Video Logger

    This flash interactive makes it easy to analyze how a video documentary consists of many individual shots. You can watch the entire video, or analyze individual shots according to how the shot is framed, the type of sound that is used, or the movement of the shot. To further break down the elements of a video, individual shots can be played with or without sound, or with only the sound and no image.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Classroom Tips

    There are a variety of ways in which to incorporate VITAL video into your classroom. This document offers a few options based on the various computer and projection equipment setups that may be available to you. Remember, the video resources on this site are created as a supplement to your teaching, so it is not necessary to change your teaching practices in order to successfully utilize the resources. Instead, aim to apply your best techniques to this new technology.

    Grades: All
  • Effective Video-Based Lessons

    The three essential parts of an effective video-based lesson: Frame, Focus and Follow-up are described in this document, developed by EDC's Center for Children and Technology. Download the document and read it at your leisure or take a look at the Teaching Tips below. If you would like to use VITAL videos in your own lessons, these hints will help you make the most of them.

    Grades: All
  • Learning Through Video Production

    This media-rich self-paced lesson designed for teacher professional development lets you experience what it's like to go through the video production process so that you can ultimately guide your students through this process. Walk though the typical steps, including research, treatment, scripting, and capturing digital assets. Create a portfolio to track your experience, and keep classroom-planning notes to develop a successful video-production activity for your students. This lesson also features a list of additional resources for further reference.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Tricks of the Trade

    This document offers some handy tricks of the trade that will help you to capture and edit still images from a video segment using your PC or Macintosh computer, with no special software.

    Grades: 5-12