We humans

A car-trip video playlist: 8 great TED-Ed lessons to make a drive fly by

Nov 26, 2019

Got a car full of restless kids and miles of road ahead of you? These 8 TED-Ed lessons will entertain and amaze them — and teach them a thing or two along the way.

Go here now to watch the entire playlist.

1. TED-Ed Lesson: Why do we itch?

Why to watch: Sometimes it’s an allergic reaction, other times it’s a bug bite, and there just might be an evolutionary reason behind our ability to feel those annoying sensations.

Fun fact: The average person experiences dozens of itches a day.

2. TED-Ed Lesson: The history of chocolate

Why to watch: Talking to kids about where their food comes from is an important conversation to have — and the complex history of chocolate is a great place to start.

Fun fact: When chocolate was first prepared by the Maya and Aztec peoples, it was a savory, frothy drink made with cornmeal and chili peppers.

3. TED-Ed Lesson: How did Polynesian wayfinders navigate the Pacific Ocean?

Why to watch: For many centuries, wayfinders used currents, stars, the sun and the clouds to make incredible journeys across the massive Pacific Ocean.

Fun fact: The Pacific Ocean is larger than all of the land on Earth, combined.

4. TED-Ed Lesson: Why are sloths so slow?

Why to watch: Sloths famously descend from their treetop lives just once a week for a bathroom break, and their particular biology leads them to live such sedate lives.

Fun fact: We might not have avocados today if it weren’t for the help of prehistoric giant sloths.

5. TED-Ed Lesson: The myth behind the Chinese zodiac

Why to watch: Find out where the Year of the Pig and the Year of the Ox come from, and why they follow a particular order.

Fun fact: You don’t just have an animal assigned to your birth year, but you can also have a “true animal” based on your birth date and a “secret animal” based on your birth hour.

6. TED-Ed Lesson: The breathtaking courage of Harriet Tubman

Why to watch: One of America’s most remarkable heroes, Harriet Tubman had a remarkable life — she escaped slavery, risked her life over and over again to save other enslaved people, and fought for women’s suffrage.

Fun fact: Harriet Tubman was the first woman in recorded American history to plan and lead a military raid, liberating nearly 700 enslaved people.

7. Meet the tardigrade, the toughest animal on Earth

Why to watch: Bringing a whole new meaning to “small but mighty”, the tiny one-millimeter-long tardigrade is one of Earth’s weirdest and most resilient inhabitants. Found living in almost every environment on the planet, they have a lot to teach us about survival.

Fun fact: Tardigrades have even been to the vacuum of space, and survived — no special suit needed.

8. TED-Ed lesson: Did the Amazons really exist?

Why to watch: Stories from Greece, ancient Egypt, Persia, the Middle East, Central Asia, India and China all feature Amazon-like warrior women. But were they real?

Fun fact: In ancient Greece, stories of the Amazons were so popular that little girls at the time played with Amazon dolls.

Go here now to watch the entire playlist.