Grade 5

Ted Talk Back to School

Creative Communicator, Empowered Learner and Global Collaborator
Ted Talk


Ted Talks is a free website that covers a variety of topics. You can use Ted Talks effectively in your classroom through video. This can be used for elementary, middle school, and high school depending on the subject area.  It brings together the brightest and best in a broad spectrum of fields, like technology, engineering, music, and more. Ted Talks help get students thinking critically.

The following are ways you can use Ted Talks in your classroom:

  • Classroom Inspiration
  • Teach a Skill
  • Teach a Subject/Topic
  • Demonstrate the Value of a Subject

Ted Talks also offers teachers professional development. Ted Talks has embedded questions to ensure listening comprehension and guide classroom discussion.

Students will:

  • Be able to collaborate with classmates to create a poster based on the Ted Talk.
  • Be able to listen attentively to a Ted Talk and answer questions throughout the talk.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Hackschooling: Logan coined this term because he didn't like the reactions he got when he told people he was homeschooled.

  2. Priority: Priority is a thing that is regarded as more important than the other.

To prepare for this lesson:

  • Go to the Ted Talks website and feel free to look around. You can sign up for a free account if you want so it can save your favorite videos you might want to use in the future.  Feel free to type in a topic in the search bar.   

  • Watch the video on Classroom Inspiration by a 13-year-old boy. You will answer embedded questions throughout the talk.

  • If you have a Google Classroom or another bookmarking website, make sure to copy and paste this website as an assignment. 

  • Have poster boards and markers ready to go for each team of four-six at the end of the lesson.

  • Make sure students have their own Chromebook and headphones for the assignment.


  • This lesson is on Classroom Inspiration.  This video presentation is by a 13-year-old boy from Nevada,  Logan LaPlante. In this video, he discusses how education and schooling are really completely in the hands of each learner.  Logan talks about how to be on your way to being happy and healthy by “hackschooling” your own education! This talk is perfect for back-to-school time to help establish your classroom culture.
  • There are so many Ted Talks videos that are appropriate for student use. If the lesson on hackschooling is not relevant to your classroom, there are many other Talks to choose from. 

See Accommodations Page and Charts on the site in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. Teachers should bookmark this website for easy access. Log into Google Classroom, Symbaloo, Diigo or Wakelet and post the website as an assignment for students to do.  

  2. Give some background knowledge to the students on what “Ted Talks” are.  Tell students that as they are listening to the talk, they will be answering questions that will pop up on their screen throughout the talk. It will tell them right away if they got it correct or incorrect.

  3. If applicable, have students log into Google Classroom and begin the assignment.  

  4. When students are done (about 15-20 min.), have them divide into teams of four-six.  Give each team a poster board. Students will use markers to reflect on their observations from the video onto the poster.

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Ted Talk has embedded questions throughout the talk to ensure listening comprehension and guide class discussion.

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

Creative Communicator
6d. Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Empowered Learner
1c. Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

Global Collaborator
7c. Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad 

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

App, Extension, or Add-on:

Classroom Inspiration

Ted Talks



Reading: Quote accurately from a text (video) when explaining what the text (video) says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text (video).

Writing: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts (video) to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Students will create a poster with their team based on the Ted talk video.

This task card was created by Dawn Phillips, Wyoming Public Schools. January 2020.