Katie Blunt, Matthew Winters
Secondary English Language Arts
Material Type:
High School
  • Short Stories
  • TED Talks
  • Video
  • march23
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Short Story Extravaganza

    Short Story Extravaganza


    In this student-facing activity, students will explore various TED videos as examples of digital short stories. After watching a video, students will complete a questionnaire and participate in a class discussion.  

    (Public speaking image - free to reuse - from  

    Resource Author: Matthew Winters, adapted by Katie Blunt

    Your Mission

    TED speakers are really just great storytellers! Throughout this term, you will watch TED recordings and analyze the videos as examples of short stories. Choose six of the following videos to watch. After watching a video, click on the “Short Story and Poetry Extravaganza” file attached in Section 2 to complete a questionnaire about the video you watched. Then, when you reach Section 3, participate in a class discussion about the video you watched. If you need help, please contact your teacher.

    (Public speaking image - free to reuse - from


    Cameron Paterson - "The Infamous and Ingenious Ho Chi Minh Trail"

    Claudia Aguirre - "What Would Happen If You Didn't Sleep?"

    Marcel Dicke - "Why Not Eat Insects?"

    Bernadette Berti - ¨Did the global response to 9/11 make us safer?¨

    Shohini Ghose - ¨Quantum Computing Explained in 10 Minutes¨

    "The Dangerous Race For The South Pole"

    "A Needle In Countless Haystacks: Finding Habitable Worlds"

    "A Brief History of Cheese"

    "Does Time Exist?"

    Tommy McCall - "The Simple Genius of Good Graphics"

    Anu Sridharan - "When Will I Get My Water Next?"

    Sarah Parcak - "Armchair Archaeologist"

    Marily Oppezzo - "Want To Be More Creative? Go For A Walk"

    "How Playing An Instrument Benefits Your Brain"

    Mark Shaw - "One Very Dry Demo"


    Your Assignment

    Complete the “Short Story and Poetry Extravaganza” document for each video you watch.

    Your Discussion

    Teacher Note:

    Teachers, you may choose to have students discuss the videos on any digital platform of your choice. For example:

    Using our class Flipgrid account, record a message in which you explain the video to someone who has not seen it before. Your recording does not need to be any longer than a minute. Your classmates can then post questions about the video you watched. Be sure to respond to at least one of these questions.