Showing posts with label Free documentaries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Free documentaries. Show all posts

Thursday, February 9, 2012

DocumentaryZ - Another Place to Find Free Documentaries

In the past I've shared some lists of good places to find and watch free documentaries online (here's one list). Today, I learned about another place that teachers and students can find and watch documentaries online. DocumentaryZ offers hundreds of documentaries organized into two dozen categories. Many of the videos are served via YouTube, but some are not. If you're fortunate enough to work in a school that allows you to access YouTube, DocumentaryZ is worth bookmarking.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a documentary to use in your classroom, take a look at DocumentaryZ. I do have one word of caution, the Health and Sexuality categories do include some topics that may not be appropriate for all students. Therefore, it would be best to use DocumentaryZ for your own searches rather than letting students search the site on their own.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Watch Freedom Riders Online for Free

The American Experience documentary Freedom Riders recently popped-up in my Netflix suggestions. That suggestion made me wonder if Freedom Riders is available for full-length viewing on the American Experience website. It turns out that it is. You can watch the nearly two-hour story of civil rights activists who in 1961 banded together to challenge segregation laws and practices in the south.

Watch Freedom Riders on PBS. See more from American Experience.

Applications for Education
If you do not have the time to show the entire documentary in your classroom, the American Experience/ Freedom Riders website has many excerpts that you can watch. American Experience offers an extensive viewing guide for teachers to use with their students.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Watch 75 Full-Length National Geographic Films

I've highlighted Snag Films and Snag Learning in the past. It's been a while though so I thought I should point out that Snag Films has some great educational content available for free viewing. One great example of this is their National Geographic channel containing 75 full-length documentaries. You can view these videos online or use the iPad, Android tablet, and Kindle Fire apps to watch Snag Films.

Here is the beginning Last Stand of the Great Bear, one of the 75 National Geographic documentaries available on Snag Films.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

5 Places to Find and Watch Documentaries Online

Quality documentary videos can provide students with useful explanations or demonstrations of concepts. Unfortunately, documentary dvds can be expensive acquisitions for some school departments. Here are five places where you can find and watch documentaries for free online.

Snag Learning offers access to hundreds of high quality documentary videos. Snag Learning categorizes documentaries by grade level and content area. Additionally, Snag Learning offers a series of guiding questions for each film. You can embed previews of each video into your blog, but you have to watch the full-length versions on Snag Learning. produces and hosts high-quality documentary films and photographs. The films and images focus on exploring the world and the work of non-profit organizations around the world. The films and images are organized by destination. There are twelve destinations in all including China, Tibet, the Middle East, and India. is funded in part by the Annenburg Foundation.

Documentary Heaven is a free site that has organized more than 1600 documentary films found across the Internet. Through Documentary Heaven can find documentaries covering all kinds of topics in science, history, politics, business, and many more categories. The videos are sourced from a variety of services including, but not limited to, YouTube.

Folk Streams is a good website featuring documentary films of American life. Visitors to Folk Streams will find films about various demographic segments of the population as well as films about regions of the country. The films are produced by independent directors and come from a variety of distributors. Most of the films appear to be between thirty and sixty minutes in length although there are some films outside of that range. Visitors to Folk Streams can search by region, subject, title, filmmaker, or distributor.

Top Documentary Films is a catalog of documentaries gathered from across the web. Top Documentary Films doesn't actually host the videos rather it serves as a directory of documentaries. Each documentary includes a screen image, a summary, and either an embedded video or a link to the source where you can watch the film for free.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Three Free Stossel in the Classroom DVDs

Stossel in the Classroom is currently giving away three free DVDs to educators. The DVDs contain multiple segments of John Stossel's television work that can be applied to classroom lessons. Each DVD is accompanied by downloadable materials for teachers to use in their classrooms. The 2012 DVD appears to be focused on topics in economics while the 2010 and 2011 DVDs appear to cover a broader range of topics. That said, all of the DVDs address topics that are relevant to middle school and high school social studies classrooms.

I know that John Stossel can be a polarizing figure and that many teachers disagree with some of his work. That said, I personally know a couple of social studies teachers who do like his work and would enjoy getting these DVDs for free

H/T to Fred Delventhal.

Monday, September 12, 2011

9/12 From Chaos to Community

This week's Snag Learning Film of the Week is 9/12 From Chaos to Community. This hour-long documentary chronicles the lives of people who came together to create or recreate a sense of community in New York after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. As always Snag Learning has a set of discussion questions to accompany the film. Watch a preview of the film below or watch the whole thing here.
Watch more free documentaries

Monday, September 5, 2011

Inside Islam - What a Billion Muslims Really Think

This week's Snag Learning Film of the Week is Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think. The film is based on the work of Gallup researchers who interviewed tens of thousands of people in 35 predominantly Muslim countries. The researchers asked questions like "What do Muslim women really want?" and "What do Muslims like and dislike about the West?" The film presents the researchers' work to challenge some popular notions and misconceptions about the feelings of Muslims toward the United States. You can find the film here.

Applications for Education
Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think could be a good film for high school social studies teachers. You might considering doing a prior knowledge check before showing the film then afterward have students note how their "knowledge" changed after watching the film.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Children of the Congo: From War to Witches

This week's Snag Learning Film of the Week is Children of the Congo: From War to Witches. This hour-long film documents the effects of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the children of DRC. The film investigates the work of individuals and organizations to bring positive change to the lives of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The film is embedded below.
Watch more free documentaries
Click here to watch the full-length film and read the accompanying discussion questions.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Snag Learning Film of the Week - The Last Survivor

This week's Snag Learning Film of the Week is The Last Survivor.The Last Survivor is a film that tells the stories of four different survivors of four different genocides; The Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur, and Congo. The film focuses on the themes of what it means to be a refugee and survivor of a horrible atrocity.

You can view the film here or as embedded below.
Watch more free documentaries

Applications for Education
This film addresses some heavy topics in ways that might not be appropriate for students below the high school level.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Journeys Through the Red, White, and Blue

This week's Snag Learning Film of the Week is Journeys Through the Red, White, and Blue. This 35 minute film chronicles the stories of three young men in New York City as they go to vote. The story is focused around exploring the value of one person's vote in local and national elections. Click here to watch the film and read the accompanying discussion questions.
Watch more free documentaries

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Free Documentary TV - Find & Watch Free Documentaries

I love watching a good documentary. If Time Warner Cable would allow it, I would choose to receive only the channels that showed documentaries and sports. Fortunately, for those of us who love documentaries there are thousands of good ones available on the web if you can find them.

Free Documentary TV is designed to help you find and watch documentary films online. You can browse through 1700+ films on Free Documentary TV or enter search terms to find a film of interest to you. The majority of the films are served through the YouTube player so you can watch them on Free Documentary TV or on YouTube.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a good documentary film to use in your classroom, give Free Documentary TV a try. If you do find a film that you like and it's hosted on YouTube, I recommend using View Pure to display it in your classroom without showing the "related content" and advertisements that appear on YouTube.