Classroom Management

When to Show a Video

Do you show a lot of videos in your art room?

Videos should not replace the teacher, in fact, more and more, showing a video in class is highly frowned upon. It implies lazy teaching, or using a video to distract students so the teacher can plan.  We all know this is not the case.  I only show a video if it has DIRECT correlation to the Power Standards I am teaching and if it shows something I am unable to replicate as a demonstration live.

One solution to the video dilemma is to show the video while students are working.  The other day, as students were finishing up their Grant Wood Landscapes, I showed the video Linnea in Monet’s Garden, to introduce a new landscape artist, Claude Monet. Instead of taking the whole next class period to show the video, I overlapped the two lessons.  With only 45 minutes, once a week, time is precious.


This method worked great, because students were quiet, listening and watching off and on. They were working hard, but the atmosphere was more calm. I definitely recommend this strategy for management and delivering content.

The other day, You Tube also saved my life. Every year, I borrow the video Rechenka’s Eggs, to show my Kinders how a Pysanky Egg is painted. This year, I forgot to ask my college for the video, and though I owned it (ever done that?..ugh). So as I am planning for the day I realize I don’t have the video, but am slated to show it to the students that day. I could have rearranged my plan but I thought I would try You Tube first. They had the clip I was looking for! SAVED by the bell!

Now, I am not trying to recommend to you to scam off buying real videos for clips on You Tube, but it was a helpful teaching tool at that time. Technology is a blessing and burden, right?

You Tube is a great place to find short video clips that relate to your teaching and don’t take away from the time students need to make art. Be sure to review the videos in full first. I know that seems like common knowledge, but one time I was previewing while doing something else (distracted) and it was just a simple collection of Grant Wood’s work. Little did I know he painted a bare behind and the 3rd grade boys had a heyday with this. I waited for parent calls but received nothing. Oh My.

Another favorite video I show is the one of Wayne Thiebauld’s work and life from CBS Sunday Morning. I talked more about this lesson in this post.


Wondering when to Show a Video in the Art Room?

  • When the content directly relates to what you are teaching
  • Shows or Demonstrates something you can’t physically replicate in your art room
  • Allows students to meet an artist or person they would otherwise not be able to meet
  • Teaches the concepts you are learning in a new or interesting way
  • When the clip is short enough to get your point across but not to take away from student art production


What is your philosophy on showing video in the art room?

Feel free to link up in the comments any of your favorite short YouTube clips you use in the classroom. 

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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