Grade 3

Student Created Tutorials

Innovative Designer
Three students at desktop cartoon


Students will follow a design process to create a video tutorial by recording the screen. Screencasting is a great way to capture the screen of your computer to create how-to videos. Students will learn how to use a screencasting tool to create and record a three-minute tutorial.

This activity will take several class periods. The students will need to experiment and learn how to screencast first and then create their tutorial. 

Students will:

  • Be able to create a short tutorial to demonstrate and teach something to others.
  • Be able to share their knowledge with others.
  • Understand how to use a step-by-step design process.
  • Be able to evaluate their video artifact through the use of feedback from classmates and make improvements as indicated.
  • Be able to reflect on the process and their results.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Innovative Artifact: An innovative artifact is an original project using a technology tool that is created to share information in a creative manner.

  2. Design Process: The design process is a step-by-step design process that helps one to generate ideas, test them, and solve problems.

  3. Digital Tools: The use of digital tools, such as video and screen capture, online templates to create an artifact.

  4. Prototype: A prototype is the project draft that will be shared and shown for feedback for improvement.

  5. Tutorial: A tutorial is intensive instruction given in some subject to an individual or a small group.

  6. Perseverance: Perseverance is the continued effort that results in an improved artifact.

  7. Video: Video is visual media using visual images.

To prepare for this lesson:

  • Teacher shares some screencast tutorial examples made by students or do a live demo of your own.

  • Review the Design Process in Action from PBS

  • Provide paper or digital storyboard templates for students to draft their tutorial ideas.

  • The teacher loads the Screencastify tool or other screencasting apps on student devices. (Chromebooks)

  • The teacher introduces students to Screencastify using this video tutorial.

  • For those districts that are not using Chromebooks, there are several excellent web tools to use.

  • Here is a video showing how to edit the video using the Screencastify tools. 

See the Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students website in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. Students participate in brainstorming ideas for short tutorials after they see the teacher provided or created examples. (This might be typing a spelling vocabulary word using a word processing program, this might be demonstrating something with a draw program, showing how to type in a search for an image on Pics4learning, etc.) KEEP IT SIMPLE

  2. The teacher presents the steps in the design process and shares a template to be used.

  3. A student selects a topic on something that they are good at and can explain or teach another person in three minutes or less using a computing device.

  4. The teacher explains and shows the Design Process Chart:

    • Students identify the topic.

    • Explain who the tutorial is for, and who might benefit from their tutorial.

    • Review the elements in the Tutorial Rubric.

    • Write down their idea and tell it to a class partner to improve their ideas.

    • Write a script of what they will say.

    • Identify what they will show on the screen (the URL to a page).

    • Do two test runs without recording, using their computing device and narrating it, having their partner time it.

    • Record when ready.

    • Re-record as needed.

    • Share with the class and teacher

  • Students can work in small groups or in partners as they work on their tutorial template.

  • When ready to record, the student has loaded the icon for screencastify or another recording program.

  • Click the Screencastify icon or start the recording. Click desktop or camera depending on what the student is recording.

  • Click the record bar at the bottom.

  • Student previews their video for thoroughness.

  • The student shares the tutorial with others.

  • The student writes a paragraph reflection on how the process went and the stumbling blocks they had to solve.

Different options for assessing the students:

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Innovative Designer
4a. Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
4b. Students select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.
4c. Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.
4d. Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.


Students are writing explanatory essays, directions on their selected topic. They are using speaking and listening skills.

Students can explain math tasks.

Students can explain information on a given science topic.

Students can describe historical events that took place in various locations using MapQuest or Google Maps. 

This task card was created by Julie Hoehing, Lake Shore Public Schools, February 2018. Updated November 2023.