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Top Ten: Humanities Lessons you missed this summer

By Nia Ashley on August 23, 2013 in TED-Ed Lessons


Are you a humanities teacher getting ready to head back to school? Here’s an excellent list of 10 TED-Ed Lessons you may have missed this summer.

If the plural of wish is “wishes”, why can’t we have six “fishes”?  John McWhorter explains how we arrived at the modern rules for plural words.


When, exactly, are we supposed to, use, the comma? Terisa Folaron shows us how in this TED-Ed Lesson.


The yin-yang symbol is everywhere, but what does it really represent?  John Bellaimey explains its Taoist/Daoist roots and the balance it can bring to our lives.


Tell a joke that will make everyone laugh. It’s impossible. Addison Anderson discusses why the indefinite nature of comedy it was makes it so appealing.


Like an actor’s script or a dancer’s choreography, sheet music tells a musician what to play and how to play it. Sheet music may look complicated, but as Tim Hansen explains, understanding its simple elements open up a world of music.


Who needs an orchestra when you can play the best instrument of all: your body? Beat NYC teach us the basics of beatboxing in this TED-Ed Lesson.


Restrictions on their liberty made it very unlikely for Victorian women to become great explorers, but a few brave, tenacious women defied the odds and accomplished great things. Courtney Stephens highlights three whose explorations greatly impacted history and science.


Captured a leviathan of a fish on your summer camping trip but didn’t bring a camera to capture the moment? Without a picture, who will believe you? K. Erica Dodge explains how fishermen in 19th century Japan recorded their catches by creating gyotaku, rubbings of freshly caught fish.


Ever look out from inside the classroom and wonder, why the word window? Does it have to do with wind? What about that peculiar sounding “ow” at the end? Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel explain how this metaphoric compound came to be in this episode of Mysteries of Vernacular.


How do you make a picture move? TED-Ed animators take you behind the scenes to see how optical illusions are at the heart of making images come to life.