Video Story Problem Planning Template 1.0

The Video Story Problem Channel and concept have both been gaining steam since a small group of educators started collaborating on them in the fall. Currently there are almost 60 videos of math, science, and inquiry based problems that have collected over 4,000 views! That’s close to 70 views per video! I don’t want to applaud just the numbers we’re all amassing, because the learning and work that students are accomplishing added to the new avenues educators are exploring for publishing and creating materials for their classes is really what payout here.

Just take a look at this recent submission from Tyler Hart, who has managed to capture an amazing “any questions” type of open ended video story problem, in which he asks his 3rd graders to create their own word problems to this video. It was such a fantastic concept to see in action at the elementary level that I had to share.

I’m starting to really enjoy watching how each teacher involved with this project approaches the challenge with a classroom of learners. From more traditional word problems turned into video asking for a specific answer to much more open ended video story problems asking students to pose questions rather than solutions, this project is beginning to beg the question, “How do we make this as routine or as simple as students writing a paper or working a list of math problems?”

Which is why I created this very simplistic, and rather crude, planning template for teachers to hop on board with the video story problem concept. I choose what I’m going to call the “lowest common denominator” type of video story problem; presenting a simple problem using a real life context, and then present its solution. As an added bonus, students are encouraged to flip the paper over and write the entire script for their video on the back side once they’re done planning out the problem, and before they record. This is actually one of the only rules (if there are any) that I hold paramount to creating video story problems; the students should have a clear road-map to follow for shooting the video, thus writing out a script so that they think everything through at least a couple of times before grabbing a camera.

This is the first draft, created with Comic Life 2. Ideas for version 2.0 are eagerly accepted!

If you’d like to try making some video story problems with your students, PLEASE feel free to download a PDF version of the template below, and start posting and sharing the videos you and your students create on Vimeo. I’d love to include them on the Video Story Problem Channel, and explore this wonderful intersection of writing, math literacy, and media!

Oh, and if you have suggestions for improving upon this template, I’m all ears!

Video Story Problem Planning Template (PDF)


  1. Ben-
    As you know, I love the video story problem idea. I’m looking for ways to push my students to think critically and create richer and more complicated problems. It’s going to be a focus of mine during the second semester. Thanks for the rubric!

    1. It’s still a pretty crude graphic organizer, but I felt like I needed something to start with as I’m going to be working one on one with a few students in the next week on the whole video story problem idea. Anything you can add in the way of feedback for version 2.0 of the template is much appreciated after you give it a go with your students.

      After that I want to create an entire site that categorizes the types of video problems so we can show teachers how it can be a regular part of their instruction, not just a “this is cool, let’s do it for a week!” type of experience.

Comments are closed.