(last updated January 2019)

Incorporating 1990 Institute Video Contest In Your Classroom

Looking to engage your students with 1990 Institute Video Contest?

Here are some teaching tips and resources for middle and high school teachers, if you are introducing our Contest as an project outside the classroom, or integrating it more fully into classroom curricula.

  • Step 1:  Please register for our 1990 Institute Video Contest Educator Community FIRST,  so you can stay on top of news & more resources.
  • Step 2:  Familiarize yourself with our Contest Rules to assist your students’ process
  • Step 3:  See our Classroom tips & resources below.

1.  Educator Goals for our Video Contest:

  • Use the contest to help students deepen their learning about China and their global awareness, while seeking balanced perspectives.
  • Have students express their opinions, observations, and understandings about China or themselves in a personally relevant way.
  • By creating video with animation, rap, music, performances, or other creative techniques, students will have fun while they are learning about the subject.

2. See How Our contest Meets Common Core and ISTE standards.

3.  Teachers Toolkit:  Assignments, Rubrics & More

If you wish to assign our Contest as a class project, explore our Toolkit and more below that are designed for Middle and High School Teachers.


4.  Classroom Teaching Guide:  Steps

After you you review some of the above, the Teaching Guide below will walk you through the steps to integrate 1990 Institute Video Contest as a curriculum unit in one of your classes.

1.  Choose a subject or course unit that will be helped by students thinking deeply about a topic or issue.
  • Students can have fun with the topic or be serious about the topic, but the goal should be to think more deeply about it in their own way.
  • Have them prepare for the unit by brainstorming what they already know about the topic. Break them into teams.
2. Plan a TIMETABLE that includes the following:
  • X # classes for teaching unit material (put whatever # of days you have already set aside for the unit selected).
  • 1 class period: Challenge the class with a question they could answer or address in their team videos (or brainstorm ideas; or give them several suggestions, or let student teams come up with their own video ideas [best option!]).
  • 2 days class time (plus homework time) for teams to research and plan the video main ideas; plus, teams decide each person’s role. Possible roles include: videographer, scriptwriter, location manager, sound manager, film editor, technical support, director, and of course, actors.
  • 3 days scriptwriting or detailed storyboarding.
  • 4-5 days production: filming the video per the script.
  • 1-2 days editing the video into final version.
 3. Implementation:
  • Teach the main instructional part of your unit first.
  • Second, prepare students in the requirements of the video contest.
  • Spend time talking to students and showing them exemplary videos (see “Resources”) that excite them about the subject and what they might do with it. Let students feel they can explore their own ideas on their teams.
  • Give students the ASSIGNMENT so they have target dates to meet.
  • When students have finished their videos, share them in class and use the discussion to complete the unit instruction.

5.  A Teacher’s Perspective

Get inspired! See this video from  C-Span Fellow and teacher Tracey Van Dusen of Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, MI, who discusses how she incorporated C-Span’s StudentCam documentary competition into her classroom. It also includes video testimonials and suggestions from her students.

See also: