12 February 2023

Ten Videos for Maths Lessons

I rarely show videos in maths lessons but every now and then I deviate from my usual lesson routine. Sometimes it's to help something stick in my students' memories, and sometimes it's part of the lesson's narrative. I thought it might be helpful to compile a 'top ten' short video clips for maths lessons. If you've been teaching for a while then you've probably seen them all before. But if you're new to teaching, you might find something you like here.

Clip 1
Source: Despicable Me
Used for: Introducing the concept and helping students remember the definition.
Duration: 40 seconds

Clip 2
Compound Interest
Source: Futurama
Used for: Introducing the concept (can also set a related task - see this post from @MathsEdIdeas)
Duration: 42 seconds

Clip 3
Topic: Pythagoras' Theorem
Source: QI
Used for: Demonstration (but not proof!) of the theorem
Duration: 90 seconds

Clip 4
Topic: Pythagoras' Theorem
Source: Wizard of Oz (and The Simpsons)
Used for: Asking students to correct the theorem
Duration: 44 seconds
Read Simon Singh's brilliant book The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets for more on this.

Clip 5
Topic: Lowest Common Multiple
Source: Father of the Bride
Used for: Starting a discussion about contextual LCM problems (can also set a related task - see this activity from mathsbits.com)
Duration: 127 seconds

Clip 6
Topic: Metric Units
Source: TED-Ed
Used for: Narrative, enrichment, historical context
Duration: 5 minutes

Clip 7
Topic: Multiplying Negatives
Source: Stand and Deliver (a classic 'must see' film for maths teachers)
Used for: Helping students remember, and also prompting the question 'why' (plus a great opportunity to tell them about Jaime Escalante)
Duration: 40 seconds

Clip 8
Topic: Loci
Source: Taken 2
Used for: Seeing loci and map scale in action 
Duration: 165 seconds

Clip 9
Topic: Polygons
Source: Ed Southall
Used for: Exploring the names of polygons 
Duration: 155 seconds

Clip 10
Topic: Area Scale Factor
Source: Big Bang Theory
Used for: Helping students remember the conversion between square units 
Duration: 80 seconds

Finally, two of my favourite gifs:

There are also loads of great discussion points in this Twitter thread of maths from quiz shows from @missradders. And loads of mathematical hooks on this Padlet from @tessmaths.

I should also mention the best maths video website in the world, Numberphile, which is packed full of fascinating maths for both teachers and students.

Do you recommend any videos that you show in maths lessons? Comment below.


  1. The importance of pi from Person of Interest.

  2. One of my team found this fab clip from Jonny Ball on Capture/Recapture https://youtu.be/tyX79mPm2xY

  3. This is a classic on proportion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXtFSE7VlL0

  4. I’ve just come to link this on my department bulletin and noticed the HT to my quiz show thread. Thank you! Hannah :)