Who Do You Think You Are?
I'm a big believer in tying history and genealogy together. Who Do You Think You are is a show where celebrities explore their family histories. There are several versions of this series including Australian, UK, France and United States versions. The Australian version of the show, when they feature an aboriginal celebrity will put a warning about photos before they show the series. It is interesting to see the different celebrity stories. They discover secrets and solve mysteries in their family.
It would be an excellent show to introduce students to how people do research and genealogy research in particular. The celebrity uses both primary and secondary sources to further their research as well as family photos and in person interviews.
These are general questions that can be used with any episode of Who Do You Think You Are? A teacher can pick a celebrity whose family stories relate to the topic they are talking about in a history class or just use it as a filler for a substitute teacher.
However, if there are any specific celebrities you would want to show in class I would recommend:
Jerry Springer: Holocaust and World War II - His parents got out of Germany in time, leaving behind their mothers. In this episode, Jerry learns the fate of his grandmothers in the Holocaust and at the end meets a new cousin whose father managed to escape in the Kindertransports to Israel. I know Jerry Springer is controversial but you really feel for the guy watching this story unfold. He would be the number one celebrity Who Do You Think You Are participant I would show in class.
John Stamos: There wasn't a specific theme for this episode, it was about one woman's determination to bring the murderer of her husband to justice. Stamos meets a cousin in Greece and it was interesting to see a different side of Stamos. This episode features heavily features in person interviews and reliance on official documents.
Rob Rinder: Holocaust and PTSD - Rob Rinder is the English equivalent of Judge Judy and dare I say more biting then her. He explores how his grandfather made his way to England after surviving the Holocaust as well as his beloved grandmother's story.
Sir Patrick Stewart: Domestic Violence, Mental Health, PTSD, World War II - Stewart explores the connection to his father's service during the war to growing up in a domestic violence situation.
Charles Dance: Immigration - Dance never knew his father and he explores his father's story, discovering a half sister he never knew he had. This would be the number 2 celebrity I would recommend, just as a fun fill in for a class.
Additional recommendations: Lisa Kudrow, Susan Sarandon, Len Goodman, Rita Wilson
Just highlight, copy and paste into a word document or google doc. Then you can adjust the spacing in that document.
History of Royal Women
Writing a paper on Queens or Princesses for a class? Check out History of Royal Women website/database. It's a perfect database for the history of Royal Women.
You'll discover a variety of royal women and their lives. I remember when the authors first started the blog, they had their set up by countries. In the past five years they really expanded their content and now sort royal women according to the countries where they ruled and now have a drop down menu of the royal women. When you click the country it will take you to a list of the royal women and then from there you can pick an article to read.
There are special series where one royal woman is focused on for the year, the authors highlight places to visit and what books have been published about royalty. The first royal woman of the year was in 2016 and it was a year of blogging about Queen Mary I of England. Each blog in the "Year of Series" features facts about their life, any children that were born to that queen, life facts, reign facts, and any thing interesting about the royal. In 2018, it was the year of the Last Romanovs, since it was the 100th anniversary of the death of Nicholas and Alexandra. Not only did they feature Nicholas and Alexandra and their family, but the other Romanov women who were killed due to the Russian Revolution.
If you need a book for your reading list, then check out their suggestions. If you're taking a trip, then look at the places where they visited to see what you would like to add to your itinerary. If you need something for a class, then check out their suggestions and their articles. Then check out the their sources to get more information for that research paper.
Each article is well written and thought out. The authors are excellent at citing their sources and are fantastic at incorporating photos into their blog. It also helps that Historical Dramas are a popular genre and that there's excellent period dramas out there. When there are no paintings or illustrations of the royal, they use content from period dramas. They also have a Google Translate button, so even if you don't speak English you'll be able to find the information you need.
I didn't realize that South Korea still had a royal family and that there was an American that married into it. In school I had read the Royal Diary, Seodonk, the Queen of Silla and it was through this blog I learned about some additional Korean royalty including Consort Jang. This lead me to the Korean Series Dong-Yi. They authors just recently posted an article about the Royal Women of the German TV series Maximilian.
2020 was the year of Queen Wilhelmina, so what will 2021 bring, we'll find out soon.
Teachers, students and homeschoolers will be able to find something on this website. Even if you're not a teacher, student or homeschooler, and curious about royal women this is an excellent website to satisfy your curiosity. I highly recommend that if you need a quick background on a royal woman for a high school paper head on over to History of Royal Women.
Bright Sun Films Channel
This is another fantastic channel for a social studies class: Bright Sun Channel
The information in each episode is well written and well presented. It's also a good mix of historical and modern history, economics, and interesting topics. There are several series such as Abandoned, Story of and Bankrupt. Jake is a good narrator and each episode is well thought out and well organized.
My Five top picks of videos (in no particular order):
Abandoned - Centralia
Story of the Oceanos
Story of Andrea Doria
Abandoned - Houston Astrodome
Abandoned - Charity Hospital
Teachers and homeschoolers should definitely check out this channel.
Full Steam Ahead Episode 3
Episode 3 of Full Steam Ahead covers the impact of train on Food Distribution. Langladas, Goodman, and Ginn explore how food was gotten to market, the impact on diets, and what industries came to depend on the train. Here are the questions and answers for Episode 3.
For use in the classroom, just highlight, copy and paste into a word document. This series is available on YouTube.
I found this fantastic channel on YouTube about historical figures. If you're a teacher and you need a quick clip about a historical figure for your class this is the channel for you.
It's called Biographics and Simon is a fantastic narrator. You can learn about Jackson Pollock or Richard Wagner, you can learn about mass murderers or aviators through this channels. There are a variety of historic figures featured on the channel and there is no excuse to not find someone interesting to learn about!
Channel Link: www.youtube.com/channel/UClnDI2sdehVm1zm_LmUHsjQ
I developed a short worksheet to go with the Biographics Channel that teachers can use in their classroom whether it is real or virtual.
I'm a librarian with an active imagination who likes to create. Genealogist and Researcher.
My Teachers Pay Teachers Store! Worksheets available as a Word Document.
I am also on Lulu! If you're interested in genealogy I have several books available!
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The purpose of this blog is to share information on what can be used in a classroom, private school, or home school setting as well as serve as a portfolio of my personal and professional work.
The reviews are my opinions and should be treated as such. I just want to provide a tool for teachers to select documentaries for their classrooms.