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. 

Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • jessicabalsley

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  • LynnAlison

    Showing a video for the teacher to have time to do work is a sin.  I agree that it must be tied directly to what you are teaching or it is just busy work for the children no matter how good the video is.  Now that we have DVD’s it is so easy to stop the video and discuss the point that you want the students to glean and skip over the parts that you feel do NOT add to what you are teaching.  I love my Smartboard because of this. The interaction between the videos and the students is amazing and causes more meaningful learning than before I had this in my classroom.

  • marieelcin

    I love using videos- mostly youtube short clips. In the last 2 weeks I showed 5th graders a range of drawing/mark-making machines and we analyzed and contrasted each video, and I showed 3rd graders an animated version of the Bayeux Tapestry to show how it illustrated time. The kids love watching the short videos and it engages their brains in different ways than just showing an image.

  • My students LOVE Tricia Fugelstad’s videos too.  They are really short,  generally just 3-4 minutes long.  They are very engaged in the lessons.  My kinder and 1st graders favorite is the Glue Blues.  My 4th and 5th grader’s favorite is “Bye Bye Road” .   There are so many good ones.  Check them out!

  • Tery Castrogiovanni

    I use video clips I find on You Tube and other places that I discover that are short but informative. The students don’t want to sit and watch a video, they want to do do their art work. My students love the little clips though. I try to find ones that will inspire them!

  • Ms. Barrett

    our school has a You Tube blocked. How can I download videos to show from my computer?

    • I believe there is a way to download them directly to your computer. Keepvid.com

    • leah

      use realplayer it stic to any video you are watching an there is an option to download and even convert to other formats