Video—Visual Foundations

Readtopia Video Lessons actively engage students in building world knowledge and accurate mental models to support reading comprehension. Here’s how Video Lessons work!

Sacagawea comprehension video lesson
Sacagawea Comprehension Video Lesson

Anchor: A whole group activity helps students to make personal connections to the content and become more aware of how to effectively use video as a strategy to boost reading comprehension.

Watch with Purpose: A clear, compelling and common purpose for viewing focuses student attention on key concepts introduced in each video. (Whole group activity)

Students can watch videos over and over again to sharpen mental models and broaden world knowledge!


The Keyword Glossary provides simple definitions that support use of new content vocabulary within the context of the video.

Sacagawea video response sheets
Video Response Sheets

Respond to the Video: Leveled Video Response Sheets guide small groups of students in sharing what they remember about the concepts and events presented in the video, making personal connections to video content, and practicing new vocabulary as they engage in purposeful dialog with peers and adults.

Video Images for Discussion: Use these images to encourage and support discussion, sequencing, writing and more!

Sacagawea video images for discussion

  Research Says ...

“The images that form in your mind as you read—we call them "brain movies"—can be more exciting and memorable than a Hollywood film. More to the point for teachers, guiding your students to visualize as they read is an engaging and enjoyable way to boost comprehension and retention.” (Wilson, 2014)

Videos help to build background knowledge which “is one of the strongest indicators of how well [students] will learn new information relative to the content.” (Marzano, 2004)

Thematic Units