The Smithsonian has a series of one-minute “Ask Smithsonian” videos that answer questions on a variety of topics.

Here’s an example:

There short, sweet and interesting to watch. But I plan on using them for something else, too…

Next year, I’ll be teaching a number of Social Studies classes to English Language Learners — Geography, World History, U.S. History. I could definitely see showing these videos and, as we study different themes, develop a simple template for them to use in creating similar short videos answering a question of their choice.

I’m assuming other teachers have tried doing something along these lines, so would appreciate hearing any ideas you might have…

You might also be interested in The Best Online “Explainer” Tools For Current Events.