15 Best Educational Netflix Shows to Stream in the Classroom

Happy streaming!

educational netflix shows

What are the best educational Netflix shows to use in the classroom? We asked members of our WeAreTeachers community, and here’s what they had to say.

But first, a couple of tips. Some teachers told us that their schools block Netflix, so they use Netflix’s offline feature to download certain shows and use them during class. Others wondered about the legality of streaming Netflix in the classroom. While Netflix does prohibit public screenings of its content, representatives have said that this prohibition does not include classroom use. It’s a bit of a legal gray area, however, so use your discretion, and feel free to contact Netflix with any questions.

Best educational Netflix shows for elementary school

1. Bill Nye, the Science Guy

Lots of teachers mentioned using this Disney Channel classic to teach concepts like gravity, light, and evolution.

2. The Magic School Bus

When a science concept just isn’t clicking for your students … Ms. Frizzle to the rescue! Stream episodes on the human body, gardening, weather, and more.

3. Octonauts

If you teach about the ocean, chances are there’s an Octonauts episode related to your unit.

4. Sid the Science Kid

Great for introducing younger students to observation and the scientific method.

5. Super Why!

A fun reward for your beginning readers … watch Whyatt and his pals solve problems through the power of reading.

 

Best educational Netflix shows for middle school

6. A Girl Like Her

“I use this movie with my seventh and eighth graders to talk about bullying and suicide. I ask for parental permission slips first.” — Krista H.

7. Brain Games

Help students understand the brain science behind just about everything, from fear to persuasion to exercise.

8. Life

This incredible series, narrated by David Attenborough, explores life on Earth in extraordinary detail.

9. Planet Earth

This award-winning documentary series is perfect for middle school science or geography classes.

10. Wild China

An amazing documentary series about the natural habitats of China.

 

Best educational Netflix shows for high school

11. American Experience: War of the Worlds

“I use a number of films from the American Experience series. Next up: War of the Worlds. Very excited!” — Lacey M.

12. Bill Nye Saves the World

In this wacky talk show, the popular educator explores scientific topics in the everyday world, including climate change, video games, and space travel.

13. Departures

“I use this travel show about two friends crisscrossing the globe in my geography classes.” — Laura R.

14. Living on One Dollar

Help students better understand extreme poverty with this documentary about two friends who visit Guatemala and attempt to live on one dollar a day.

15. The Twilight Zone

“I use it to teach irony (‘Time Enough at Last’), scapegoating (‘Monsters are Due on Maple Street’), and conformity (‘The Eye of the Beholder’). I’ve also used episodes as a quick, fun, shared experience for us to look at setting, conflict, and/or theme.” — Jacky B.

 

Hannah Hudson

Posted by Hannah Hudson

Hannah Hudson is the editorial director of WeAreTeachers. You can follow her on Twitter at @hannahthudson or on Facebook here. Email her at hannah@weareteachers.com.

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