If you haven’t ever checked out all of the great videos on TEDed, now is the time to do so. Go ahead, we will wait…
TEDed is the youth division of TED, known for excellent speakers and videos on all kinds of topics, from science to technology to world ideology. And while TED Talks can be great to use with students, the shorter format and to-the-point narration make the TEDed videos a surefire way to engage students.
Here are just a few of the TEDed videos available along with some suggestions for using them with a study of geography. You can watch the TEDed videos on YouTube, or you can watch them on the ed.ted.com website. If you go to the TEDed website, there are usually quick quizzes and discussion questions to use with the videos.
Where Did Russia Come from?
This video would be great to pair with studying the rivers and physical geography of Russia. Or you could use it as a jumping off point for looking at some of the historic cities of Russia including Kiev and Moscow. Another thought for human geography would be to look at how the different people groups still exist in Russia today.
The City Walls: Constantinople
You could pair this video with a Google Street view or Google Earth view of modern Istanbul. Zoom in on Istanbul, and you will see the same outline of roads today that are shown on the video. A search for “wall” will bring you to many places where you can see the ruins of the ancient walls in street view. Spend some time traveling in Street View along the roads that flank the wall to see where it crumbles a bit in places and still stands tall in others.
This video would be great to use when studying SE Asia, since the Ho Chi Minh trail stretches from northern Vietnam, through Laos, back to southern Vietnam and stretching into Cambodia. The trail played a vital role in the Vietnamese War, and it has now become a popular route for adventurous motorcyclists. Here is a travel article on motor biking the Ho Chi Minh trail: http://www.wanderlust.
This final video would be excellent to include at the beginning or the end of a study of Europe. Or you could use it along with lessons on languages around the world. The video goes into the roots of English, going back even farther than the Anglo-Saxons and Old English. Another fun activity to do would be to look at all of the countries today that have English as an official language and trace those pathways back to England.