The Top 17 Resources For Teaching World History

world history teaching resources

World history encompasses the rich and fascinating nature of human beings and how we’ve changed over time. World history or global history is important for students to learn as it gives them a grounding of where they came from and how the world came to be. Whether you're starting the yearly teacher planning or just need a few extra resources for teaching world history, here are a few suggestions to enrich your student's education on the history of the world.

Why Is Teaching World History Important?

According to Benjamin Schmidt, a professor at Northeastern University, the number of bachelor's degrees in history has declined over the last decade. With fewer enrollments in history courses, some universities are cutting their history departments altogether.

In fact, a survey by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni even found out that "more Americans...were able to identify Micheal Jackson as the composer of 'Beat It' than were familiar with their U.S Constitutional Rights. A direct effect of how historical literacy is decreasing.

Historically, our planet is vivid. Through learning about history, students immerse themselves in all that came before. Students learn about former societies, systems, governments, ideologies, rich cultures, and how technologies were built, changed, and operated. The plentiful tapestry of the world helps us to picture a detailed painting of where we are today and where we will be in the future. World history encompasses all, from the cradle of civilization in the Middle East to the ancient and still protected tribes of Papua New Guinea.

With that in mind, it's never been more important to teach our future generations about their historical upbringings.

world history female gladiators infographic

Our Favorite Resources For Teaching World History 

Take a look at our top 17 resources for teaching world history, helping you keep your students curious and on the edge of their seats!

1. PBS: World History

We know that planning lessons take a huge chunk of your time both in and out of school. The Public Broadcasting Service online learning platform has a whole host of amazing facts to discover. You can browse by subject and grade; each lesson also has an outcomes list attached, so you can be sure that you're teaching your students what they need to know. They also have a student-only section where you can send a code for their next lesson, perfect for tests and schoolwork.

2. World History Encyclopedia

Dividing your time between finding out relevant information and factual knowledge is important to enrich your students' historical education. The World History Encyclopedia is a user-friendly resource that you can utilize in your history lessons. They have a wide range of world history articles, all the way from Ancient Egypt to facts about animal husbandry. They also have free teaching resources, quizzes, and videos. Why not try it out?

3. Britannica Encyclopedia

Another fantastic teaching resource is Britannica Encyclopedia. Check out their dictionary, where you can look at linguistic world history, or browse their #WTFact section, which demystifies some of the world's most unusual stories into bite-sized articles. You can also check your students' understanding with their quizzes and games.

4. The History of Everything App

The History Of Everything app is a great resource for your students to learn about the timeline of historical events. It covers topics from the Big Bang to the creation of the Internet. The app is colorful and interactive, allowing students to scroll through the world's most important events. Combine this learning resource with an Encyclopedia, and your students will learn everything they need to know.

5. Edutopia

Do you want to know how to teach important world history topics? If so, check out Edutopia's index of resources for teachers. If you need some extra activities, want to learn more about being an ally to your students from different backgrounds, or wonder how to teach anti-racism, this resource is great!

6. Teaching History

TeachingHistory.com has a ton of resources for history professors from K-12. You'll be able to access resources and materials to teach high-quality U.S history education in your classrooms. Better yet, it's funded by the U.S Department of Education so that you can be sure the lessons you plan to correspond with the scheme of work you're using.

7. Stanford History Education Group

Want to access the highest-quality resources? The Stanford History Education Group comprises award-winning researchers that allow teachers to give their students the most up-to-date world history research. All materials are free to access, and their ‘Reading Like A Historian’ curriculum engages students in historical inquiry. Learning about world history is more than just memorizing facts! They also have how-to videos from other teachers, so you can see how teachers use these resources in the classroom.

world history British Crown jewels infographic

8. National Geographic

National Geographic should be in all history teachers' toolboxes. Access excellent articles about a wide range of topics and fact-check your knowledge before teaching world history. National Geographic Kids also has a ton of games, articles, and videos for children to learn about World History, Science, and Anima.

9. American Historical Association

The American Historical Association is an index site that teachers can use to improve their own knowledge of teaching history. They also have materials to develop and organize courses, sample assignments, course modules, and reading lists on various topics. You can search thematically, by resource type, or by project.

10. Teach Mideast

We sometimes get bogged down in the west with our history, and rarely do we find ourselves studying the myths, legends, and empires that co-existed alongside the history we already know. In the Middle East, for example, the birthplace of modern civilization, there are incredible references, documents, art, and culture to discover. The TeachMideast resource is an excellent way to brush up on Middle Eastern history and all the secrets of cultures we might have missed.

11. Flocabulary

Now for a fun, interactive resource that is sure to delight your students in the realm of world history. Flocabulary believes students learn best when they're at the forefront of their studies, as do we! Sign up and engage your students with their student-centered learning experiences from Grades K-12.

12. Facing History & Ourselves

If you want more teaching resources on educating your students about bigotry and injustice, check out this wonderful resource from Facing History and Ourselves. You can browse through resources on various topics, receive expert guidance, and learn new teaching methods. Check it out to actively guide your students in participating in a democratic society.

13. Learning For Justice

Learning for Justice has created this amazing index of resources for history and social studies teachers from grades 6-12. They offer professional development workshops in the Atlanta area, but if that’s too far from you, they also have online courses. Expand your education or browse through their film kits and lesson plans, helping you to teach your students about world history and anti-bias education.

14. Revisionist History Podcast

If you're after a new podcast series to show your grade 9-12 students, check out the Revisionist History podcast by Malcolm Gladwell. Go through a journey of misunderstood narratives from the past, from personal stories to the weird and wonderful. It's sure to get them thinking.

world history Egyptian pyramids infographic

15. Children And Youth In History

The Children and Youth in History website helps students and teachers learn about the important roles of young people in history. The resources allow students to access lived experiences from multiple perspectives and see how children have shaped history, society, and culture. Have a look at their database of over 300 world history resources, teaching modules, and case studies for grades 6-12.

16. Education.com

Education.com will soon become your bread and butter as a history teacher. Their worksheets and lesson plans are available for kindergarten up to 8th grade, covering a wide range of history topics. Look at the history of the American flag, study Ancient Mayan Mathematics, learn about influential women, and much more.

17. Google Arts And Culture

Explore the world of art history and more with this amazing online resource. Their user-friendly website is perfect for school work, research projects, and presentations. Scroll through the high-quality images to help your students visualize the stories of the past.