How To Use YouTube In Your History Class

Can you imagine the level of first-hand knowledge today’s students would have if their classrooms came equipped with time machines? Well, believe it or not, they do. Teachers can turn to YouTube to create a virtual time machine. Thanks to uploads of old footage, documentaries and reenactments, YouTube offers a plethora of opportunities to experience history. But wading through countless hours of videos, some appropriate and many not, can be a major undertaking.The handy infographic below allows teachers to take their students on an educational trip through history. Keep reading to learn more!

How To Use YouTube To Relive History

What historical events can you ‘relive’ via YouTube (even if video hadn’t been invented yet)?

  • The Gettysburg Address
  • Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
  • JFK Assassination
  • Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech
  • The Landing on the Moon

Where To Start

There are a lot of ‘big name’ places that have YouTube channels that offer tons of educational content. Here are a few favorites.

  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • US National Archives
  • World History and Other Stuff
  • NASA
  • Education
  • Library of Congress
  • Timelife
  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum

A Few Tips

  • Make sure to watch all videos in full to determine classroom appropriateness
  • Use tools to cut videos if necessary (there are lots of free options online)
  • Start with videos from reputable channels
  • You can ask for password protected access to YouTube if your school blocks it
  • Or, you can download videos at home and show them in class



  1. Kristen

    May 3, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    This is a really great resource for social studies teachers. I often spend hours looking for appropriate video materials for lesson plans. This is a really great easy to use guide. Thanks for posting!

  2. Carol

    May 3, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    Im doing a research paper on advances in education-past to present and I stumbled on this gem! I’m a full time teacher and has just became my go to spot for History! WOW! I’m impressed. Someone took the time to think it out. Good Job!

  3. Dianne

    May 6, 2014 at 1:00 am

    Great resource! Going to love using it this year and next year with two grade levels!

  4. Vicki

    May 6, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I use the HistoryTeachers YouTube channel frequently. They’ve made music videos with great information that have high student interest.