Adult Ed
TV and Video in the Classroom



These lessons offer guidance and tips for using broadcast TV and video in the classroom. The pre-viewing, while-viewing, post-viewing model involves lots of reading and writing. In addition using TV and video can be a great way to introduce students to pre-reading, pre-writing, post-reading, and post-writing techniques.

Why TV? Most people like TV. They are comfortable watching TV. The same is not always true for reading and writing. So we can take this is two directions:

1. Get students engaged in a topic or story with TV, then move into reading and writing activities. TV provides background knowledge and a common experience. 2. Take advantage of the confidence that your students have in themselves as viewers to teach them reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.

It's a common experience: Let's say you give your class half an hour to read a short story to themselves in class. Will everyone be able to read it? Will everyone understand it? Of course it is okay for people to understand things on different levels, but for many activities, a common understanding is important. If you have your class watch a half-hour video together, chances are you will all be pretty much on the same page.

Engagement Is Easy: How difficult is it for students to sit in a classroom and read silently for half an hour? But watching half an hour of TV is easy for everyone. Once everyone is engaged, and with any luck, excited about a topic, it's easier to get the class engaged in reading and writing.


The only thing you really need is some kind of TV. A VCR will help a lot too. If you don't have a VCR, your choices are obviously much more limited. You can only watch shows that are being broadcast during class time.


Students will:
  • Practice Pre-reading and Pre-writing skills such as predicting
  • Practice summarizing
  • Practice in forming and articulating opinions
  • Practice making comparisons
  • Practice in abstracting themes and point of view