AGE LEVEL: The general age level for this is Middle School through High School. Most of these videos could be watched by younger children, but some may have content that is a little over their head, or that otherwise might not be appropriate. See "Content Information" below for more info.
MAIN VIDEO SERIES USED
Crash course offers chronological broad overviews of history. While it is partially animated, the concepts and pace are aimed at adults (and I feel like overall it's suitable for Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers). There are a few jokes that are inappropriate and might want to be skipped, especially if viewing while younger children are present. I've tried to note these but may have missed some (and if so, please tell me in a comment). Apart from these episodes, most episodes could be watched by younger children without issue though, though many will find this too fast-paced for younger children to follow.
Extra Credits History is my favorite history series. It offers deeper dives into various subjects. The series is animated, and funny, but done respectfully as well, I think. It appeals to a wide age range...my 8 year old and my high schooler both enjoyed these equally.
These are short animated videos on art history.
WORKSHEETS AND ACTIVITIES
I've started to link a few "supplementary activities" related to the videos. Some are more appropriate to high school or middle school. I have also listed a few "discussion question" worksheets I found for free for some of these videos. There isn't one for every video, but I'd thought I'd list ones where I found them free. If you are willing to pay for them, you can find many similar discussion question sheets listed on Teachers Pay Teachers. As mentioned earlier, TedEd videos also come with some additional resources.
Various videos suggested here have descriptions of historical violence, but I felt like this was depicted appropriately and not gratuitously. I do not usually make special note of violence in videos because it is so common. A certain tolerance for historical violence is necessary for using this list.
There are references to sex in a few of these videos, but usually handled subtly/well (nothing gratuitous or crude, with the exception of a joke in one Crash course video, which I've included a warning with). Crash course does occassionally refer to sex as "skoodlypooting" and shows a blanket with feet hanging out. There's also a few videos with historical artwork that depicts nudity (such as Greek statues).
Most of these contain no profanity. A few of the Crash Course videos contain a "Long A** time" joke (and then they say they aren't swearing, because they mean a donkey). I try to note these in red.
Below are the videos to watch in chronological order. I've organized this semi-chronologically by topic. Some topics take a day, some topics will take much longer. Videos labled "series" contain a playlist of multiple videos. The videos listed on the left are ones that cover broad topics, and the videos in the bullet lists under them are extra videos related to this topic. I've listed key videos in bold, while unbolded videos are less essential are and can be skipped.
MESOPOTAMIA PART I - AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION
The Agricultural Revolution: Crash Course World History #1
- Worksheet: Discussion Questions
ANCIENT INDIA PART I - INDUS VALLEY
- Indus Valley Civilization Virtual Tour (not a video)
- Indus Valley Website (not a video, but has one on it)
CONTENT WARNING: This has an inappropriate joke about a sex tape (it's from about 4:02-4:10...or go back to 3:55 to skip over any mention of sex at all).
The Rise and Fall of Sumer - TedEd
This one is broad and covers a lot but is less engaging than the two above, in my opinion, but it is also less "childish" than Alt 1 and doesn't have the content problems of the Crash Course Video.
- The History of Writing - Where the Story Begins - Extra History
- Activity: Cuneiform Craft
- Ancient Mesopotamian Art - TICE (to minute 2, then it moves on to Egyptian art)
- The Rise and Fall of the Assyrian Empire - TedEd
- Babylon the Great - 2000 Years of Mesopotamian History in 10 Minutes
- Egyptian Mummies -TEDed
- Activity: Egg Mummy
- The Egyptian Myth of Isis -TEDed
- Hatshepsut, The Woman Pharoah -TEDed
- Explore Hatshupsuts Temple Virtual Tour (not a video)
- Akenaten by Extra History AND/OR King Tut's Tomb and the Armana Period - Susan Euler
- Mesopotamian and Ancient Egyptian Art - TICE (could alternatively be inserted right after Bronze Age Collapse, below, as that sort of relates to all the near east cultures).
KERMA & NUBIA/KUSH
BRONZE AGE COLLAPSE
Note, this is a good time to stop and review many of the nations covered previously, as from this point we move away from the regions of Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Levant and move into Greece and Rome and Asia. The reason for that is largely, a mysterious collapse of many of those civilizations around this time.
Both of the following videos are excellent, and cover enough that's different that it might be worth watching both, but they also overlap quite a bit so you might choose just one.
The Bronze Age Collapse SERIES - Extra History (1200 and 1150 BC)
This one, in addition to very thoroughly covering the Bronze age collapse, also briefly covers Levant/Mediterian area civilizations of Egypt, The Hittites, Assyrian, and the Mycenaeans in it's first episode. I don't yet have another resource that covers the Mycenaeans well...so you might choose to watch at least the first episode just for that, if you don't watch the rest (though the whole thing is worthwhile).
Civilizations by Crash Course
This one covers the Bronze age Collapse much more briefly than the Extra History series above, and uses this as a springboard to talk about "what makes a civilization" and brings in some alternative ideas about that. If you've already watched the Extra History series, this one is worth adding on, just for that extra discussion.
PERSIANS AND GREEKS PART I
The Persians & Greeks: Crash Course World History #5
- Geography and Ancient Greece - Mr. Corwin (Past minute 7.10 this also has the story of the minitaur, which can be skipped).
- A Day in the Life of an Ancient Athenian - TEDed
- Athenian Democracy: Lottery vs. Election - TEDed
- This is Sparta - TEDed
- Greek Art and Architecture
- Greek and Roman Art (can save last half for Rome)
- Activity: Greek Scratch Art Vase
- The Building of the Parthenon
- Activity: Cup Columns Experiment (MS)
- Greek Myths (choose 1 or more below)
- Icarus - TEDed
- Prometheus - TEDed
- Pandoras Box - TEDed
- Jason and the Argonauts - TEDed
- King Midas - TEDed
- Cupid/Eros and Psyche - TEDed
- Greek Philosphers
- Socrates - School of Life
- Plato - School of Life OR Plato's Best and Worst Ideas - TedEd
- Aristotle - School of Life
- Thermopylae - Extra History SERIES
- Archimedes - TedEd (Archimedes was a Greek Scientist who was Alexander the Great's teacher as a boy, and who's amazing Machines were later used against the Romans in the Punic Wars, so he could be included here or under the Punic Wars. The videos on the Punic Wars mentions him.).
MONEY AND WRITING - A CROSS CIVILIZATION OVERVIEW
The Alphabet - Origins of Writing - Extra History
The History of Paper Money - Origins of Exchange - Extra History - #1
(NOTE: This one travels far out of our time frame, but does start in ancient times)
ANCIENT INDIA - PART II
Buddha and Ashoka: Crash Course World History #6
2,000 Years of Chinese History! The Mandate of Heaven and Confucius: Crash Course World History #7
Worksheet: Discussion Questions
- The History of the Great Wall - TedEd
- Terra Cotta Warriors - TedEd
- Who Was Confucius - TedEd
- The Three Kingdoms - Extra History SERIES
- The Silk Road and Ancient Trade: Crash Course World History #9
- Worksheet: Discussion Questions
- Greek and Roman Art - TICE (May have already watched during study of Greece)
- Rome: The Punic Wars - Extra History SERIES
- TedEd (If you didn't include this video about Archimedes after Alexander the Great, it goes well here. The videos on the Punic Wars explains how he was involved in them.).
- Grachus the Elder (good pre-quel to the Brothers Gracchi, but not essential)
- The Brothers Gracchi: How Republics Fall - Extra History SERIES...leads up to Caesar
- The Assassination of Julius Caesar - TEDed
- PICK ONE of the Below for Cleopatra
- History vs. Cleopatra - TEDed (brief) or...
- Cleopatra's Egypt - Invictus (longer)
- Cleopatra - Extra Credits SERIES (longest)
- History vs. Agustus - TEDed
- Teenage Life in Ancient Rome - TEDed (Daily Life - Boys)
- 4 Sisters in Ancient Rome - TEDed (Daily Life - Girls)
- Day in the Life of a Roman Soldier - TEDed
- Odenathus - Ghosts of the Desert - Extra History
- Middle East: Palmyra Today - Afterword - Extra History
The Rise and Fall of Celtic Warriors
CHRISTIANITY + JUDAISM
(Yes, I realize I need to cover Judaism much earlier...and would love suggestions of resources).
- Worksheet: Discussion Questions
- Early Christian Schisms - Extra History SERIES
THE ROMANS - PART II
Fall of The Roman Empire...in the 15th Century: Crash Course World History #12
The History of Rome in 20 Minutes (nice summary to re-cap)
CONTENT WARING: Brief mention of a rape, Renaissance paintings containing nudity.
MY OWN NOTES (Ignore this...it's some things I hope to add to this later):
TO ADD: Third Century Crisis - The Great Persecution - Extra History (it's a series they aren't finished with)