Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Cut It Out

Mary Braggs, Jared Whaley | Published: August 31st, 2022 by K20 Center


Cover Image

Cut It Out

Students collaborate to summarize content, create illustrations, and record a brief video about a research topic or recently covered topic that demonstrates their expertise and understanding.

Cut It Out


Students are given a topic to research or review in small groups in order to summarize the most significant information. Once the group has written a summary, they will then create and cut out illustrations to use in a video to explain the topic to others.


  1. Present students with a topic to research or review.

  2. Group students into small groups of three to four students per group.

  3. Students write a summary of their topic.

  4. As a group, students decide what portions of their summary would benefit from illustrations to improve understanding.

  5. Students create paper illustrations and then cut them out. Large illustrations with a simple color palette are recommended for visual clarity.

  6. Students use a video recording device and direct the camera on a blank surface.

  7. As the summary is being read aloud by one student who is not visible in the camera frame, others will coordinate to slide illustrations in and out of the frame showing only their hands at corresponding times of the summary. Several takes may be needed to correctly time the illustration placement and flow with one continuous reading of the summary.

  8. 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.

  9. Optional Presentation: Have a whole-class viewing of the videos. This can occur virtually through a class blog or website or they 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.

Adapted from Common Craft. (n.d.).