Social Sundays: Free videos to supplement my history class

As my readers know, I do not lecture.  I have written on this here and here.  Still, a 10-minute presentation on a topic can be very helpful for students, especially those who struggle with reading.  Here's five history-related video series that my students find interesting and I find helpful to introduce or reinforce information related to a variety of units.  I use these at stations, for homework, and as bell-ringers to kick off a topic.




  1. Crash Course:  you probably have already heard of John Green and Crash Course.  And yes, this John Green is the same guy who has written several young adult best-selling novels.  Although not appropriate for all levels, the interesting perspective Green puts on various history topics leads to some fascinating discussions.  His focus is on the big picture not the details.  Students love these. Good for World HistoryUS History Government,  and Psychology (taught by John's brother).
  2. Mr. Betts: music plus humor infuse Mr. Betts' videos on a variety of history topics.  Mr. Betts creates covers pop songs on topics ranging from the Constitution to World War 2 to president versus prime minister.  The majority of the videos are for US history, but there are a growing number of world history videos.  
  3. Tom Richey: Tom Richey creates straight up lectures.  He focuses on the main ideas related to US history topics with some European history as well.   Most videos take around 15 minutes.  The information is fairly comprehensive.  I recommend, especially for AP US History and AP European history review.   
  4. Vision Chasers:  Many of my students love Marvin Byrd's Vision Chasers channel.  He also lectures in a fairly no-nonsense, low tech way.  Still, there is something about the way he presents information that connects with students.  His videos present just one more way for students to gather information.
  5. Smart Songs: It's unfortunate that there are only 20 Smart Songs videos.  The topics are all related to government.  My students enjoy the videos which use rap to share information.  There is a lot of repetition which is helpful in retaining some of the big ideas. When we land on one of their topics, I often include a link to their videos for students with questions related to the topic.
My number one complaint with this list is that all the videos are provided by men.  I would love to find some great female history teacher videos to share as well.  Recommendations appreciated.  Let me know in the comments section below.


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Social Sundays is a bi-weekly post sharing tips, ideas, resources, and products for teaching social studies.  If you have questions or think there is something I should share, you can leave me a message in the comments below or at the store in the question and answer section.
  

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