Good morning! Time flies when you are having fun and we are getting done with 2023. Soon we will be onto 2024 and a whole new series of documentaries for the classroom. Next week, the blog is enjoying a well-earned vacation. Now for a quick little year-end review of 2023.
The first major change that was obvious is that in January I started posting blogs daily. This was done because there are a ton of documentaries that are available on YouTube and posted daily on YouTube and there was no way I could continue with the three-day-a-week blogging and keep up with what is new. I still have a list of older documentaries that I would like to do that I have not yet done yet. With all the channels I follow those blogs keep getting pushed down the list. So I decided to do five days a week during the school year and then drop down the blogs to three days a week for the summer. The summer blogs are blogs I will try to keep lighthearted.
Another change I made was increasing the reviews to 700 words instead of the usual 600. There were documentaries I reviewed where 600 words were too few and so I decided to increase the length of the blogs. Only blogs that are review time and suggestion blogs will have a longer word count.
The biggest change you should see it in the blog list. It was something I started in 2022: I added times to the documentaries! I felt like including times would help the teacher determine whether or not to show that documentary over one class setting or two class settings. It may have taken me a couple of months, but I finally completed including the times on my documentary list. During the adding time process, I also made sure the blogs I suggested were still listed on YouTube and if they were not I removed the links from the blog. I kept the blogs on the list in the hope they will get added back in the future, but if not I wanted to have a record of what I was suggesting. This record will help teachers find documentaries beyond YouTube. I also included the time length in the blog reviews too.
Speaking of the documentary lists, I added a few categories such as royals, Ancient Rome, Ancient China, and Ancient America. I tried to avoid going overboard on the royal documentaries but in light of the death of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022, I decided it was okay to share a royal documentary once in a while. After all, royal families are part of history too. I ended up starting the year with a History Meets Geography section but decided to put the documentaries I had on there in the Royal section. I also decided to share YouTube Channels that can be shared as part of a discussion or a writing prompt in history class.
I also tried to take the time and look at pacing guides for schools when it comes to historical topics that are taught in the classroom. It has been a while since I have sat in a history classroom in middle school or high school so I had to do my best to remember what I was taught. So far this blog has been a reflection of what I remember. The pacing guides I have found have been an interesting read. I will have to keep those guides in mind when I do my 2024 suggestions.
What will 2024 bring? There will be plenty of new documentaries and old documentaries to review. I hope that I can knock down my documentary to-do list. I want to find more documentaries on the Renaissance and the Reformation because that is one area I am lacking. I may also expand my blog to include more documentaries on America. I have done a few and that is not enough. I guess you can say that it is easier to do more documentaries featuring topics in world history because there are more high-quality documentaries in comparison. It has been great watching these documentaries for all you teachers and I am glad that I could help you select documentaries for the classroom.
Hello and good morning! It is the end of 2023 and I am doing my year-end reviews and top ten list. Today we are going to look at the Top Ten Fun and Frivolous documentaries. Mainly these are documentaries to be shown for fun and to give the students a brain break. These documentaries are chosen from blogs done in the past two years.
The usual disclaimer, this list is my opinion only and should be taken with a grain of salt. The purpose of this list is to help teachers, substitute teachers, and continuing learning lovers to help further learning select something to use for the classroom.
1) Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball - YouTube (1:26:00)
Over 200 years ago, Pride and Prejudice was published. It was one of Jane Austen’s most beloved novels. To appreciate and understand the novels in the world Jane Austen lived in, a group will perform an experiment. They will recreate a regency ball. What would have really happened at the ball? This is a way to help understand what Jane Austen was trying to say. This group will recreate the sites and sound of the ball and will reveal the hierarchies involved in the Regency Era. *Highly recommended for both a history classroom and an English classroom.*
2) Diva Mummy - YouTube (49:47)
While ordinary people fought in battles, the aristocrats celebrated and grew wealthy. There was a Han aristocrat named Lady Dai. Lady Dai would not ordinarily make history. However, when her tomb was opened the discovery sent shockwaves through the archeological community. Her mummy was the best-preserved mummy in the world. She was known as the perfect mummy. Her lifelike mummy leaves the Egyptian efforts in the dust. *Recommend for teacher and student research purposes. Highly recommended for a history and science classroom.*
3) Time Walks - Freemantle (26:14) Townsville (25:33) Canberra (26:15) Adelaide (25:29) Launceston (25:54) Barossa Valley (26:30) Wellington (26:07)
Woolloomoolo (26:12) Bendigo (26:17) Kalgoorie (26:08) Brisbane (26:17) Parramatta (26:36) Geelong (26:33) Melbourne (26:46) Carlton (26:38) St. Kilda (26:47) Hobart (26:47) Newcastle (26:44) Christchurch (26:11) Alice Springs (26:20)
Tony Robinson has another series Time Walks. He walks and explores the history of a particular area. This is different from Time Travels and its search for hidden history. This series happened over two series and explores the cities of Australia and New Zealand. Tony brings his storytelling style to this series. The series kicks off with Freemantle and ends with Alice Springs. What will Tony Robinson learn about Australia and New Zealand? *Highly recommended for a geography class.*
4) Princess Alice: The Queen's Mother-in-Law - YouTube (47:34)
Princess Alice was the mother of Prince Philip and the mother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II. She was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and was born Princess Alice. Her story begins when she is escaping an asylum. She is caught. Her family had locked her in the asylum. She was born a princess but turned her back on royal life. She had a strong personality. She overcame her mental illness and disability to become a hero of World War II. *Recommended for research purposes.*
5) France's Greatest Royal Painter: The Rise of Madam LeBrun - YouTube (51:20)
Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun was France’s last great portrait painter. She was a child prodigy and was taught by her father. Elisabeth started painting professionally at fourteen years old. She soon became part of the court of Marie Antoinette. She painted over 660 portraits. However, due to her ties to the French court, she is forced to flee into exile. For thirteen years, she traveled around a variety of European courts. She will be met with a great deal of acclaim in the European Courts. *Highly recommended for an art class as well as a history class. Recommended for independent study students.*
6) The Black Prince - YouTube (28:56)
The Black Prince was the hero to the English and he died young. He was a warrior. He lies in Canterbury Amber Buchart is going to have his cloth armor remade. This cloth armor identified who he was and was worn over metal armor. What will this cloth armor tell us about the Black Prince? Will Ninya be able to come up with a way to recreate this garment? *Highly recommended for a history class and a home economics class. Highly recommended for independent study students.*
7) Pendle Witch Trials - YouTube (59:64)
Alice Device, Jennet’s sister, confessed to being a witch. An old peddler was struck down with a stroke after refusing to sell her some pins. After this confession, dozens of people were arrested. Jennet Device testifies in a witch trial against her family, setting a precedent in judicial history. Jennet’s testimony condemned her family. The narrator presents this documentary very well and his style engages the viewer. *Recommended for independent research purposes.*
8) Marie Antoinette - YouTube (28:54)
Amber Buchart examines the wardrobe of Marie Antoinette and she is examining a portrait of Queen Marie Antoinette dressed in a chemise gown. She was painted wearing the dress. It caused a scandal in the French Court. The portrait shows the Queen wearing her underwear! Fashion had played a role in the French Revolution and Amber explores the role that it played in the fall of the French monarchy. What can the recreation of the Chemise tell us about Marie Antoinette? What does Amber learn about the Queen? *Highly recommended for a history class and a home economics class. Highly recommended for independent study students.*
9) Women Who Made History: Queen Luise - YouTube (50:57)
She was the most dangerous woman in all of Europe. Princess Luise was a queen from a humble background. She and her sister married Prussian princes. Princess Luise would eventually become Queen Luise. Queen Luise of Prussia encouraged the Prussians to go to war with Napoleon. This is a German documentary with English subtitles. *Highly recommend for independent study students learning about a person in history. Would show to a high school history class.*
10) Empress Josephine - YouTube (52:17)
Empress Josephine was Napoleon Bonaparte’s, great love. During the Time of the French Revolution, everyone knows Marie Josephe Rose Tascher de Le Pagerie. History would know her as Josephine. The Reign of Terror has just ended and she had just barely escaped the guillotine. She would meet a Corsican general who was just beginning his career. This general was six years younger than her but he fell madly in love with her. The pair would eventually marry and would write world history. *Recommended for research purposes.*
Good morning! It is the end of 2023 and I am doing the normal end-of-the-year review stuff and top 10 Lists. This year is my Top 10 Documentaries for 2023. This list will feature documentaries that were talked about in 2023 Only. All of these documentaries were a single episode in length. That said I did want to include the 2022 Top 10 Documentaries list just as a refresher for the year.
The usual disclaimer, this list is my opinion only and should be taken with a grain of salt. The purpose of this list is to help teachers, substitute teachers, and continuing learning lovers to help further learning select something to use for the classroom.
2022 Top 10 Documentaries
1. 100 Years on the Lincoln Highway - YouTube
2. Pearl Harbor: The Hunt for the USS Arizona - YouTube
3. The Secret Diary of the Holocaust - YouTube
4. Beatrix Potter - YouTube
5. Birthplace of the Confessor - YouTube
6. The Legendary First Emperor of China - YouTube
7. Diva Mummy - YouTube
8. Hunting for Mammoth - YouTube
9. *Clive Staples Lewis: The Lost Poet Of Narnia - YouTube
10. Wreck of the Spanish Armada - YouTube
2023 Top 10 Documentaries
1. Colosseum - YouTube (1:28:18)
The Colosseum was Rome’s greatest monument. However, it is now under threat. A team of restorationists and historians come together to save the Colosseum. It was where heroes were made and then broken. Many came to witness the drama that took place within its wall. Beneath and grime, secrets are being revealed. What can this restoration tell us about the Colosseum? What will the restored Colosseum look like? *Highly recommended for a history and STEM classroom.*
2. Eva - YouTube (56:09)
“Eva” explores Eva Mozes Kor a survivor of the Mengle Twin Experiment. Eva was sent to Birkenau as a child and in 1984 she and her twin sister visited the camp. She went with a tape recorder to recall her experience. When entering the camp, her mother and father were taken from her and her twin. She would never see her mother again. Eva promised her mother that she would tell the story of what happened to them. *HIGHLY recommended for a high school world history class.*
3. King George III: Genius of a Mad King: YouTube (58:56)
King George III's papers were digitized and this documentary shows historians poring over his papers, learning more about this misunderstood monarch. His papers reveal a remarkable man. He was a king engaged with his kingdom. He tried to avoid arguments to prevent his fits of madness. I created an assignment that would allow students to use his papers to explore more of the life of this misunderstood king. *Highly recommended for a middle school and high school classroom, both American and World history. Highly recommended for independent study students.*
4. The Only Empress of China - YouTube (48:02)
Wu Zetian is one of the most controversial rulers of China. She was a concubine who rose to become Empress of China. She was the only woman who ruled China. She led China for 50 years. The Chinese officials under her were scathing in their criticism. However, historians and archeologists are uncovering evidence that challenges that assertion. *Recommend for middle school and high school classrooms. Highly recommend for independent study students or use for clips.*
5. Ivan the Terrible: Russia's First Tsar - YouTube (52:23)
He was orphaned as a child. He was brought up in a system of political violence. He liberates Russia from foreign leaders. He committed his first murder at the age of thirteen. He was the first Tsar of Russia. Was he a harsh ruler who demanded absolute loyalty? Or was he an intellectual? Who is the real Ivan the Terrible? A criminal profiler looks for those answers. Additionally, Ivan’s face will be reconstructed during this documentary. *Highly recommended for a high school history class and for research purposes.*
6. First Flight: The Race to Create the World's First Flying Machine - YouTube (52:49)
In 1903, the Wright Brothers made the first motorized flight. Or did they? This documentary talks about the controversy surrounding this claim. Aviation expert, John Brown explores this controversy and puts for the claim that Gustave Whitehead was the one that made the first flight. It is a claim that outrages many. Was Gustave Whitehead a genius or a person discredited by his rivals? Who kick-started the age of aviation? *Recommended for use in an American history classroom.*
7. The Lost City of Gold - YouTube (50:15)
The Inca ruled South America for years. They were the people of the sun. They built grand cities. Eventually, they would be destroyed by the Spanish in their quest for gold. David Adams is on a search for a lost city of gold. These were cities that were never sacked by the Spanish. Perhaps hidden in these jungles is the legendary “Great Sun Disk of the Incas.” Will David Adams find this lost city, tune into this episode to find out. *Recommended for a high school and middle school history classroom.*
8. Nancy Wake - YouTube (1:07:47)
Nancy Wake was the Allied Forces’ most daring spy. She was the Gestapo’s most wanted woman in World War II and was codenamed “The White Mouse.” She came from New Zealand and was a drop-dead gorgeous woman. She traveled to France and became a journalist. Nancy struck up many friendships with journalists who protected her as she reported. She enjoyed life in Paris and the Rivera. Nancy was a woman who knew what she wanted and how to get it. *Recommended for a history classroom and independent study students.*
9. The Last Days of Marie Antoinette - YouTube (1:44:10)
Marie Antoinette would go down in history as France’s tragic Queen. She was a mother and a wife. She was a woman caught up in a situation nobody could have dreamed of. The year is 1793 and France has been a republic for the last four months. This is the story of her last 72 days of life after the Revolution swept away the royal family and kings. New documents reveal that her trial was rigged. *Recommended for a history class, this docu-drama can be divided into section easy to show in a classroom.*
10. Frank Lloyd Wright - YouTube (59:15)
Frank Lloyd Wright was the greatest architect in America. He redefined architecture and became famous in the world all over. However, his genius is oftentimes buried under the scandals of his life. Jonathan Adams, an architect from Wales is going to travel around America to discover more about Frank Lloyd Wright. He wants to know the man and wishes to put him back in his place. What will Jonathan discover about Frank Lloyd Wright? Tune into this episode to find out more. *HIGHLY recommended for a history and house building class.*
Good morning, we are winding down 2023 with the Top 10 documentary lists of the documentaries that had been featured on this list. New for 2023, will be the Top 10 Historical Reality TV Series. I define historic reality TV as modern people going back in time to live during a certain time period like the Victorian, Edwardian, and Tudor time periods. They do their chores using the tools of that time period.
My list of History-Meets-Reality TV has grown over the years and I believe I have enough series to do a Top 10 List.
This is your reminder that these lists are my opinion and are not endorsed by any educators. I am providing my ideas for shows to incorporate into a classroom setting especially if there is a substitute teacher in the room.
2023 Historic Reality TV
1. *Wartime Farm: YouTube Each Episode 59:00
Ruth Goodman, Peter Ginn, and Alex Langladas as well as new team member Henry live as farmers facing the conditions of World War II. Goodman, Ginn, and Langladas startup with setting up the farm for war conditions, planting the fields, and trying their hand at recycling. They deal with rationing. They also take in war refugees, participate in home defense and welcome the Americans. *Highly recommended for both middle school and high school history and agricultural classrooms. Highly recommend it for independent study students and clips.*
2. Secrets of the Castle - Episode 1 (59:15) Episode 2 (58:24) Episode 3 (58:49) Episode 4 (58:50)
Tom Pinfold, Ruth Goodman, and Peter Ginn explore medieval lives and how to build a castle. This series shows off one of the longest historical experiments in history. Pinfold, Goodman, and Ginn explore a variety of aspects of castle building. They kick off the series by establishing their base and then move on doing building projects. This is a STEM and STEAM-heavy series. *Highly recommend for a middle school and high school history and science classroom.*
3. Time Crashers - Episode 1 (46:31) Episode 2 (47:16) Episode 3 (46:12) Episode 4 (49:37) Episode 5 (46:25) Episode 6 (46:23)
Time Crashers is a history meets reality TV series hosted by Tony Robinson. Ten celebrities go back in time to explore six different periods of British history. The different periods include the Elizabethan Era, the 1460’s, 1913, the Georgian Era, the Victorian Era, and the Iron Age. The ten celebrities are Keith Allen, Kristie Alley, Fern Britton, Charlie Condou, Meg Mathews, Jermaine Jenas, Louise Minchin, Chris Ramsey, Greg Rutherford, and Zoe Smith. Can they survive what history has to throw at them? *Recommended for a history class and for a fun day in history.*
4. *Tudor Monastery Farm: YouTube Amazon Prime Each Episode 59:00
Ruth Goodman, Tom Pinford, and Peter Ginn live life as farmers during the Tudor period for a full calendar year. Monasteries were an important part of Tudor Life and they were the landlords during this period. They plant a field, raise livestock, and keep house using Tudor methods. Ruth manages the house and dairy while the boys' Tom and Peter manage the fields. This playlist includes Tudor Feast at Christmas. *Recommended for all ages as well as for both a history classroom and agricultural classroom.*
5. The Victorian House of Arts and Crafts - Episode 1 (58:47) Episode 2 (59:14) Episode 3 (59:14) Episode 4 (59:12)
The Arts and crafts movement was at its height during the Victorian Period. A group of men and women are rewriting the rule books for design and architecture. They were starting a revolution. They hated the drudgery of the Industrial Age. They wanted to turn back the clock to the time when the craftsman was appreciated and bring art to the masses. So what can the modern period learn about the Arts and Crafts movement? Six modern crafters are going to spend a month together in a Victorian Artist Commune and will be remaking a house room by room. *Recommended for an art class.*
6. *Full Steam Ahead: Episode 1 (58:16) Episode 2 (58:16) Episode 3 (58:13) Episode 4 (58:10)
Peter Ginn, Alex Langlands, and Ruth Goodman explore the history of British Railways in this series. They start with how the railroads impact mining and local areas before going into how the railways impact Britain as a nation. The railroad had as big an impact as the internet had. Ginn, Langlands, and Goodman demonstrate the changes the railroad brought over the decades. *Highly recommend for a middle school and high school history classroom.*
7. *Tales From Green Valley: Episode 1 (29:12) Episode 2 (29:11) Episode 3 (29:12) Episode 4 (29:12) Episode 5 (29:11) Episode 6 (29:12) Episode 7 (29:12) Episode 8 (29:11) Episode 9 (29:12) Episode 10 (29:13) Episode 11 (29:12) Episode 12 (29:12)
A group of historians and archeologists work on a farm that was established during the Jacobean Period. They make repairs around the farm, raise animals, and live the way farmers lived during the Jacobean Period. They build a new barn as well as a new privy. They work the farm during a calendar year, except they do not live on the farm. At the end of the year, many of the buildings were restored. *Highly recommend for both history and agricultural classroom.*
8. *Edwardian Farm: YouTube Amazon Prime Each Episode 59:00
Ruth Goodman, Peter Ginn, and Alex Langladas live as farmers during the Edwardian Period. Goodman, Ginn, and Langladas plant market gardens, raise livestock and keep house using Edwardian methods. They participate in daily Edwardian life and show how the Edwardian period brought changes to England. *Recommend for a history classroom, highly recommend for an agricultural classroom. Excellent series for an independent study student.*
9. 1900 Island - Episode 1 (58:56) Episode 2 (58:55) Episode 3 (58:51) Episode 4 (58:55)
Four families are heading back to 1900 and living in a small fishing village for a month. The men will go fishing and the women will take care of the home. The children will be educated in the 1900 schoolhouse. So what hardships will these families face living this lifestyle? What challenges will these families face? Will the families come together to help each other? Will they fall in love with the past? *Recommended for a history class.*
10. Turn Back Time - The Family - Episode 1 (56:46) Episode 2 (51:49) Episode 3 (57:14) Episode 4 (53:20) Episode 5 (52:03)
This earlier series is where three families discover how families lived over several different periods including the Edwardian Period, Depression, World War II, and the 1960s. Three houses were transformed throughout the series to reflect the decade they are in. They lived in each house for a week. The families are living the lives of their ancestors. *Highly recommend for a history classroom and a family and consumer classroom. Good series for independent study students.*
It is the end of 2023 and today I will present a Top Ten list of documentary series that was featured on the blog. The rules are simple, they had to be featured in the blog or on my database list over the past two years. This year instead of featuring history based reality TV on this list, I will be featuring history series.
So will my 2023 Top Ten list remain the same as last year? Or will there be a new top documentary series on the list? Follow the rest of this blog to find out!
2022 Top 10 Documentary Series
1. The Last Journey of the Vikings - Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4
2. Face of Britain: Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3
3. A Stitch in Time with Amber Butchart
4. Lost Kingdoms of South America
5. Immortal Egypt: Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4
6. Meet the Romans with Mary Beard - Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3
7. Lost Kingdoms of Africa
8. The Women Who Made History
9. Victorian Bakers - Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3
10. 1900 Island - Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4
2023 Top 10 Documentary List
1. 1491: The Story of North America Before Columbus Episode 1 (47:25) Episode 2 (46:56) Episode 3 (47:29) Episode 4 (47:15) Episode 5 (46:40) Episode 6 (48:40) Episode 7 (47:23)
The First Nations crossed oceans and settled on the North American Continent. The First Nations people navigated their world by the stars. They crossed mountains and rivers. They built a variety of trade networks. Their people built civilizations. In 1492 their lives changed with the arrival of Christopher Columbus. So what were the stories of the First Nations before Columbus? *Highly recommended for a high school classroom, certain episodes can also be used in the art classroom as well!*
2. *Face of Britain: Episode 1 (46:59) Episode 2 (46:54) Episode 3 (47:35)
Neil Oliver explores the genetic doomsday book geneticists in Britain are creating of Britain to determine where the genetic ancestry of the British come from. Do the British people come from Celts, Vikings, Anglo Saxons, or the Normans? Oliver travels around Britain to talk to the participants of the study. At the end of each episode, they go over the results with the participants of the study. *Highly recommended for a history classroom and a science classroom.*
3. The Last Journey of the Vikings - Episode 1 (49:55) Episode 2 (49:32) Episode 3 (49:52) Episode 4 (49:58)
The Last Journey of the Vikings is a docudrama series about the Viking People. They traveled widely and shaped European politics. What is the truth about the Vikings? In the Eighth Century, the Vikings started appearing along the coasts of Europe. With their fierce warriors, they gained a reputation as Europe’s terrorizers. They targeted monasteries because the monks could not defend themselves. Eventually, the Vikings’ strategy changed. They mixed with the powerful. So why did the Vikings become pirates? How did they spread their influence over Europe? Tune into this documentary to find out. *Highly recommended for a middle school and high school classroom. Highly recommended to mine for clips.*
4. Charlemagne - Episode 1 (50:42) Episode 2 (50:14) Episode 3 (51:56)
Charlemagne was the most important Emperor of the Middle Ages. The story begins with a monk gathering wood for a fire. He was a scholar in Charlemagne’s court and was his friend. He is the narrator of Charlemagne’s story. He was crowned Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Day. He was the most powerful ruler of his time. Even the pope was intimidated by him. He was superhuman. However, what is a myth, and what is reality? *Recommended for the history classroom and research purposes.*
5. Lost Kingdoms of Africa
Gus Casley-Hayford explores lost African Kingdoms. He explores the kingdom of the Zulu, Berbers, West Africa, Great Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and Nubia. Gus travels around Africa to learn more about these kingdoms. What was so mysterious about Great Zimbabwe? Is Ethiopia where the Ark of the Covenant is located? Where was the kingdom of gold? This is a fantastic series on African Kingdoms.
6. Immortal Egypt: Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4
Joann Fletcher explores the history of Ancient Egypt over four episodes. She explores the height of Egypt's power, what caused Egypt to decline. She takes us to Egypt's beginnings and weaves a tale of glory followed by despair. She shows off grand monuments and the smallest finds. This is an excellent documentary series to show while students are studying Ancient Egypt.
7. A Stitch in Time with Amber Butchart
Amber Butchart explores the history of fashion and how our perceptions of fashion changed. She looks at six pieces of artwork and has them recreated. She looks at the clothing of King Charles II to the common hedge cutter. What was the true story of Marie Antoinette? What can fashion tell us about history? What can fashion tell us about the people? This is an excellent series featuring experimental history.
8. Storm over Europe - Episode 1 (51:17) Episode 2 (50:35) Episode 3 (50:08) Episode 4 (50:19)
Barbarians were heading to Rome. What made these barbarians leave their homelands? They left behind beautiful objects in their wake. They were in the search of a new homeland because another tribe was threatening their lives and livelihoods. Eventually, Rome was sacked. These barbarians would be left to pick up the pieces Rome left behind. Who were these invaders? Why were they called barbarians? How did they shape European history? What did they leave behind? *Recommended for a middle school history classroom. Appropriate for independent study students.*
9. Rome without Limits with Mary Beard - Episode 1 (58:34) Episode 2 (59:00) Episode 3 (58:59) Episode 4 (59:00)
Mary Beard explores the history of the Roman Empire beginning with the origin myths, the period of the republic, and the Empire. She explores the Roman Empire beyond Rome and travels to a variety of places that were a part of the Empire. She concludes the series with the question why did Rome fall? It is a fascinating dive into the Roman Empire. This documentary is a needed update to what available documentaries. *Highly recommended for a middle school and high school classroom. If you do not have space for all the documentaries, then show clips.*
10. The Women Who Made History
This is another German-produced documentary series about the women who made history. There are episodes on Elizabeth I, Queen Louise, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, Catherine the Great, and Sophie Scholl. This series explores the stories of these women and why they made history. This series covers different eras so a teacher should find something that will fit with their teaching needs. This Series also has English subtitles.
Hello, as the year winds down I realize that I had done a lot of Time Team episodes over the past few years. Today’s blog will feature the Top Time Team episodes that I have featured over the years on this blog. However, instead of doing a Top 10 List for the Time Team, since there were quite a few episodes, I will be doing a Top 20 List for 2023. Today’s blog will conclude with my final Top 10 Time Team episodes. I will be featuring the Time Team episodes from 2021-2023.
Now for my usual disclaimer, these episodes are my opinion only and should only be used as a guide to help a teacher prepare the lesson plan. These blogs are my opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.
Top 10 Time Team Episodes
10) Something for the Weekend - YouTube (47:44)
Tregruk Castle is one of the biggest castles in Britain. It is also the most mysterious castle in Britain. Why was this castle so big? There are no buildings in the castle. It is found in the Welsh marshes and was built to keep the Welsh in check. The owner of the castle wants to learn more about the castle. He had worked on clearing the forest in the castle and it changed the atmosphere of the site. What will the Time Team find out about the castle? *Recommended for a Middle School History classes and high school history classes.*
9) Birthplace of the Confessor - YouTube (47:41)
Islip has a claim to fame. It is said that it was the birthplace of Edward the Confessor. The Time Team needs to find the chapel that was built in his honor as well as the palace where he grew up. The problem is that the town has never been dug before. It will be a tall order for the Time Team and they have three days to solve this mystery. Is Islip the birthplace of Edward the Confessor? *Recommended for an English history class and for independent study students.
8) No Stone Unturned - YouTube (47:14)
This time the Time Team arrives at a field in Cheshire where metal detectorists have made some fascinating finds. The finds may hint that the field may have been home to an active Roman settlement. However as the Time Team digs, they are not having any luck in making discoveries. What were these metal detectorists discovering in the field? What will the Time Team find on this dig? Or will this be the first dig where the Time Team finds nothing? What will happen in three days is anyone’s guess. *Recommended to be shown on April Fool's Day.*
7) Oxfordshire Villa Episode 1 (32:05) Episode 2 (31:57) Episode 3 (34:25)
For dig number two the new Time Team finds themselves in Oxfordshire and the Broughton Castle Estate. The Time Team is going to excavate a Roman villa that may be the size of Buckingham Palace. In the 1960s, a Romano-British Lady was found buried in a lead line coffin on the site. Was this turnip field the site of a huge Roman villa? What will the Time Team find out about the sit? What will this villa tell us about Roman Britain? *Recommended for research purposes.*
6) Dig by Wire - YouTube (46:50)
Time Team is heading on over to Gateholm Island. This island is off the coast of Pembrokeshire and a handful of objects have been found over the years. It is one of the most dangerous and inaccessible places Time Team has ever excavated. Tony Robinson will have to zipline over to the island. Did the original inhabitants have an easier way to get to the island? What will the Time Team discover about the island? Gateholm is managed by the National Trust and hopes that Time Team will unlock the secrets of the island. *Recommended for an archeology class.*
5) The House that's Back to Front - YouTube (47:51)
Time Team is investigating a manor house that is built from back to front. In 1534, Henry VIII visited a manor house. Later during her reign, Queen Elizabeth visited the house. This home was owned by the Earl of Bedford. The homeowner transformed his home into a palace. What remains of the house is smaller. So where is the rest of the house? Time Team has three days to find out. *Highly recommended for an architecture class as well as archeology.*
4) A Saintly Site - YouTube (46:48)
They are investigating some lumps and bumps in a potential chapel site. Locals had been investigating the area for several years and then decided to bring Time Team in for help. This site will prove to be a challenge for Time Team because it is on a rocky outcropping, with rocks on top of a wall. Will the Time Team find a chapel underneath all the rubble? Watch this episode to find out! Mick is really in his element in this episode. *Highly recommended for research purposes.*
3) The Guerilla Base of the King - YouTube (50:29)
Our first episode of Time Team comes from Season 1, Episode 1. Tony Robinson is younger and has long hair. The Time Team goes to Somerset County and explores the base of King Alfred the Great. King Alfred the Great was fleeing from the Danes. The site they excavate was the base of King Alfred the Great. They are not sure what they will find on the field. Did Alfred the Great have a base on this Somerset Land? *Highly recommended for research purposes.*
2) Return to Turkdean - YouTube (50:30)
The Time Team is back at Turkdean. When they originally visited Turkdean, they found a range of buildings. However, geophysics threw everyone for a loop and found more buildings on the site. Eighteen months later, the Time Team is back to excavate this new site on Turkdean. The ground showed a network of rooms that were strung together. Trench after trench got bigger and bigger during the original dig. What will the Time Team find out about the new site? *Highly recommended for a history classroom in both middle school and high school. Highly recommended for independent study students.*
1) An Incredible Discovery in Turkdean - YouTube (50:42)
Time Team is called to explore the origins of some lines in the ground in a farm field. The farmer and amateur archeologists seem to hint that it is a site of a Roman villa. Who built it? Why did they build it? The team tackles this assignment by land and by air. The team digs in and discovers that the site is home to the biggest Roman villa discovered in England. *Highly recommended for a history classroom in both middle school and high school. Highly recommended for independent study students.*
Hello, as the year winds down I realize that I had done a lot of Time Team episodes over the past few years. Today’s blog will feature the Top Time Team episodes that I have featured over the years on this blog. However, instead of doing a Top 10 List for the Time Team, since there were quite a few episodes, I will be doing a Top 20 List for 2023. Today’s blog will kick off the Top 20 with the Top 20-11 episodes of the Time Team. I will be featuring the Time Team episodes from 2021-2023.
Now for my usual disclaimer, these episodes are my opinion only and should only be used as a guide to help a teacher prepare the lesson plan. These blogs are my opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt.
Top 20-11 Time Team Episodes
20) Henry VIII's Lost Armory and Jousting Yard - YouTube (48:50)
This Time the Time Team is exploring Henry VIII’s lost jousting grounds. Henry VIII had inherited Greenwich Palace from his father and he made it a place for jousting. The jousting grounds and the buildings around them have disappeared. Time Team has three days to find them. Nobody had excavated these sites and nobody knows what they looked like. Will the Time Team succeed in its quest? *Recommended for a history class and for independent study students.*
19) Animal Farm - YouTube (48:35)
Carved stonework, posh bits and bobs, coins, and a horse bit are among the finds that brought the Time Team to this farm. A photograph of the field shows some pretty interesting lines in the landscape. Amateur archeologists took to the site and found something. They are on a search for a grand Norman Hunting Lodge. However, it does not take long before their findings point in a different direction. Why were there so many grand finds on this farm? *Recommended for a history-fun day! Recommended for a science class.*
18) The Island Fortress of an Ancient King - YouTube (50:00)
A king wanted to demonstrate his power and he built an island in the middle of the lake. Then he put a palace on the island. The Time Team puts together a game plan to explore the island. The island had been excavated before so the team has a good head start on the excavation. The Time Team will also be creating a replica of a log boat that was found. Why was this island built? Who built the island? Who lived in the surrounding area? *Recommended for independent study students.*
17) All About Westminster Abbey - YouTube (47:09)
Westminster Abbey was the vision of King Henry VIII. It was the place where coronations were held. King, Queens, Princes, and Princesses were buried there. Prime Ministers too were buried there as well. Royal weddings took place in the Abbey as well. Westminster Abbey played a significant role in British History. There is one piece of the abbey that is missing: a sacristy. The sacristy allegedly held the biggest hoard of treasure this side of the Alps. This building vanished without a trace. *Highly recommended for a history class and for independent study students.*
16) King John's Lost Palace - YouTube (46:47)
Time Team is investigating a site in Sherwood Forest. This is the place where legends were born. Robin Hood gave King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham fits. Local legend holds it that King John had a palace at the edge of the palace. Tony is excited about the possibilities of this site. However, they have their work cut out for them. Are they on the verge of discovering a lost palace? *Recommended for History, English, and independent study students.*
15) Hunting for King Harold - YouTube (47:10)
King Harold was history’s biggest loser, he lost the battle of Hastings. The site where he set up court, was never excavated. Then the locals banded together and organized a petition to have the site excavated. The site on Harold’s Field was a scheduled site, which banned digging from taking place. However, with the petition, the Time Team was allowed to dig. What will the Time Team find on the site? Is it even connected to King Harold? *Recommended for a history class and for independent study students.*
14) In the Shadow of Tor - YouTube (47:32)
Time Team is in one of the most hostile environments in Great Britain in Cornwall. However, 5,000 years ago it was the most ideal place to have a home. Why were Prehistoric people drawn to the site? How did they survive? Time Team has three days to find out. The location in Cornwall is weather-scared and a witness to 1,000’s years of human history. Nobody can say for sure how old the ruins in Cornwall are. *Recommended for independent study students.*
13) The Abbey Habit - YouTube (46:57)
The Time Team travels to the Welsh border in search of an abbey. This abbey was occupied by Cistercian monks. It has been lost for centuries. Local archeologists have found evidence of a chapel, but no abbey. There are large earthworks on the site that the locals believe is the abbey. Will the Time Team have more success in finding the abbey? *Recommended for a history class for a fun day.*
12) The Romans Recycle - YouTube (46:59)
Over the years metal detectorists have discovered a variety of metal artifacts from the Roman, Iron Age, and Saxon periods in a field that is between two villages. The finds are in Lincolnshire and the locals believe there was a posh building in the area. Lincoln was a great center for Roman Britain, however, there are no records of Wickenby being a center of Roman occupation. So why are there so many finds? The Time Team has three days to find out. *Recommended for a history class and independent study students.*
11) Fogou in Cornwall - Episode 1 (27:39) Episode 2 (30:00) Episode 3 (32:32)
The Time Team kicks off this episode in Cornwall. New and old faces have come together for this first episode. This site was voted on by the fans and it is a Fogou. This Fogou was rediscovered twenty-five years ago by a local farmer. A Fogou is a series of underground tunnels and chambers. The fogou was believed to have been built in the Iron Age. What will the Time Team find out about this fogou? Watch this episode to find out more. *Highly recommended for both history and STEM classrooms.*
Good morning, we are working on fun and frivolous documentaries for December. These are documentaries that do not quite fit in with a history curriculum. We will conclude Asia’s monarchy series with a look at the Japanese Emperor. The run time for this episode is 53:05.
The Japanese Imperial Family is considered to be the oldest hereditary monarchy in the world. Its roots date back to the sixth century BC. They were regarded as divine figures at least until the end of World War II. Still little is known about the Imperial Family and the press is kept at arm’s length. The role of the Imperial Family has come into question over the years. Some people would like to get rid of the emperor while others hold the emperor as a symbol of Japanese nationalism.
The first emperor Jimmo was said to have been the first emperor and a direct descendant of the sun goddess. This divine idea carried on until the end of World War II. Until then the emperor’s decisions were not to be questioned and they were treated as living gods. Although the Emperor had renounced his divineness there are still sections of society that believe that the emperor is divine. These are people who are willing to fight and die for the emperor.
However, other segments of society would love to get rid of the emperor. They believe that since his role in the war was not resolved the emperor should be gotten rid of. Some point out that the emperor system also runs contrary to democracy. Many people believe Emperor Hirohito should have apologized or abdicated the throne because of what happened in World War II. Both the supporters and dissenters of the system.
So what was Emperor Hirohito’s role in decisions made during World War II? Even talking about the emperor’s role in World War II can cause trouble. Historians believe that the Emperor was central to the war effort. The Americans pardoned Hirohito and allowed him to remain on his throne. So how could the emperor continue to survive? Then there is a discussion on Japanese mythology and the suggestions that the roots of the emperor’s survival lie in these myths. Shintoism is also discussed in this section. The Emperor is the high priest of Shinto and is the only one who could perform the rituals of Shinto.
Emperor Jimmo was the first king-like figure who unified Japan. However, his origins are observed. The Imperial Family does not allow excavations to discover more about the ancestry of the Imperial Family. The Emperor would rule Japan until the 12th Century when powerful nobles known as shoguns took over forcing the Emperor into hiding. The emperor was hidden away at the palace in Kyoto. Nobody would ever see the emperor in public. He would continue to be the high priest of Shinto, providing legitimacy to the shoguns. The shoguns needed to be approved by the Emperor, even though he did not have true power.
As the shoguns ruled, Japan descended into civil war as different shoguns vied for power and control. Japan became isolated because of its distrust of the outside world. The isolation continued until Commodore Perry came and demanded to see the Emperor. The shoguns realized the power of the other monarchs in foreign lands. The shoguns were overthrown and the new elite had to figure out how to deal with the emperor. The myths about the emperor being divine were revived and he became associated with Japanese nationalism.
The Japanese Emperor was now established as the soul of the Japanese nation. With this soul restored Japan started to expand its empire. The Imperial Household Agency was established and the rules of succession were firmly established. How will other emperors succeed in the future? How does the Emperor continue to be a controversial figure? Tune into the rest of this episode to find out more.
This was a good episode to end on, especially in light of the Brunei episode. The pacing was very done and the debate on the role of the Emperor was very well done. Both sides were given air time and the participants were very well-spoken. This would be one episode I would show to a history and a geography classroom.
Good morning, we are continuing with someone fun and frivolous for December to wind up the year. These are documentaries that do not quite fit in a curriculum but could potentially be shown as something fun for the classroom. This documentary is about the royal family of Brunei and the run time for this episode is 49:08.
The Sultan of Brunei is one of the richest men in the world. His wealth is primarily derived from oil and he shares the wealth with the population of Brunei. However, it is forbidden to discuss the sultan’s wealth. Brunei has had a sultan for over 600 years and the sultan’s power is absolute. It is one of six nations that have an absolute monarch. He is seen as a divine figure. It is a system that few Westerners can understand. So what is it about Brunei and its Sultan?
Brunei was established by Muslim traders in the 14th Century and is one of the world’s smallest kingdoms. The sultanate was born during this period as well. The Sultan has absolute power, the government is the central authority, power is hierarchical, and political parties are nonexistent. There have been twenty-nine sultans. The Sultans had a pact with Britain to keep Brunei’s independence. Britain would protect Brunei from being taken over by Malaysia.
At the start of the sultanate, the sultans were very poor often wearing threadbare clothes. This changed when oil was discovered. The sultan would become wealthy. Over time, the sultan would decide to change the system in place and he would eventually be able to share the wealth. This wealth secured the sultan. However, what would happen when the oil ran out? Scholars believe that Brunei will have to invest in other means to sustain its wealth.
Life is good for the people in Brunei. The population loves the royal family. The royal family can walk about Brunei streets without much security. How has the sultan survived as an absolute monarch? Will he continue to survive as an absolute monarch in the future?
Brunei Bay was a place where people could trade and the early citizens lived on the sea. The Sultans of Brunei would expand their kingdom through trade and warfare. Then the European seafarers would arrive. Reports back to Europe talked about how wealthy the Brunei people were. Its center in trade would highlight its importance. However, the empire would shrink, and the sultans would have to navigate these changing waters. The sultans would have to negotiate with the British, particularly the Brook family. It is this section where there is a discussion on the Brook Family and negotiations with the British to keep Brunei independent.
Brunei would remain a poverty-stricken nation for many decades under British Rule, at least until the discovery of oil. Brunei would eventually be put on the map and would be developed. Today, Brunei citizens enjoy free health care, free education, and do not have an income tax. Sultan Omar Ali Safoddin III would change things for Brunei. He was a sultan keen to take full control over Brunei. He slowly started to take away the power of British officials. Oil profits continued to funnel into Brunei. In the 1950s, Malaysia wanted Brunei to join them with the Brunei sultan as king.
A party that was pro-democracy started to emerge. They would openly revolt against the British and the Sultan. This rebellion shocked the world. The rebellion was crushed and the Sultan declared a state of emergency. The sultan would have absolute power over the people of Brunei. He had believed and trusted his people and the rebellion showed that he could not trust his people. Sultan Omar would surprise the British and abdicate his throne, or did he? How else did this rebellion impact Brunei? Tune into the rest of the episode to find out more about Brunei.
This episode of Asia’s Monarchies was very fast-paced in comparison to the other episodes. It was so fast-paced it felt choppy at times; therefore, it did not have a good flow in the episode. Events came fast and furious. It was hard to determine where one episode began and another one ended. I also would have appreciated some more information on the early history of Brunei. I would not show this particular episode to a classroom because it was hard to follow at times.
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