The top 15 YouTube history channels for your classroom

There’s a preposterous amount of video uploaded to YouTube – around 300 hours worth of viewing are uploaded to the platform every minute. That’s a whole lot of content – and almost impossible to navigate. YouTube is so much more than cat videos and home-video selfie uploads. You’ll never find your way around the vast sea of content on offer, so we’re here to help. Here’s a quick starter guide to the best channels and videos to either use as raw material for flipped lessons; for homework or revision – or just something to put on the screen when you’ve lost the will to teach. From quick clips to biopics and full-on lessons, YouTube can bring your history lessons to life. 

Do you have any favorite videos you use in your history classroom? We’d love to hear what they are! Share your favorites with the Daily Genius community by leaving a comment below, visiting the Daily Genius Facebook page, or dropping us a note on Twitter.

The top 15 YouTube History Lessons

Learn History: This YouTube channel provides loads of videos on historical events related to crime and punishment and the American west.

Animated Bayeux Tapestry: Students learning about European history can watch this video which takes the Bayeux Tapestry and brings it to life.

Surviving the Holocaust: Teach students about the impact of the Holocaust by showing them how it impacted this individual.

Oliver Cromwell: Here you’ll find photos and text that tell about the life of Oliver Cromwell.

Horrible Histories History from the viewpoint of the people, rather than the Great and the Good. Done in a comic way in a series of themed sketches. From the BBC.

HipHughesHistory: Keith Hughes sees himself as a simplifier. On his channel, he  posts upbeat explainers, mostly on US History and Politics but span across World History and general interest

Elizabeth I: Let students learn about the history of England by watching this video presentation on Elizabeth I.

Gettysburg Reenactment: Bring the American Civil War to life by showing students this reenactment of a battle.

G. P. Grey Not even clear who CGP Grey is, but this is a very nice set of explainers of complex things. Often starts with history, but branches out.

The Assassination of JFK: This famous video is a huge part of American history, and you can let students watch it via YouTube.

Fall of the Berlin Wall: Classes studying modern history can learn about the impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall through this news report.

Crash Course – US history: A playlist, aggregating the history of the USA in 47 episodes.

Crash Course – World history: Another playlist, curated by the same gentleman (John Green) who put together the playlist on US history that we mentioned above. This time: same idea, with a wider brief. The clue is in the title – the only question is why it takes 47 episodes to do the US, while the whole of the rest of the world can be done in 42.

How to Make a Mummy: Created by teachers, this animated video shows how the ancient Egyptians created their mummies.

A Brief History of Mankind: This video sums up the history of mankind in just a few minutes, making it a good intro to history classes.

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