Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Two-Minute Documentaries

K20 Center | Published: September 16th, 2020 by K20 Center


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Two-Minute Documentaries

Students collaborate to determine their response to a prompt and then create a short video to communicate that response in a creative way.

Two-Minute Documentaries


Students are given a reading or a problem to solve and then work in pairs or small groups to create a response. Once the groups have decided on their responses, each group creates a two-minute video to present their response.


  1. Present students with a problem or a reading as a prompt for the lesson.

  2. Group students into pairs or groups of three.

  3. Student groups complete the reading or solve the problem.

  4. Students plan a short documentary of their solution or response. This involves writing lines for performers to say, planning any important shots, and designating roles for each student in the group.

  5. Students use a video recording device to record their two-minute response. If this is being done in class, set a time limit.

  6. Once all student groups have completed their videos, have them turn in their work. If they used their phones to shoot video, ask that they upload the files to a class-only cloud drive (e.g., Dropbox, Google Drive).

  7. Optional Technology Integration: Students’ recorded responses could be published in a secure location such as Google Classroom, a private or unlisted class YouTube channel, or a class blog for the teacher and/or classmates to provide feedback.

  8. Optional Presentation: Have a whole-class viewing of the videos. This can occur virtually through a class blog or website or can be shown in class. If you are concerned about the content of some of the videos, be sure to watch them before making them available to the class.