Human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are characterized by their unique ability to self-renew indefinitely, as well as to differentiate into any cell type of the human body. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) share these salient characteristics with ESCs and can easily be generated from any given individual by reprogramming somatic cell types such as fibroblasts or blood cells. The spinal motor neuron (MN) is a specialized neuronal subtype that synapses with muscle to control movement. Here, we present a method to generate functional, postmitotic, spinal motor neurons through the directed differentiation of ESCs and iPSCs by the use of small molecules. These cells can be utilized to study the development and function of human motor neurons in healthy and disease states.