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A TikTok Lesson Plan

TikTok
(Image credit: TikTok)

The popular social media tool Tiktok is a robust video platform that has been used by millions. For an introduction to TikTok and an overview of some features, check out How Can TikTok be Used in the Classroom (opens in new tab)

This sample lesson is geared toward high school students, and is focused on physical education and health subjects, offering ideas for using TikTok in both in-person and virtual learning environments. 

Subject: Physical Education & Health 

Topic: Varies (Teacher/Student Choice)

Grade Band: High School  

Learning Objectives: 

At the end of the lesson, students will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate proper use of sporting equipment and form 
  • Articulate the appropriate use of sporting equipment 

An Initial Discussion on Digital Citizenship 

Since TikTok is a social media platform, it is important to remind students about their use, language, and privacy. All of these topics are part of being good digital citizens and can provide students with reminders on how to behave responsibly and ethically in online forums. If you need ideas on how to approach this, we offer tips on how to teach digital citizenship (opens in new tab)

Teacher-Made TikToks 

Since physical education and health courses do not typically meet as often as traditional subjects such as math and English language arts, it can be difficult to teach different topics in-depth. Also, students may not be interested in watching video recordings as they can become monotonous. 

For this lesson, you can use TikTok to teach students how to properly use different sporting equipment such as badminton rackets, lacrosse sticks, or tennis rackets. Modify the lesson to align with the equipment in the sport or activity you’re covering. The video should include a narrative explanation to accompany the demonstration. Then embed the TikToks with your instruction into your school’s LMS. 

Student-Made TikToks 

After learning about the proper form and usage of the different sporting equipment, students will naturally be anxious to try it out themselves. With permission from your school administration and parents, you can either assign students to create a TikTok demonstrating their learning while at home, or during class time. 

If students do not have access to the sporting equipment at home, it might be helpful to have a lending library or allow students to use other household items. For example, a fly swatter could be used instead of a tennis or badminton racket in the TikTok videos. This can also help students build their creativity skills which are part of the 4Cs (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity) (opens in new tab)

What Safety Features Has TikTok Put into Place? 

It is important to make sure all permissions from your school and families are in place before using TikTok, and TikTok has added several features focused on the safety of children and teens. 

Tikitok now offers a Youth Portal (opens in new tab), which is focused on safety and has myriad tips on keeping accounts secure, controlling one's own public presence, limiting unwanted comments, and filtering what others may view on one's account, as well as other tips and advice. Also, Family Pairing (opens in new tab) was introduced in 2020, in which parents can customize some of the safety features on their child’s TikTok account.  

What if My Administrator or Families Do Not Want Students to Use TikTok? 

There may be situations in which TikTok is not allowed to be used in your school. If this is the case, consider using an alternative video platform that your administrators and families may be more familiar with, such as WeVideo (opens in new tab) or Flipgrid (opens in new tab). In any case, be sure that you have the proper permissions for your students to use TikTok. If students do end up recording these videos on different platforms, you could house these all in one place on a Wakelet (opens in new tab)

While TikTok is a social media platform, it can also be used as an edtech tool to enhance lessons, engage students, and bring a unique and varied element into different learning environments. While this lesson focused on TikTok in physical education and health classes, it can be incorporated into any other subject as well. 

Dr. Stephanie Smith Budhai is an associate clinical professor in the department of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum at Drexel University, in Pennsylvania. She holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies and K-12 teaching certifications in Technology Education, Instructional Technology and Business, Computers, Information Technology, Special Education and Elementary Education. She is also the 2021 Emerging Leader for the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) and the 2017 ISTE Awardee for Excellence in Teacher Education. Dr. Smith Budhai is a Nearpod, VoiceThread, and Google Level 1 Certified Educator.  Dr. Smith Budhai has more than a decade of online teaching experience, and has published myriad books, articles, and invited editorials surrounding the use of technology and online learning in education. Her publications include: 

- Leveraging Digital Tools to Assess Student Learning  (opens in new tab)

- Increasing Engagement in Online Learning: Quick Reference Guide (opens in new tab)

- Culturally Responsive Teaching Online and In-Person: An Action Planner for Dynamic Equitable Learning Environments  (opens in new tab)

- Teaching the 4Cs with Technology (opens in new tab)

- Best Practices in Engaging Online Learners through Active and Experiential Learning Strategies (opens in new tab)

- Nurturing Young Innovators: Cultivating Creativity in the Classroom, Home and Community (opens in new tab)