Using Videos to Teach Early American History

early american history activities for kids Education Possible

During our 10 Day Early American History series we have shared some of our favorite ideas for studying history, including hands-on and interactive learning tools, books and other unique resources .  Today we take a look at incorporating technology into your lessons by using videos to teach Early American History.  We’ll start with a few of our favorite video/DVD series and then suggest ways for your children make their own history related videos.

Favorite Early American History Videos

As much as we love books we find it’s also helpful to use videos/DVDs to expand our understanding of a subject like history.  Here are a few video/DVD series we have used over the years and often recommend to other families.  I have included links to Amazon so you can get a complete description of each show, but don’t forget to check Netflix and your public library to see if they offer any of these titles for your use. Using Videos to Teach Early American History

 Create Your Own History Videos

One of the best strategies to test for understanding is to have your children repeat back to you what they have learned about a subject.  When we talk about reading for understanding we often practice narration which is simply having the child tell us in their own words what they read or heard.

Using Videos to Teach Early American History

Why not take this a step further and add in some fun by having your children create a video to demonstrate what they have learned about a specific event in Early American History. With technology available through a digital camera, cell phone or computer your children will most likely have the tools they need to complete this project.  Some options might include:

Live Action Video – Children can act out a scene from American history such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence or recite a famous speech such as Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” and record their performance (the video setting on a digital camera will work for this).  We have used iMovie on our iPad to easily create and edit this type of project.

Collection of Images – If your child is interested in a certain aspect of history you can have them collect images about that topic and use those to create a video.  We have used Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple’s Keynote to build this type of presentation.  Here is an example of a video a college student created using historical art to tell the story of the Early Colonial American History.

Stop Motion – As LEGO fans my boys have also been big stop motion video fans – those LEGO Mini Figs are great props for stop motion videos!  My children have been using the I Can Animate software for several years to make their own stop motion videos, but there are other free and simple stop motion movie making options available as well.  Here is an example of a LEGO movie about the American Revolution Battles at Lexington and Concord.

We hope your family has fun blending history lessons and technology!


iHN Autumn Hopscotch 2013

This post is a continuation of our 10 day series, Early American History Activities for Kids, which is a part of iHN’s hopscotch. Hop over to check out all of the other blogs that are participating.


  1. We just bought Liberty’s Kids and are planning on incorporating it into our November history studies. We’ve never seen any of them, so I’m hoping the kids’ enjoy the series. But, at only $5.99 for 40 episodes I was willing to take the chance.

    • Hi Valerie, I hope your family enjoys the Liberty’s Kids shows. We used to live in VA and the series was part of the Saturday morning cartoon programming. My kids watched it regularly then and still remember many of the stories. Let us know what they think! 🙂