Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Videos of Analysis

Common Core requires students to read and analyze nonfictional text.  As they get older, students will need to analyze multiple documents and write a DBQ (document based question) response.  Here is a way to scaffold the informational text analysis.  Teach students to annotate pictures of text.


  1. Some Text, picture, etc.
  2. Awesome Screenshot Extension
  3. Screencastify Extension
Use Awesome Screenshot to take a picture of the text.  

For those who have not used it, awesome screenshot allows anybody to take a picture of a webpage or a part of a webpage and then annotate it with arrows, shapes, text, etc.  Play with it.  It is how I made this picture.

But once you or your students find a document and take a picture... STOP.  We are going to use the annotation tools to create a video.  Get the picture and plan out the annotations.

Use Screencastify to create a video of the annotation.

Screencastify allows a user to record the action in a tab and the audio captured by a microphone.  Start the screencastify extension and begin recording.  During the recording, annotate the image and talk through the annotation.  This does not need to be long.  Just a quick analysis of the document.

Once the video is created, view screencasts.  Students can Share the screencasts and get a link to the video they created.  Turn that link into google classroom or however you accept assignments.


I have had teachers do this where they break the students up into groups and provide each group with a different primary source document.  The groups analyze the document then follow the procedure above. Groups turned in their video link via email.

The teacher then showed all videos and students had to choose 2 documents and analysis as evidence in their response to a DBQ as homework.  In a class of 8 groups, groups analyzed 8 informational text documents in 20 minutes and all students watched them, (8 x 1 minute videos).

Yes, there are other ways to do this and other applications.  Enjoy.

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