My Simple Show: Create your own explainer videos for free!

Create  explainer videos free with My Simple Show!

What it is: My Simple Show Video Creator lets students easily create professional level “explainer” videos. The finished product looks just like a Common Craft video, so cool! The step-by-step tool helps students think about storyline and the flow of explaining a concept.

How to integrate My Simple Show into the classroom: My Simple Show is a fantastic option for digital storytelling. Students begin by choosing to write their own script, or by uploading a Power Point presentation. Next, they can choose from one of many templates to start from, or alternately, start from scratch. The templates are an awesome option because they give kids an outline and break down the story telling/explaining process. For each step in the process, it guides students with a prompt and with some examples. My Simple Show auto-magically picks up words in the script and suggests pictures. Students can use the pre-selected images, choose an image from the My Simple Show library of images, or upload their own image or picture. In the final step, students add audio. This can be computer generated or students can record their own audio. The finished product is pretty impressive! Below is a video I made quickly today.

My Simple Show’s obvious use is for explanatory digital storytelling, but it would also be a great way for students to reflect on a field trip, tell a story, retell new learning (pssst. this is an awesome way to check for understanding!), or create their own “textbooks.”

Students can use My Simple Show to explain a historical event, introduce a biological process, introduce a physical law, summarize literature, summarize a biography, discuss pros and cons, explain a law, etc. Use My Simple Show to create whole class stories where each student contributes a portion of the explanation or story.  This type of video can be made over a few weeks using classroom devices as a writing center.  This would be a fun way to create an A to Z type book of learning, reflections by students after a unit, a 100 day video,  fact vs. opinion video,  a class video of poems, a phonics video, or a class video about a field trip that students took. Students can take pictures of science experiments and create a digital video detailing the experiment with text, images, and student voice reflections included.  The finished product can be shared with parents and families easily through YouTube, Vimeo, or downloaded as a MP4 file.

For a back to school night activity, take a picture of each student to add to a class video and record students sharing an explanation of a school day. This same idea could be used in preparation for parent-teacher conferences. Students can create a video about their learning during the quarter/trimester, record thoughts about why they are proud of the work they did, and add reflections.  These can be shared as a starting point for conferences, at the end of the conference, parents have a keepsake. My Simple Show could also be used for character education. Give the students a scenario or problem, and have them work out a step-by-step explanation or solution.

Because of the voice recording capabilities, My Simple Show, would be a great way for students to practice a foreign language.  They can illustrate a word or phrase accompanied by the audio.  Classes could work together to create a “living” digital glossary.

Be sure to give your students access to My Simple Show in your Maker Space, it is a great option for students to choose!

Tips: My Simple Show has video guides that lead students through each step of the process…I definitely recommend watching these at least once as a class or for the first round of creation!

Gettysburg Address Animated

Gettysburg Address from Adam Gault on Vimeo.

What it is: Today I learned about the Gettysburg Address animated video from my husband, @jtenkely.  This animation beautifully illustrates the famous words of Abraham Lincoln that kids around the United States learn and memorize every year.

How to integrate Gettysburg Address Animated into your curriculum: This animated video illustrating the Gettysburg Address, brings the famous speech to life in a memorable and meaningful way.  Discuss the artists choices with students, what imagery is used to convey the tone and meaning behind the speech?  What would they have done differently?  I remember reading the words of the Gettysburg Address in a government class and thinking that the words were dry…this because I was asked to memorize it out of a textbook.  I would have relished the opportunity to be introduced to the speech this way.  Beyond just viewing and discussing this video, use it as a source of inspiration for your classroom.  Ask students to take a famous speech (MLK’s I have a Dream or the Preamble to name a few) and create a video that conveys the meaning behind the words.  Students can create using stop motion techniques and Jay Cut, Animoto, VoiceThread, Go Animate, or Xtranormal.  Hold an inspirational viewing day where students have the opportunity to watch and discuss each other’s creations.

Tips: Vimeo blocked at your school? Download the video for offline viewing using Zamzar,, or KeepVid.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Gettysburg Address Animated in your classroom!