It’s January and in many places that means cold weather and maybe a bit of snow. It can be difficult to capture students’ attention now that most winter holidays are over.
Creating a video lesson that explores different cold weather concepts is a fun way to boost student engagement.
these TED Education Lessons cover snowflakes, the coldest place on Earth, cold myths, and more.
The TED-Ed platform is especially great because educators can create lessons around any TED-Ed Original, TED Talk, or YouTube video. Once you find the video you want to use, you can use the TED-Ed lesson editor to add questions, discussion prompts, and additional resources.
Use these TED-Ed lessons for brain breaks, to introduce new lessons, or to introduce fun and engaging conversation into your classroom.
1. The science of snowflakes: You could say that snowflakes are just frozen water — but if you compare a snowflake to an ice cube, you’ll notice a big difference. Why do all snowflakes have six sides? Why are none of them exactly the same? And how do you ski on it? Maruša Bradač sheds light on the secret life of snowflakes.
2. A day in the coldest village on Earth: In Yakutia, the coldest inhabited region on earth, daily life is a constant struggle against freezing temperatures that can drop to 71°C. How do people live in this hostile environment? Kiun B shares a day in the life of a hardy local family in the remote, frozen village of Yakut.
3. Does the cold make you sick? Have you ever heard someone say, “Buddle up or you’ll get sick?” These words of warning resonate around the world as the first step in cold and flu prevention when temperatures drop. But does the cold really make you sick? In this lesson, we are going to learn more about how and why this can happen.
4. How an igloo keeps you warm: If you ever find yourself stranded in the snowy arctic (or bored in Minecraft), you’ll need to know how to build an igloo. But how can building an ice house keep you warm? It’s okay to be smart explains.
5. How does hibernation work? The arctic ground squirrel hibernates by burrowing under the permafrost and sliding around in a state of suspended animation. The female black bear may give birth while she is hibernating. The fat-tailed dwarf lemur prepares for hibernation by storing its fat reserves in its tail, which doubles its body weight. Why do these animals go to such extremes? Sheena Lee Faherty explains why animals hibernate.
6. What’s the coldest thing in the world? The coldest materials in the world are not found in Antarctica or at the top of Mount Everest. They’re in physics labs: clouds of gas held just fractions of a degree above absolute zero. Lina Marieth Hoyos explains how such low temperatures give scientists a window into the inner workings of matter and allow engineers to build incredibly sensitive instruments that tell us more about the universe.