This morning I had a student ask me "what does 'the' mean?" It's was one of those classic teenager moments of trying to distract me/ waste time at the start of class. I indulged him for a minute then got on with the plan for the day. The interaction did remind me that there was a TED-Ed lesson years released years ago about the origins of the English language. A little search through my archives and I found that lesson along with another lesson from The Open University on the same topic.
Where Did English Come From? The TED-Ed lesson focuses on the evolution of language and similarities to other languages. The TED-Ed video is embedded below.
The History of English from Open University is embedded below. As with many Open University lessons you should screen them to judge their suitability for your high school students.