When I first started using Discovery Streaming, it seemed like it was my go-to resource for Science and Social Studies. Slowly, I started finding more and more ways to integrate it into my math instruction. Reading and Language Arts instruction were the last ones to come along because I couldn’t wrap my head around the best way to use streaming video to enhance my teaching of reading. But, when I discovered Weston Woods, one of the many publishers whose work is featured in DE services, I knew just what to do!
To find the best resources from Weston Woods, there are several ways to do it. I’ve found that the easiest is to…
1. Log in to your DE account.
2. Type “Weston Woods” into the search bar.
(Complicated, I know)
Over 1200 resources come up here, and most of them are animated versions of new and classic children’s literature that range from 3 minutes to 30 minutes. So why is this helpful? Here are a few ways that I use Weston Woods’ works to help me teach my elementary students how to read. Many of these ideas focus on the idea that sometimes to teach a comprehension concept, we actually have to get the reading out of the way.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears is an excellent way to teach cause and effect. I write down five causes and five resulting effects onto individual index cards which are based on the video of this classic story. After watching the short clip, students each get one card. They have to find their corresponding cause or effect based on what happened in the video. This allows students to focus on the concepts of cause and effect without getting tripped up over reading, which I have found is exceptionally helpful for my struggling readers. Once they understand the skill, it’s much easier to translate into practice.
John Henry is an excellent resource for teaching plot to students. By referencing the video, students pick out the important details to add to a plot diagram, such as rising actions, climax, and resolution. The video of this story allows students, again, to focus on the learning concept, instead of just the words on the page.
And what about theme? That’s always been a tough concept for students and teachers… until Little Red Riding Hood. Short video clips like this are an engaging and meaningful way for students to practice putting the pieces of a story together to understand a theme.
What other literary elements and concepts do you find hard to teach or difficult for your students each year? How could taking the reading out of the equation help them learn? Once students feel confident with the skill in other settings, they bring that confidence to the reading part of the equation and DE can help!