Student Engagement

5-Minute Film Festival: The Best Cat Videos for Educators

Need a break from the pressure of the school year? This Five-Minute Film Festival gives you something to laugh about, with a round-up of entertaining animal videos.

June 10, 2014 Updated October 28, 2015
Photo Credit: Popo and Stella

Okay, I'm only partly kidding. I figured we all could use a break from thinking too hard, so I've gathered this collection of funny, intriguing, and moving cat (and other animal) videos to entertain you! Happy watching.

Video Playlist: Animal Magnetism

Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube.

  1. Amazing Animal Superpowers (08:03) Joe Hanson from It's Okay to Be Smart shows us how evolutionary traits in the animal kingdom provide real-life examples of the kinds of powers usually reserved for comic book heroes and villains.
  2. Cat Herding (01:13)

    Anyone who has worked in a classroom knows that dealing with a room full of energetic kids can feel like herding cats. But check out the "real" cat-herders in this parody ad from 2000 -- not a job for the weak!

  3. 23 Unusual Animals - Mental Floss (09:30)

    Mental Floss is a great rapid-fire list show of intriguing facts and trivia. In this episode, The Brain Scoop's Emily Graslie guest hosts at the Field Museum to introduce us to some wacky animals.

  4. Dog Does Maths - Extraordinary Animals (03:30)

    Lest the math teachers feel left out, I've included Maggie the Jack Russell terrier, who will delight you as she pits her math skills against a class of seven-year-olds. Read this blog for more insight on how this is possible.

  5. Animal Heroes Who Will Melt Your Heart (01:36)

    Buzzfeed is shamelessly going for the feels on this one, which rounds up four stories of animals rescuing people and other animals. I'd top this list with Tara the Hero Cat, who saved a four-year-old from an attacking dog. Get the Kleenex!

  6. Moral Behavior in Animals -- Frans de Waal (16:56)

    Can animals show empathy, cooperation, fairness and reciprocity? These are traits usually only expected from humans, but in this TED Talk, Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal shares some surprising video footage that shows animals may have more in common with us than we thought.

  7. Six Stories Behind Animal Names (06:58)

    Oxford biologist Sally Le Page of Shed Science takes us on an etymological journey by sharing the origins of several unusual animal names. I could listen to her accent and snippets of British humor all day!

More Resources for Teaching About Animals

Whether you truly believe the Internet is made of cats or not, there's no doubt that most people love watching, playing with, and learning about animals -- kids perhaps even more than adults. I've gathered some resources below to help get your students excited by bringing animals into your lesson plans, whether you're teaching science or English language arts.

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