About History For Humans

History for Humans provides engaging history video curriculum to empower teachers to cut the lecture & engage more with their students!

History For Humans

is dedicated to empowering teachers to stop lecturing and start teaching and engaging with their students. Content delivery should NOT be the focus of a teacher's lesson in today's world and History For Humans video lessons allow teachers and homeschool parents to spend their efforts and time on supporting students instead; addressing misconceptions, guiding discussions, and providing the support students need in real time!

History For Humans create videos in a “story-lecture” format for upper elementary all the way through high school students. Knowing that stories are what provides meaning to our lives and that students can find the relevancy and make deeper connections with stories, History for Humans continues an oral history tradition that also align directly with state and national history standards.

History for Humans American history video lesson plans aims to arm teachers and homeschoolers with everything needed for a complete lesson plan; a warm-up, learning targets and a guiding exploration question, a 8-12 minute video with interactive note-sheets, an extension activity that builds on what students learned in the video, an auto-graded quiz (only for US History II lesson currently).  All extension lessons build historical thinking skills but include scaffolds and supports for diverse learners. History For Humans hopes to inspire students with a love of history and the confidence that they can be successful learning it by empowering their teachers with click and deliver lessons!

Dan's Story

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 videos to help engage my students, but I know that for most of them, the educational videos on YouTube fly through the material and often leave students with a vague understanding of the terms, concepts, and important historical lessons in the video. On top of that, as I teacher, I still had to spend precious time outside school hours to create a lesson plan around the video. Whether it was creating guided note sheets, thinking maps, or comprehension questions for students in order to make the videos really help students learn- it was more work.  I realized if there were full lesson plans that go with the history videos, it would save me so much time and stress so that I could put more energy into actually teaching my students! This is what led me to create History For Humans.

I imagine classrooms where students can learn at their own pace and teachers are free to spend their energies supporting and exploring history along side them! 

Engaging With Students in Real Learning

That's why History For Humans provides full history video lesson plans- the direct instruction, the formative assessment, and the learning activity that teachers will explore with their students. With videos, students can learn at their own pace- rewatching parts when necessary, and the teacher is free to bounce around the room checking for understanding and helping students make connections and think deeper on the material! Truly being a guide on the side and not the sage on the stage.

And the history lesson plans and resources for each video are designed to meet a range of students: Special Education, English Language Learners, honors or gifted and talented, and AP students.

Four years ago I traveled to schools all over the country and I was never the same...

I was fortunate enough to take a sabbatical in 2017 driving up and down and across 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-seven states, many national parks, museums, over sixty schools, and wrote all 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.

The collaborations I have had with those teachers helped me improve and refine History For Humans to meet the needs of students from all different backgrounds in all different classrooms. It means so much to me knowing that teachers from all over the country in all different settings are using History For Humans resources to engage students and transform their classrooms and finding greater joy in teaching history.  And I would so 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! ;)

@History_4_Humans - Instagram and TitkTok 

History For Humans on Facebook (oh wait, Meta) ! :)