Video Assignment: Katherine Fortier’s TEDxYouth Talk

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Video title: Emotional Intelligence: Katherine Fortier at TEDxYouth@ISH

Topic(s): Emotional intelligence, social intelligence

Search terms: video emotional intelligence ted talk Fortier

Time (of video): 9:56

Posted by: TEDxYouth

Date posted: February 10, 2014


Video description: Katherine Fortier, a child and educational psychologist, discusses the importance of high social and emotional intelligence. High EI can be the difference between success and failure in college and in the workplace.


Question/writing prompt: Choose three quotes from the video that help you understand why EI is as important for success as IQ. Then, explain why Fortier’s words stand out to you.


In-class activities: 

1. Emotional Intelligence in Practice Objective: Students connect their preferences with EI skills they can practice.


Show the first minute of Fortier’s TED talk. Ask groups to make a list of the characteristics that would help them choose partners for a team project. Collect reports from all the groups, and identify patterns.


2. Emotional Cues Objective: Students explore how emotional cues vary.


Show the video from 3:05 to 4:35. Ask groups to make lists of “subtle cues” that people with high EI either notice or fail to notice. Spice things up by encouraging students to talk about their perceptions of gender differences, about the appropriateness of EI in particular jobs, and about the need for EI in social and romantic relationships.


3. Building Emotional Intelligence Objective: Students gain an understanding of the challenges involved with building emotional intelligence.


Break students into groups to write tips for parents on how to facilitate the healthy development of emotional intelligence in their children. Each group should explain to parents why the advice “put yourself in his/her shoes” may not be constructive, and give two tips on how to build emotional intelligence. The tips should include a hypothetical example of a child’s behavior, a “wrong” response (i.e., a response that would impede the development of emotional intelligence) and a “right” response (i.e., a response that would facilitate the development of emotional intelligence). Students should be prepared to defend their tips.

  1. When groups report to the whole class, focus first on the explanation for why the advice "put yourself in his/her shoes" is not ideal. Then, let groups share at least one tip they developed.
  2. This activity could be expanded to a role-playing exercise with students acting out their hypothetical examples along with right and wrong responses.