By ETR | December 5, 2014
If you’re ready for some powerful and illuminating video viewing, take a look at the TED Bullying Playlist. Four speakers and one heart-lifting musical performance will give you new insights and more than a few moments of reflection.
Poet Shane Koyczan offers his spoken-word poem about the challenges and strengths of being different. As he describes his distinctive story, he manages get us in touch with our own experiences of differentness. He also helps us feel a deeper sense of compassion for everyone out there in Different Land.
Check out the video he created with some remarkable crowd-sourced animations (with 80 contributors) at the To This Day website. A free iPad app uses randomness to create unique versions of the poem. Users can record their own versions of the poem and share with friends.
Zak Ebrahim describes what it’s like to be the son of a terrorist, raised with the expectation he would follow that path. Instead, he chooses peace over hate. He tells an amazing story and is risking his life to do so.
Andrew Solomon has worked with people all over the world, learning more about how they find meaning by forging identity out of hardship, adversity and pain.
And finally, singer John Legend opens up our hearts with his rendition of “True Colors.”
There are lots of opportunities for student projects using these videos. Students might write spoken-word poems such as Koyczan’s, have a discussion about ways to choose peace over violence as Ebrahim has done, or do creative writing about identities that give them meaning in the way Solomon describes. Review videos before sharing with your students to be sure the content is appropriate—there are some adult themes and a couple of instances of profanity.