TED Talks for Middle Schoolers

05/02/20225 minute read
TED Talks for Middle Schoolers

At Crimson Rise, we love engaging our middle school students with TED Talks. We find the combination of video and lecture to be a perfect way to open up conversation and get young students learning about real world topics outside the classroom setting. So, whether your middle schooler has only five minutes to spare or needs to occupy a solid chunk of time before their piano lesson begins, one of the following TED Talks can be a great way to spark their interests in everything from neuroscience to music.

So, what are our top 10, go-to TED Talks for middle school students? Let’s take a look.

1) Where Good Ideas Come From with Steve Johnson (18 min, 16 sec): This TED Talk is all about how to make the brain as innovative as possible. Steve Johnson considers creativity as a state of mind and shares his tips and tricks for finding those “Eureka!” moments and turning them into a foundation for projects, motivation, and creative thinking.  

2) 5 Ways to Listen Better by Julian Treasure (7 min, 50 sec): Active listening is a skill we prize and prioritize within our Crimson Rise curriculum, and this video is a wonderful tool for introducing the skill to young students. In it Julian Treasure shares five exercises to help boost listening and increase attention and awareness.

3) How to Succeed? Get More Sleep! by Arianna Huffington (4 min, 43 sec):  Doing more is not always the answer to achieving more. Middle school students are developing physically and mentally at an extraordinarily fast rate due to puberty and lifestyle changes, which means that getting enough sleep is vital. In this video Arianna Huffington explores how sufficient sleep can make a world of difference in a person’s life (and in the world!).

4) Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator by Tim Urban (14 min, 03 sec): Whether it’s helping you do the dishes or completing their homework, it is likely your middle-schooler has attempted the fine art of procrastination. In this video Tim Urban explores the brain process behind procrastination, explaining what actually happens physiologically  and why we do it. 

5) *Weird, or Just Different? *by Derek Sivers (3 min, 12 sec): In this TED Talk Derek Sivers takes 3 minutes to show how stereotypes and preconceived expectations may work against us by keeping our minds closed. Viewers are encouraged to think outside the box and develop emotional intelligence to improve their lives. 

6)   The   Fringe   Benefits   of   Failure  by   JK   Rowling   (20   min,   58   sec): Did you know that JK Rowling’s original Harry Potter manuscript was rejected 12 times before it was picked up by a publisher? In this video the author explains why failure matters and what role it can play in somebody’s future success. 

7) Paper Towns and Why Learning is Awesome by John Green (18 min, 10 sec): Generation Z has been tech-savvy from their childhood and will likely be using the internet in ways still unknown to previous generations. In this video John Green helps empower this generation further by examining the internet’s role in communication and learning – just as we do at Crimson Education!

8) The   Power   of   Vulnerability   by   Brene   Brown  (20   min,   50   sec): In this video, researcher and storyteller Brene Brown shares her research on why vulnerability plays a key role in our ability to live fulfilling, connected lives.

**9) How Do You Define Yourself? by Lizzie Velasquez (13 min, 10 sec): Self-definition is a primary issue for young adults, especially because young students are so reliant on approval from their peer group. Lizzie Velasquez shares her personal journey of illness, acceptance, and overcoming bullying to inspire viewers to embrace their own unique qualities and life stories.

10) Try   Something  New  For  30  Days by Matt Cutts (3   min, 27 sec):  In this video, Matt Cutts discusses the value of trying new things; he says that the best way to start is to try something new for 30 days! We find this to be a great strategy for our Crimson Rise students, as it helps motivate students to learn new skills while giving them an end goal to shoot for.

Want more advice from Crimson Rise? Reach out to a Strategist today!

Your friendly neighbourhood Rise blogger, 



Learn more about Crimson Rise’s strategic mentorship, academic support, and extracurricular coaching for young students, and request a free consultation on your child’s journey!