I carry this quotation from Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog round with me in my head, and it springs to mind every time I consider using YouTube with learners.
Because the following activity does actually so obviously engage the learners, it's one of my all time favourite classroom activities. I think the original source was probably Video (Cooper, Lavery and Rinvolucri; OUP 1991), so I've been doing it for 20 years or so, first with video tapes, now with clips from YouTube, particularly ads.
In pairs, have one learner provide a running commentary on a YouTube clip to partner sitting with their back to video.
An ad it works excellently with:
A rough outline of the stages of the lesson
- Divide the class into pairs, with one partner in each pair (A, C, E…) sitting with back to screen
- Play the video clip, the other partner (B, D, F…) providing a running commentary with as much information as possible
- Teacher provides any help with language
- Swop partners so that A (etc) now gets a new commentary from D (etc), with improved language
- A (etc), with help from partner, now has to write down script
- Class reaches concensus on what they think happened
- Everyone now watches clip, to see how accurate the agreed script is
- Share the clip via blog, Edmodo…, for further comments
- Find, share and comment further related clips, also via Edmodo
Other clips the idea works well with
Downloading YouTube clips
People always ask: I like to download the clips I use in advance, "just in case". Keepvid.com is an excellent tool for doing so.