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"Reading" Skills - Video Clip Edition!

Updated: Apr 26, 2022

Last time I shared my favorite ways to target higher level language skills with audio stories. Another way to up the difficulty level is to keep the visuals in and take the audio out. Wordless animated videos are a great way to help kids target making inferences and predictions.


Most people think of Pixar when they think of good quality short videos. Pixar does know how to craft one heck of a good wordless video! But they're also good at hiding them behind paywalls. If you're looking for some free alternatives, there are so many great independent short videos available on YouTube. I find a lot of them are uplifting (see Present or One Small Step) or down right tear-jerking (looking at you, Kiwi!) but I find the funny videos keep my kids most engaged. These are some of our favorites.


  • The Box - cute story of an unexpected friendship. The animators did a great job portraying emotion without fully anthropomorphizing the little mouse, see if you can find words to describe what the mouse is feeling and how you know. There's also a scene that starts out very ominously (no animated mice were harmed in the making of this film!) - why does it feel ominous and how does it change?


  • Ormie the Pig - In this very relatable short, the pig just really wants some delicious cookies sitting temptingly right out of reach... and shenanigans ensue. I like to use this clip when working on making longer cause/effect sentences. What is he going to try to do with that bowling ball? Why did he grab an enormous rubber band?


  • Snack Attack - a fun short that challenges your perception. Try telling your kids ahead of time that there's a twist ending, see if they can figure it out on their own.


  • Catch It - first of all, meerkats are adorable and the clip is worth watching just for the sight of them sleeping in a pile. I like to push my kids to consider why the meerkats are all entranced by the sight of that one fruit, and why the vulture wanted to steal it. Once the meerkats reclaim the fruit and are running home football-style, pause and see how your kids think it will end.


  • Egyptian Pyramids -


  • Pigeon Impossible - fun action short that apparently inspired the movie Spies in Disguise. See if your kids know what kind of movie it's supposed to be, ask them how they know. What motivates the pigeon; does that change at some point?


  • Dust In - a 'rivals turned friends' story between this adorable pug and the new robot vacuum. How does the pug feel about his new companion and how can you tell? Why does it change?


I hope these shorts lead to some good discussions with your kids but, above all,

remember to have fun!

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