Common Sense Review
Updated October 2014

Ted-Ed: The Arts

Fun, fascinating video lessons connect content across disciplines
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This module is part of the Website Ted-Ed.
Common Sense Rating 4
  • More than 60 video lessons span three categories: Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Value of the Arts.
  • Each lesson includes a video, questions (Think), further information (Dig Deeper), and a place to post responses (Discuss).
  • The Dig Deeper links are valuable for both teachers and students.
Christie Thomas
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
How Can Teachers Use It?

More than 60 video-based lessons span three areas -- Visual Arts, Performing Arts, and Value of the Arts. As with other Ted-Ed categories, the pre-made lessons include a video, questions, and links to related info, but can also be customized. In true TED fashion, the videos are bound to open eyes and spur conversation. Although most content is appropriate for middle or high school students, you'd be wise to preview any resources beforehand. A few clips, like “How to read music,” could be used with younger kids. 

There are plenty of STEM/STEAM connections (music meets math, science in photography) as well as ties to the humanities (Kabuki, Shakespearean insults). However, you'll need to hunt a bit to find these titles. Middle school teams especially will love weaving content across classes. Music teachers can introduce some advanced topics (see “A different way to visualize rhythm”). Of course, art teachers will embrace such creative how-to’s as making pop-up books and taking pictures, as well as blow-your-mind extensions like the “Taking imagination seriously” lesson. Standouts include "How playing an instrument benefits your brain," "How to read music," and "Is there a difference between art and craft?"

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