Rocking Videos in The Classroom

David Cash–The Bad Samaritan–Great piece about  the role of bystanders


Knock Knock by Daniel Beatty
Linda Christensen has a great activity based on the poem, where she has students write a letter to themselves detailing advice they need to hear.

This is Water by David Foster Wallace David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech can be discussed and written about for a whole semester, if you actually had the chance.

What Teachers Make by Tayler Mali A great pick-me-up for any teacher

Poetry Winner Scratch and Dent–totally school appropriate Works well when starting students on writing their own poetry.

Ted Talks –The Human Beatbox. Need to see this to believe it.

Keynote speech by ten-year-old, Dalton Sherman. If students think that public speaking is only for adults, they need to watch this. Also, this works well when discussing rhetorical devices.

Wish List by Pearl Jam

A Pearl Jam song with metaphor after metaphor, discussing wishes. After listening two times students write their own wish-list poem

Wishlist on Letterman

Morgan Spurlock’s Thirty Days

A member of the Minutemen has to spend thirty days with an undocumented family in East Los Angeles.

Video works really well with any unit on the driving forces behind immigration to America.

30 Days: Immigration from MacQuarrie-Byrne Films on Vimeo.


Suncreen by Mary Schmich
Originally thought to be by Kurt Vonnegut, this commencement address was written for an op/ed column in a newspaper and went viral. We discuss the speech and then I have students write their own commencement address, usually on the day back from winter vacation.

Griffith vs. Paret–commentary at end by Norman Mailer

The last moments of this fight. Paret died later that night. Mailer’s commentary works really well with discussions on rhetoric.

When writing to the Sunscreen model, video works well to help students brainstorm ideas.

Steve Jobs Commencement Speech
When it comes to inspirational, can’t beat this. Great for advisories.


Eric Thomas Motivational Speech–For some, this is really insprirational.

Generation Like, PBS–Douglas Rushkoff’s follow up to Merchants of Cool

Superheroes by Gayle Danley

Superheroes by Gayle Danley (text)

If I Should Have a Daughter by Sara Kay


The Bad Samaritan–60 Minutes.  David Cast

A great piece to discuss the responsibilities of bystanders.

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