Thursday, August 23, 2012

World History with Videos

Kiddo's world history learning has been nothing short of sporadic over the years. So far, for world history, we have relied on audiobooks, graphic novels (ala Larry Gonick), documentaries, history of scientific inventions and scientist biographies, miscellaneous historical literature, a child-led project or two and numerous dinner-table discussions.

This year, thanks to sale prices, I was able to grab this Teaching Company World History course for high schoolers by Prof. Linwood Thompson. It is very much a survey course and I don't intend for us to go into too much depth since he's already experienced some age appropriate depth in the past. And while history is an interest, it is not yet his passion. Treading lightly is therefore, my best bet.

The following are multimedia resources (fun websites, interactive maps where available and related documentaries) that correlate with the Teaching Company course. Experience has shown that when everything is planned ahead of time and links are easily available, we'll be more likely to actually use what we buy. :) So here we go with another list! (Ha, of course, who am I kidding...I'm also addicted to list-making!)

Note: Several links lead to YouTube videos and I should warn you that I've heard horror stories about hacked YouTube links. I'm also using this list as a catch-all bookmarking spot without actually checking to see whether each one truly fits our purpose. I will weed out bad links that don't do what they say they do. So until I get to watching them all, if you would like to use this list, please preview or supervise the viewing with your kids to prevent unpleasant surprises. Also, kiddo is almost past the stage of disliking violence in movies. Please be aware of possibly violent and other possibly inappropriate scenes if viewing with sensitive children. 

I will be adding more links to this list and including comments where possible as I find them and we view them so please stay tuned!
  1. Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent: Mesopotamia (interactive map), The Kings: From Babylon to Baghdad (YouTube) (part 1 of 10) -- violent scenes alert!, East To West (Netflix)
  2. Egypt—The Gift of the Nile: Egypt: Engineering an Empire (YouTube) and also available for instant viewing on Netflix, Egypt: Rediscovering a Lost World (YouTube parts 1 and 2 of 4 only)
  3. Early India and China: An interactive ancient civilizations map
  4. The Ancient Greeks: BBC schools site on Ancient Greeks
  5. Ancient Rome: BBC schools site on an Ancient Roman death scene
  6. The Growth of Christianity: How Christianity Spread Throughout the Roman Empire (YouTube)
  7. The Fall of Rome: Engineering an Empire: Rome (YouTube) (part 1 of 10)
  8. The Byzantine Empire: neoK12 Byzantine Empire playlist (streaming video)
  9. The Rise of Islam: Islam: Empire of Faith (YouTube)
  10. Early Russia and the Fall of Constantinople: Engineering an Empire: Russia (YouTube) (part 1 of 5)
  11. The Early Christian Church: Christianity: The First 1000 Years (YouTube), Christianity: The Second 1000 Years (YouTube)
  12. The Vikings: BBC Viking Quest (game), Vikings interactive from the Smithsonian
  13. Medieval Life: Medieval Map (interactive map), Terry Jones' Medieval Lives (YouTube)
  14. The Crusades: The Crusades: Crescent and The Cross (YouTube) (part 1 of 2), Crusades interactive map
  15. The 1300's, The Age of Despair:
  16. The Renaissance:
  17. Africa—The Civilizations of the Sub-Sahara:
  18. China: Engineering an Empire: China (YouTube) (part 1 of 5)
  19. The Mongols and Marco Polo:
  20. Early Japan through the Tokugawa Period:
  21. Discoverers and Conquistadors:
  22. North American Explorers:
  23. The Old World vs. The New World—Hazards and Benefits:
  24. Civilizations of The Americas:
  25. The Protestant Reformation:
  26. Tudor England:
  27. The English Civil War and Parliament:
  28. The Monarchs of Europe:
  29. The Growth of Democracy:
  30. The American Revolution:
More resources:
We may also rely on this Story of the World-Netflix documentary spreadsheet that someone generously shared on another forum.


  1. Wow! I am so grateful for all the great resources you've shared. I'm looking forward to previewing these! Thank you!!!!

  2. I just LOVE Terry Jones' stuff. And no, it isn't because I'm related to him...

    He's got another good series on the Barbarians that's out on DVD. Not quite as amusing, mind you.

  3. Wow, you're "prove you're not a robot" test is HARD. I didn't pass it the first two times.

    Does that mean I'm a robot?

  4. Fantastic resource list! Thanks!

    (And I'm finding those captcha tests harder these days, too.)

  5. Hey, thanks ladies!

    Sheila, I think you could be a Dr-Who-worthy-robot! Do you have any memories of people peeking down at you while you're all strapped up in a lab? You'd make a wonderful robot!

    One of those captcha thingies, I think it was on Sheila's blog, had a number I couldn't make out. They're getting fuzzier and harder to solve. Maybe the robots are getting smarter?

  6. Wow, this is another great list. The twins love this course. They worked through it a few years ago. I hope your son enjoys it as much!


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