Even a monkey riding a bike can help teach a lesson... That's edutainment!

in steemiteducation •  3 months ago

This school year, I am teaching a resource class for students with special needs. I plan on teaching them strategies and skills that will help empower them to succeed in current and future classes as well as in life outside of high school. But before I get started, I thought it was essential that I show them a video of a monkey riding a bicycle while being chased by a dog... you know... normal stuff.

Although that video has nothing to do with the lesson I plan to teach, it does catch their attention. It also allows me to use the act of learning to ride a bike as an analogy for the real concept.

I will embed that video in a PowerPoint. After showing that video I will click to this:

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 4.06.48 PM.png

Hopefully those questions will spark a conversation about the process of learning to ride a bike. I will ask them to share their experiences with a partner and then with the entire group. Through this process, I anticipate my students will talk about using training wheels, having an adult hold onto their bike as they run with them, and eventually being able to balance on their own.

Next, I will ask them if they know the difference between the words "helping" and "empowering". After some discussion, I will show them these slides:

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 4.12.35 PM.png

I will then ask, "When someone is teaching another person how to ride a bike, are they helping or empowering that person?"

After discussion, I will call on Thor to help me out:

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 4.13.52 PM.png
This image and the word "Empower" will be animated to appear on command.

Then I will ask the following questions:

  • Can a rider learn if they never peddle?
  • Can a rider learn if the teacher never lets go?
  • Can a rider learn if they give up?
  • Can a rider learn if they never make a mistake?
  • Can a rider learn if they don’t know why they made a mistake?

After a class discussion, a giant "NO!" will cover those questions.

Next, I will ask "Although it may take some help to get there, what is the new rider empowered to do now and in the future?"

Although I know the students will come up with some very original answers, I bet they will include:

  • Ride for fun
  • Ride in competitions
  • Become a profession cyclist
  • Teach others to ride
  • Get a job at a bike shop

Then I will ask the million dollar question... and once again the Mighty Thor will help to make my point.

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 4.21.22 PM.png

At this point I will ask what they think they can empower themselves to do if they succeed in this class.

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 4.23.34 PM.png

This is only a start. As the students think of more ways they can become empowered, I will add them to the list.

Just in case the kids aren't pumped up enough, I will end with this video.

Finally, we will roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Thumbs up for rock and roll!!!!!!!!!!

Although I created all of these slides, the images on them are not original (I do not have a bike-riding dog). Here are the links to the sources.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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We mice reckon this is a pretty terrific lesson friend Han - and as you designed it - we reckon it makes you a pretty terrific teacher.

Now if we can only deliver Thor's hammer to the monkey - we reckon he can have a peaceful ride after that.



Perhaps the monkey needs a couple of guards who are good with a foil. Know anybody?

Thanks for the kind words you scoundrels!

I love this! I hope you and your class have a great time and they end up feeling positive and ready for the school year.

I sometime use the bike analogy when talking about learning but with a slightly different point to to it. One of the best ways to empower students (of all abilities and ages) is to help them understand how to break a difficult task into its key skills so they can learn those. In this case if learning to ride a bike is hard, we can learn to balance first, then learn to pedal later.


I'll be adding some of your thoughts on empowerment next time I use it. Thanks for the inspiration.

Great closing video :-)


Thanks. That one always makes me smile.

Its a shame the arent more teachers like you that actually care about the child education. I would love to sit through one of your classes.


I would call on you so much!


I would be useless

But you do have a bike riding monkey? lol! That kid though, Oh my GOD, that's one of the cutest things I've ever seen, hahahaaa!

I have to say, if we had been empowered instead of 'helped' in school, I might have gotten more out of it. It's one of my biggest complaints about public schools, how the system was- and still continues to be in many areas sadly- designed to make so many feel inferior. I was fortunate that it all came easily to me, but the same could not be said for several friends of mine. Or my daughter, which is a big part of the reason I decided to homeschool. She had difficulty retaining information when she was young, problems with her short term memory that I suspect may have had something to do with her being a vacuum assisted birth.

The last straw for me was when she accidentally brought home a book that was meant to stay in class, and the teacher accused her of deliberately taking it, and called her a liar when she insisted that she hadn't. She came home in tears, Grrr, I still get mad when I think about it!! Between that and my son's Kindergarten teacher wanting to label him ADHD and recommending medication- I just did not have a good experience whatsoever. My brilliant son, had the normal high energy of a five year old boy, thank you very much. How about NO to prescribing babies narcotics in the first place.
Sorry, I get a bit ranty on this subject.

I love everything about what you stand for as a teacher though. I know I've said it before, and you've loyally defended teachers in general, but they are not all like you. Or my closest friend who happens to be a teacher ;0)


Thanks for the kind words. That sucks that your kids were put in such a bad spot. As far as teachers in general go, I know some amazing teachers. I also know of some bad ones. I think it is like most walks of life, the vast majority fall somewhere in between. Not as bad as the ones your kids were stuck with, but not all super stars. A lot depends on the community you live in. If it values education, they find ways to attract and keep good teachers. If not...

Oh and don't apologize to me about the ADD meds. You are preaching to the choir. there are some teens who desperately need them, it is real. But they are way over prescribed. Before anyone ever suggests giving them to a pre-teen maybe they should try something crazy like... I don't know... letting them run around for a while! Maybe let them play?


You're absolutely right, the majority do fall in the middle. We lived in Florida at the time this occurred, and fortunately they had an excellent and strong home-schooling network. I suspect because the schools there are so bad that many people opt to go the same way. We were there a number of years, then because we home schooled we traveled a bit before we ended up back in NY. There is a great school in the next district over from where we live (where my friend works incidentally ;), unfortunately in this state there isn't an option to send them out of the district.

Yes, exactly! One of the things I learned about the school I took them out of- it was a full day of Kindergarten and they only had TEN minutes of recess! No nap time and they sat at their desks for snack time. The teacher complained that Ethan constantly wanted to get up- I'm more concerned about the thirty other five year old's who didn't! Sheesh.

How have you been, how was your summer? And the burning question- are you caught up in the steemmonster card craze? :)


Yep I have had some friends who started out teaching in Florida. I obviously don't know the whole situation but from their experiences plus the fact that Florida is bottom 5 in teacher pay, I would imagine it is tough to attract and keep good teachers there.

I bought a ton of cards right at the start. Now I am just waiting for games! I actually want to play. Will you be playing or just collecting?


I am definitely thinking about playing. I used to watch wistfully (and secretly because my religious parents didn't approve) while my older cousins played D&D, and I sat in on a few of a friend's games of Magic the gathering years ago- I always thought both would be a lot of fun and it seems like this would be my chance to experience it for myself. My husband- who is on steemit now by the way, @call-me-howie, - is also thinking about playing. We get pretty competitive with each other lol! I need to ask Paul if he's going to- I turned him on to the cards and he went bananas buying them hee hee,

Wow!!! What a unique and fantastic way to demonstrate to your students the importance of giving their best efforts and the rewards that can come from it. That is now two things that you have shared here that I want to do with my classes in the first week of school. Ways to encourage students and get them on board for wanted to empower themselves can come in many ways. This is so creative and it must have been fun to go through this process. It also gives you a chance to have some dialogue with the kids and start building those relationships and getting to know them while at the same time they are learning about who you are as well.


Thanks! What was unexpected is that because the kids don't know me yet (and know how cooky I am) they didn't quite know what to think of the opening video. As they get to know me they will loosen up and laugh a bit more... I hope.

Learning should start from home with parents teaching their child skills and values so that they can get prepared from venturing into the world especially if they have special needs. @hanshotfirst
That is why before marriage a couple should go into a mandatory seminar and teach them how to raise and manage their family and it will then create a healthy and functioning society.


I agree that parents should learn the skills needed to be excellent parents. It is the most important job in the world.

Sure mate. Lessons can be learn from anyone.
The urge to learn should never stop. We are here to learn something everyday

That last video is a classic lol.


One of my favorites for sure. I always smile at that one.

very inspirational... failure is never an end but a learning process... great post... God bless you

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I like that "never and end".

Good work :) liked the spiderman riding the bike :)

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I think that is from a video game but was pretty amusing.


I think that is from
A video game but was
Pretty amusing.

                 - hanshotfirst

I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

To empower is to help and yes one cannot improve if one cannot learn from mistakes. Loved the videos. Blessings.


I hope my students pick up on this.

Nice post! Thanks

you have really done well, the pictures should be able to aroused their interest and both psychomotor domain

lol nice video it's the best method for teach ! XD

Fabulous, brings me back over 60 years when I learned to ride a bike. :-)

This is amazing ! This is how school should teach students.

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Wow, the post is very unique. I liked it. Tao Annel likes the video. Frankly you post very well. .

great video i Loved the videos @hanshotfirst god bless you