I hope this blog finds teachers relaxing after their first day of school. Today, I will suggest YouTube Videos to show when your history class reaches the early middle and late Middle Ages. I had a good response from Secrets of the Castle and Tudor Monastery Farm from my temporary students. I tried to present this list in order as the school year moves forward. The suggestions are by no means comprehensive. When you can, purchase these documentaries or subscribe to the historian’s podcasts.
Search for Alfred the Great: YouTube
Neil Oliver explores the search for the grave of King Alfred the Great, the only British King who had the title "The Great." Oliver tells the story of what happened to the bones as well as the story of Alfred the Great. Scientists have been exploring a set of bones to determine whether or not they belong to Alfred the Great. It is an excellent look at the life of Alfred the Great. *Highly recommend for a middle school and high school history class.*
Charlemagne and the Saxons: YouTube
The Germans kick off with the story of Charlemagne. Charlemagne was the first European Empire builder. He conquered the Saxon people and spread Christianity throughout the Frankish Empire. The Saxons challenged him, however, they came to accept his kingship. He built grand buildings to help demonstrate his power. This is an excellent summary of what Charlemagne accomplished during his reign. *Highly recommend for a middle school and high school history classroom.*
Secrets of the Castle - Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4
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.*
The Germans - Martin Luther and the Nation: YouTube
Martin Luther's 95 Theses touched off a Religious Reformation that swept through Europe. It kicks off with his trial and eventual hiding in the German territories. The second part of this documentary tells the story of Luther’s marriage. This is an excellent introduction to the Reformation. The first part of the episode would be good to show in a Christian school. *Highly recommend for both high school and middle school classrooms and independent study students.*
Secrets of the Dead - Battle for the Bible: YouTube
This is the history of how the Bible was translated into English. Bible translation was an illegal act. This documentary tells the story of ohn Wycliffe, Thomas Cramner, and William Tyndale. John Wycliffe was the first person who worked on translating the Bible into English. William Tyndale was the next person who worked on translating the Bible. Thomas Cramner worked with reforming the English religion. *Highly recommend for middle school and high school classrooms. It is a good filler for a substitute teacher.*
Secrets of the Six Wives: Amazon
Lucy Worsley dives headfirst into Tudor Court Life as she explores the women behind Henry VIII. She explores the early marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, their hard divorce; his relationship with Anne Boleyn; the birth of his son by Jane Seymour; the smarts of Anne of Cleves; Catherine Howard, his teenage bride; and finally Catherine Parr, a nurse with her convictions on religion. This DVD is a great addition to a teacher's collection on Tudor History or even your collection on Tudor History. After David Starkey's Six Wives of Henry VIII, this is a fantastic edition to Tudor History and if you can't find Starkey's work, then use this series in the classroom.
Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant - Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3 Episode 4
David Starkey discusses the mind of Henry VIII, what made him the man he was. Starkey starts with Henry's childhood and how his mother impacted his views. Then goes into the impact of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon had on his life and the impact the divorce had on his mental state. Actors play the roles of the people in Henry VIII's life.
*Tudor Monastery Farm: YouTube Amazon (Region 2 DVD)
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.*
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