Big History

Big History brings to life an audacious idea—a single course that covers the complete history of people and the Universe. By sharing the big picture and challenging students to look at the world from many different perspectives, we hope to help them better understand how we got here, where we’re going, and how they fit in. Big history can help you get your mind around the whole of the past and understand the most important changes that have occurred during the 13.7 billion years since the Big Bang. You will get a sense of the huge scales of time and space and learn to see your place within the context of the entire Universe. Big history is the modern, scientific equivalent of the origin stories that have been told in all human societies.

This is a weekly history group for ages 13 and up. We will be using the Big History Project (bighistoryproject.com) as our main source of material. After you sign up, Heddi will give you access to the online classroom where you will find weekly homework assignments.

Age range: 13 and up

Activity rating: Mellow- this activity is calm and tends to be focused and/or structured, good for sensitive kids

Occasional materials fee for in class projects

Bio of instructor: Heddi Craft has been homeschooling for the past 12 years and has taught many classes at the DLC. She taught Big History three years ago and found it inspiring!

THIS CLASS IS CURRENTLY FULL.

Weekly assignments will be sent by email.


Class Schedule

Homework prior to first class:

Create an account on https://school.bighistoryproject.com/ using the information you were sent by email.
Go to Unit 1: What is Big History?
In Lesson 1.0: watch What is Big History AND The History of Everything
In Lesson 1.1: watch the Powers of Ten video

Homework from September 6-- Unit 1 What is Big History?
Go to Unit 1: What is Big History?
In Lesson 1.2: Everyone read "Origin Stories Introduction" and "Origin Story: Modern Scientific"
There are seven origin stories. Read at least four of the stories including the stories assigned specifically to you by email.
In Lesson 1.3: Read "Approaches to Knowledge" and watch How Do We Decide What to Believe?

Homework from September 13-- Unit 1 What is Big History?
Go to Unit 1
In Lesson 1.3: Complete Investigation 1. Bring your 2-3 paragraph response to class. Please email me if you have any questions!
Go to Unit 2: The Big Bang
In Lesson 2.0: Watch "A Big History of Everything-- H2", "Threshold 1: The Big Bang", and "Questions about the Big Bang".

Homework from September 20-- Unit 2 The Big Bang
Go to Unit 2: The Big Bang
In Lesson 2.1: Watch "How Did Our View of the Universe Change?" AND read the following four articles: "Claudius Ptolemy," "Nicolaus Copernicus," "Isaac Newton," and "Edwin Hubble."
OPTIONAL: Read the other two articles in Lesson 2.1 and/or watch "Hubble's Expanding Universe..." in Lesson 2.3 and/or read "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" and "Tycho Brahe" in Other Materials

Homework from September 27-- Unit 2 The Big Bang
Go to Unit 2
In Lesson 2.2: Watch "Are We Alone?", "Introduction to Cosmology" and "Introduction to Astrophysics"
In Lesson 2.3: Watch "What Is the Universe Expanding Into?' and "What are Dark Matter and Energy?"
In Other Materials: Watch "What Emerged From the Big Bang?"

Homework from October 4-- Unit 2 The Big Bang
Go to Unit 2: The Big Bang
In Lesson 2.2: Complete "Investigation 2". This is a similar assignment to the one that we did with the last unit. Please bring your completed essay to class!
Go to Unit 3: Stars and Elements
In Lesson 3.0: Read "The Life of a Star", view the infographic "Life Cycles of the Stars", and watch "How Were Stars Formed" and "A Big History of Everything- H2"

Homework from October 11-- Unit 3 Stars and Elements
Go to Unit 3: Stars and Elements
In Lesson 3.1: Watch "Threshold 3: New Chemical Elements", "What Did Stars Give Us?", and "Crash Course: Stars and Elements."
In Lesson 3.3 (yes, we skipped past 3.2 for the moment): Watch "Crash Course Astronomy: Stars"

Homework from October 18-- Unit 3 Stars and Elements
Go to Unit 3 Stars and Elements
In Lesson 3.2: Watch "Ways of Knowing- Intro to Chemistry" and "Crash Course Chemistry: Periodic Table of Elements" then read the articles on "Dmitri Meldeleev" and "Marie Curie"

Homework from October 25-- Unit 3 Stars and Elements
Your first assignment is to finish your origin story and illustration for your superhero team, which you will share in class. Remember, you can write a story, create a slide show, or even create a comic strip. Just make sure that your story incorporates items 1-7 on the assignment. (if you lost the assignment, you can see it in Unit 3, Lesson 3.1, Activity Superhero Elements)

Go to Unit 4 Our Solar System and Earth
In Lesson 4.0: Watch "Threshold 4: Earth and the Solar System" and "How Did Earth and the Solar System Form?" and "The Sun: A Brief Big History" Optional: read "How Our Solar System Formed"

Homework from November 1-- Unit 4 Earth and Solar System
Go to Unit 4: Our Solar System and Earth
In Lesson 4.1: Watch "What Was Young Earth Like?" and "The Early Atmosphere" and view the three infographics in this lesson.
Skip 4.2 and 4.3 for now!
In Lesson 4.4: Watch "Crash Course Astronomy: Introduction to the Solar System" and "To Scale: The Solar System"

Homework from November 8-- Unit 4 Earth and Solar System
Go to Unit 4 Our Solar System and Earth
In Lesson 4.2: Watch "Crash Course: The Solar System & the Earth" and "Our Shifting Globe" and read "Why We're All Lava Surfers"
In Lesson 4.3: Watch "Introduction to Geology" and "Introduction to the Geological Time Chart" (Optional: read the accompanying articles.) Go to Investigation 4. Complete the investigation up through the timeline (you do not need to write the essay). Bring your COMPLETED TIMELINE on paper to class on Tuesday.

Homework from November 15-- Unit 4 Earth and Solar System
Go to Unit 5 Life
In Lesson 5.0: Watch "A Big History of Everything", and "Crash Course: The Origins of Life". Read "Life and Purpose" and view the the Timeline infographic
In Other Materials (at the bottom of the lessons): Watch "What is Life?"

November 22-- no class

Homework from November 29-- Unit 5 Life
Go to Unit 5 Life
In Lesson 5.1: Watch "How did Life Begin and Change?", "Mini Thresholds of Life", and "Crash Course: The Evolutionary Epic." View the Tree of Life infographic.
In Lesson 5.2: Read "What is the Biosphere?" and watch "How do Earth and Life Interact?"

Homework from December 6-- Unit 5 Life
Go to Unit 5 Life
In Lesson 5.3: View the image gallery called "Voyage of the Beagle: Reading and Gallery", read "Darwin, Evolution, and Faith", and watch "Codes- H2"
In Lesson 5.4: Watch "The Three Biggest Space Impacts Ever"
In Other Materials (or from your handout): View your choice of materials from the resource section of "Unit 5 PBL" to prepare for the group project.

Homework from December 13-- Unit 5 Life
Go to Unit 5: Life
In Other Materials: Open "Unit 5 - PBL". Review the requirements of the assignment with your partner and make sure you are prepared. Also, look at the Presentation Rubric and the PBL feedback table to see how your presentation will be judged. 

December 20-- no class

December 27-- no class

January 3-- no class

Homework from January 10-- Unit 5 Life
Go to Unit 6: Early Humans
In Lesson 6.0: Watch "Threshold 6: Humans and Collective Learning" and "Crash Course: Human Evolution" and read "Lucy and the Leakeys". 
In Lesson 6.1: Watch "Intro to Anthropology" and "Intro to Archaeology" 

Homework from January 17-- Unit 6 Early Humans
Go to Unit 6
In Lesson 6.2: Read "Collective Learning (Part 1)" and and watch "Common Man- H2" and "Early Evidence of Collective Learning"
In Other Materials: Watch "How did our Ancestors Evolve"
Finally, watch this Little Big History of Water video
You can find the kick-off information here. Please be ready to share the Little Big History topic you plan to work on.

Homework from January 24-- Unit 6 Early Humans
Go to Unit 6
In Lesson 6.3: Watch "How did the First Humans Live?", "From Foraging to Food Shopping", and "Genealogy and Human Ancestry". Read the article titled "Foraging"
In Other Materials: Watch "What Makes Humans Different?"

Homework from January 31-- Unit 6 Early Humans
Go to Unit 6
In Lesson 6.3: Download and complete Investigation 6. Be prepared to share your final essay in class next week. I am more concerned about the completeness of your thinking and your use of evidence than I am the exact length of the essay.

Go to Unit 7
In Lesson 7.0: Watch "Threshold 7: Agriculture" and "Why was Agriculture so Important?"

Homework from February 7-- Unit 7 Agriculture and Civilization
Go to Unit 7
In Lesson 7.1: Watch "Where and Why Did the First City States Appear?"
Read the articles as assigned in the email.  Print out or take notes on your articles.
In Lesson 7.0: Print the Little Big History Biography (or copy the text to your own document) and complete this over the next two weeks. Bring the completed assignment to class on February 21st.

Homework from February 14-- Unit 7 Agriculture and Civilization
Go to Unit 7
In Lesson 7.0: Finish the Little Big History Biography (or copy the text to your own document). Bring the completed assignment to class on February 21st.
In Lesson 7.2: Watch "Intro to History" and "Crash Course: Migrations and Intensification" and read "Recordkeeping and History".

Homework from February 21-- Unit 7 Agriculture and Civilization
Go to Unit 7
In Lesson 7.2: Go to Investigation 7. Read the 13 investigation texts. Take notes on each one based on the "Things to Think About" box on each text. DO NOT complete the rest of the assignment. Bring your notes, copies of the texts (if you can), and a laptop or other device (if you can) to class and we'll be working in small groups to create presentations based on the investigation question.
In Other Materials: Watch the video "Transition to Agriculture" 
Find the schedule for the Little Big History Project here.

Homework from February 28-- Unit 7 Agriculture and Civilization
Go to Unit 8: Expansion and Interconnection.
In Lesson 8.0: Watch "Why Did Civilization Expand?" and "Crash Course: The Modern Revolution" and read "The Four World Zones."
In Lesson 8.1: Watch "How did the World Become Interconnected?"
Finally, continue research on your Little Big History Project, doing more research in the areas I suggested in our meeting.


Homework from March 7-- Unit 8 Expansion and Interconnection
Go to Unit 8
In Lesson 8.1: Read "An Age of Adventure," "Ibn Battuta," "Marco Polo," and "Zheng He".
In Lesson 8.2: Watch "Crash Course World History: The Columbian Exchange
In Other Materials: Read "A Little Big History of Horses" for further inspiration on how to organize your project.
If you have a laptop or other device that can be used with Google Slides, please bring it to class next week. Thanks!
Details on the Little Big History Project.

Homework from March 14-- Unit 8 Expansion and Interconnection
Go to Unit 8
In Lesson 8.3: Watch "Jacqueline Howard: The History of Money" and "Systems of Exchange and Trade", then read "One Lump or Two: The Development of Global Economy" and "She Blinded Me With Science"
Finish your research for your Little Big History Project this week so that you can complete your presentation next week and be ready for our March 28th due date!

Homework from March 21-- Unit 8 Expansion and Interconnection
Complete Little Big History Projects

Homework from March 28-- Unit 8 Expansion and Interconnection, Little Big History Presentations
Go to Unit 9
In Lesson 9.1: Watch "Threshold 8: The Modern Revolution," "Crash Course: The Industrial Revolution," and "How Did Change Accelerate?" Read the article "Acceleration."

April 4-- no class

Homework from April 11-- Unit 9 Acceleration
Go to Unit 9
In Lesson 9.2: Watch "Crash Course: The Anthropocene and the Near Future" and read "The Anthropocene"
In Lesson 9.3: Read "Collective Learning, Part 4" and "Smith, Marx, and Keynes"

Homework from April 18-- Unit 9 Acceleration
Go to Unit 9
In Lesson 9.4: Watch "How was the Modern World Created?" and "Crash Course World History Globalization I" and read "Why is that T-shirt so cheap?"
In Lesson 9.5: Read "You Say You Want a Revolution" and watch "Crash Course World History: Imperialism"

Homework from April 25-- Unit 9 Acceleration
Go to Unit 9
In Lesson 9.7: Read "And then Ghandi Came". Print out the "Comparing Rights Documents" worksheet (or copy the content onto your own paper), then using the links in the "Declaration of Rights Documents Reading List", complete the worksheet and bring it to class.
In Lesson 9.8: Watch "TED-Ed - Who Won the Space Race?" and "TED-Ed - Could We Actually Live on Mars?". Optional but recommended- read "Which Way to Space?" and "Will We Ever Colonize Mars?"


May 2-- Unit 9 Acceleration


May 9-- Unit 10 The Future

May 16-- Unit 10 The Future

May 23-- Unit 10 The Future
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