What are the best educational Netflix shows? We’ve gathered the top 30! Whether you’re showcasing these to students in the classroom or using them as part of a distance learning curriculum, these are the best options currently streaming.
Note to teachers: Some schools block Netflix, which requires you to use Netflix’s offline feature to download preferred shows and use them during class. When it comes to the legality of streaming Netflix in the classroom, the company notes which media are available for educational screenings. Also, grade recommendations were made by our editorial team, but of course, you are always the best judge of the appropriateness for your own children and students.
Best educational Netflix shows for elementary school
Ask the Storybots
The only thing more curious than the bots are kids. Celebrity appearances and a music video at the end of each episode only add to the fun.
This science-based show answers all sorts of questions kids tend to ask.
This compelling documentary showcases some of the world’s biggest engineering achievements.
Growing Up Wild
Five baby animals in different parts of the world grow up learning to survive the wild.
If I Were an Animal
Observe different animals as they age from babies to adults.
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.
Follow the number blocks as they work and sing in Numberland.
If you teach about the ocean, chances are there’s an Octonauts episode related to your unit.
Have students compare the film version to the classic novel of the same name.
Word Party Songs
These short videos (3-4 minutes each) teach opposites, colors, and more. Perfect for daily openers or brain breaks!
The Who Was? Show
Based on the popular book series, this live-action sketch-comedy show brings important historical figures, like King Tut, Marie Antoinette, and Pablo Picasso, to life in an entertaining and hilarious way.
Best educational Netflix shows for middle school
A biographical drama based on a true story. Drew Barrymore stars in this film about a reporter writing about whales trapped in the Arctic Circle.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Based on the book of the same name, this movie tells the real-life story of William Kamkwamba, who saved his village by inventing a windmill.
That’s right, gumshoes! The story of the legendary professional thief has been remixed into a cartoon series. But in this iteration, Carmen is trying to thwart evil. Those of us who grew up playing the computer game and watching the game show will love introducing the globe-trotting Carmen to a new generation of kids.
Discover 72 of the cutest animals on earth and how their adorable features help protect them.
I am Kalam
Introduce students to other cultures with this film about a child who is inspired by the life of India’s president.
Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History
Comedian Kevin Hart uses his silliness for good, teaching viewers about some of history’s unsung black heroes.
The Mars Generation
Teenagers at NASA’s Space Camp dream of traveling to Mars while experts reflect on the future and history of NASA.
Night on Earth
New technology showcases the hidden lives of nocturnal creatures.
The Short Game
Introduce students to the world of sports with these star golf athletes who are still in grade school.
Best educational Netflix shows for high school
Inspire the creatives in your classroom with this eight-episode documentary series on some of the world’s foremost designers, including photographer Platon, graphic designer Paula Scher, and sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield.
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.
Bill Nye: Science Guy
Bill Nye faces climate-change skeptics as he demonstrates the importance of scientific evidence.
Find out the most deadly creatures on earth!
In less than 20 minutes, the show tackles various topics, from the water crisis to the racial wealth gap, in an accessible way. Be sure to preview episodes, as some are not suitable for the classroom.
Inside Bill’s Brain
Take a trip inside the mind of billionaire Bill Gates as he opens up about those who influenced him and the audacious goals he’s still pursuing.
The Mind, Explained
Ever wonder what’s happening inside your head? From dreaming to anxiety disorders, discover how your brain works.
This Netflix series is a lot like Planet Earth, except it urgently calls for viewers to think about the ways that human actions are putting the nature and animals the series covers in peril.
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.
Discover the secrets of the universe: from black holes to distant planets.
What Netflix shows, movies, or documentaries do you use in your classroom? Come share in ourWeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, the best TED Talks to spark student discussion.