History for Humans provides engaging history video curriculum and lessons to empower teachers & excite students!
History for Humans
creates engaging, relevant, and empowering history lesson plans in a “story-lecture” format for educators, homeschool parents, for middle and high school students. Knowing that stories are what provides meaning to our lives and that students are engaged and intrigued by gripping tales of the human spirit, History for Humans continues an oral history tradition that layers dramatic stories with important historical content that meet state and national history standards.
History for Humans aims to arm teachers and homeschoolers with everything needed for a full 90 lesson plan; a warm-up, learning targets and a guiding exploration question, a 10-15 minute story-lecture with interactive note-sheets, an extension activity that builds on what students learned in the video, an auto-graded quiz, and answer keys for everything. All extension lesson plans include everything thing students need to complete the task and include scaffolded questions which increase in complexity from DOK 1-4, and a task that fosters creative thinking and builds historical thinking skills. There are clear directions for all tasks, easy to use and manipulate materials, and forums on this site for students to engage with others around the country. History For Humans hopes to inspire students with a love of history and the confidence that they can be successful in learning it.
Aloha, I’m Dan Lewer.
I produce, write, and create the videos and learning materials for History for Humans. For eleven years I have been a social studies teacher in a Title-1 public high school and in 2020 I was named the Hawai’i State History Teacher of the Year by Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. With Gilder Lehrman, I was also afforded the amazing opportunity of studying at Oxford University to grow professionally, academically, and further develop my pedagogy in 2016 with amazing teachers around the country.
I teach AP students, ELL, Special Ed, and everything in between and I absolutely love it! But I know how hard it is to teach such a range of students- sometimes all in the same class. I have always loved using movies and visual media to help engage my students, but I know that for most of them, the educational videos on youtube fly through the material, and though entertaining and finely produced, often leave students with a vague understanding of the important historical terms, concepts, and most especially the vital historical lessons that could be taken away from the videos. All the work I've put into History For Humans is an attempt to do both of those things; engage and interest students while also teaching them so they actually understand. And the history lesson plans and resources I provide are designed to meet a range of students: Special Education, English Langauge Learners, honors or gifted and talented, and AP students. That is why there are supports built into the lessons and resources. In many ways, I do hope these are the perfect "one-click life savors" for distance learning and distance teaching for history teachers and homeschool parents.
Four years ago,
I was fortunate enough to take a sabbatical where I drove up and down and all over the country, living on couches, camping, and sleeping in my car, visiting with hundreds of teachers; some award-winning, some struggling through their first year, in inner-city, rural, public, private, charter, and magnet schools. I visited twenty-five states, many national parks, museums, over sixty schools, and all wrote about it in my blog: www.lewerstravels.weebly.com. It was a transformative experience collaborating with so many teachers from such diverse teaching environments and learned so much from them and the students I got to work with. I realized there are so many teachers just like myself- that are working so incredibly hard to provide learning activities for a wide range of abilities in one classroom so that all students can be challenged and supported so they can grow and improve and that many still are desperate for quality resources, but sometimes it feels like an impossible task.
This led me to create History for Humans. I wanted to create meaningful historical lessons that gripped students through the power of story but also taught them important historical concepts, events, and lessons needed to be a 21st-century citizen. I do hope these lesson plans, stories, and the history layered in them engage, excite, and empower students to not just be more successful and interested in class, but also become interested citizens knowing they can make a difference in their communities. I would love to hear from you and your students so please sign up for the newsletter or find me on social media and let us together make history meaningful again! ;)