Mixing It Up With Student Videos

Today’s Contributor: Irene Hidalgo

Irene is entering her eighth year as a teacher with AISD and her second year as an elementary teacher. Her past experience was in high school Spanish at Bowie and Travis High School. She enjoys creating thematic units where she can integrate all content areas and have her students create final products using technology resources along the way. She likes finding innovative ways to integrate technology in the classroom and helping others integrate it in their classes as well.

A few years ago I found myself in a high school classroom filled with students who all had access to the most up-to-date technology. If I had a crazy idea, I knew that it could be done immediately on their phones in class. I definitely took that for granted, because now as I embark on my second year in the fifth grade classroom, I’ve realized that my students can’t complete tasks in one day or even sometimes one week.  

About a month ago as I went through my dual language YPG’s, I came across procedural text for language arts. Throughout my mini-lessons I focused on the non-verbal aspect and visual component of procedural texts. I showed several videos of individuals demonstrating how to make origami, cook recipes, and all sorts of how-to’s. After a week of several examples, I knew I needed to step it up and tie up this unit in a memorable manner.

Using my boring recipe project from last year and a really cool video project that I used in my high school classroom, I created a hybrid assignment: “Delicious.”  

The objective of the assignment was pretty straightforward:

  • Choose a recipe that you love to share with family and create a video of yourself with a family member making the recipe.  
  • You cannot say anything in the video!  

I gave the class 15 days to work on it since ultimately it would have to be done at home.  

The following were the video applications that I felt were easy enough to use for students:

  1. iMovie (iPhone, iPad)
  2. Viva Video (iPhone or Android)
  3. Splice by GoPro (iPhone, Android, iPad)

Other requirements for the video were that students had to do all of the editing themselves, add any text or use index cards to show steps, include at least 6 steps, add transitional words, and use background music. The last step of the whole project was to upload to Google Drive and share with me. As part of the writing component, students submitted to me the recipe that they would be using on their video to make sure that they were on their way to getting an A.

As videos started rolling in, I could not help but to get really excited about the creativity being shared. I received several parent e-mails and notes about how nice it was to share an opportunity to make something with their child while creating something that could be shared with others.  

If I do something similar to this again I plan on changing a few things.  

  • The first thing I would change would be to show students how to use the applications prior to starting the videos. As much as I wanted them to use their critical thinking skills to figure out these applications, for some of them it became extremely stressful. I did share some finished videos from my high school teaching days, which sparked some inspiration for most of them.
  • The second thing I would change would be to have them experience uploading files onto Google Drive. The number one reason why so many videos were submitted late was because of the uploading portion. In class, students have definitely experienced sharing documents with me but lack experience with uploading.  


Overall, it was fun and memorable for students to play around with technology in a different way and create memories with the people they care about while tackling language arts TEKS for me.  

Enjoy some student videos below!


  1. Irene, this is so great! I sure wish my sons’ teachers would assign things for us to do together at home. I love that idea!

  2. This is absolutely awesome and something I would love to do when I teach organizational patterns next month. I think the students would be really excited to to do this with a parent or a family member. Thanks so much for sharing.

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