Big History Project Unit 1 Teacher Plan

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Big History Project community resources. Demonstrates one approach to planning for and teaching Unit 1, with an emphasis on journaling.

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Big History Project Unit 1 Teacher Plan

  1. 1. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES TEACHING MATERIALS UNIT 1 COMMUNITY RESOURCES UNIT 1 PLAN SCOTT HENSTRAND Brooklyn Collaborative Studies 9th graders Overview The follow unit plan demonstrates one approach to planning for and teaching Unit 1, with an emphasis on journaling. LESSON UNIT 1 DURATION 1.1 A Big Story- a brief overview of the big questions- Letter to take home 1 Day 1.2 “A Big Story”- Christian video- note taking; “What is a journal?” discussion using notes from journal so far 1 Day 1.3 Comparing origin narrative- Introduction to ideas on creation stories – Cynthia Brown article and myth resources 3 Days 1.4 BH activity- “Your origin story”- Write your belief in an origin narrative using points from Brown article (Complete for homework). Class share on 3rd day 3 Days 1.5 BH article- “Cosmology and Faith”- journaling and discussion. Read article for homework to be ready for the discussion in class 1 Day 1.6 “Intro to Big History” video (David Christian short version)- using the journal and note making 1 Day 1.7 BH resource- Thresholds of Complexity- video, threshold card, journaling, discussion 2 Days 1.8 Making scaled models of 1 cubic centimeter- Eames film on Powers of Ten 3 Days 1.9 BH resource- Case Study #1- Why look at things from far away and close up? (Due after assessment) 3 days 1.10 BH Assessment 1 day Total 19 Days
  2. 2. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES 1.1 (1 day) The Big Questions Write in each box a quick idea on what you think is the answer to the question: How did my world form? Who am I in this story?
  3. 3. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES The Big Questions Write in each box a quick idea on what you think is the answer to the question: What is our future?
  4. 4. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES How do I know what I know?
  5. 5. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES 1.2 (1 day) What is a journal? Watch the cartoon video “A Big Story” with David Christian, someone you will see a lot in this course. Jot down any ideas that come to mind while watching the video. Based on your journal entries from yesterday and today, what do you think is the purpose of keeping a journal?
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  7. 7. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES 1.3 (3 days) Comparing Origin Narratives First, read the Cynthia Brown article on “Origin Stories” below. Take notes in the blank spaces around the article. Now choose, with your group, an origin tale to read. Take notes in your notebook on the particulars of your tale in the Origin Stories Comparison Chart in lesson 1.4. Make notes concise to share with the other groups.
  8. 8. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES 1.4 (3 days) Your Origin Story How do you define your personal history? Depending on who you are and what you do, it may be different from how others define it. This exercise is designed to help you think about your own history in different ways – each of which should reveal something unique about you. Use these prompts to list details about you that you would like classmates to know about yourself. Personal History What are the three most important things you would want someone to know about your life? 1. 2. 3. Example: I was born in Madison, WI, on March 14, 1999. Family History What three things would provide someone with the best understanding of your family’s history? 1. 2. 3. Example: My parents met in New York after both their families moved to Brooklyn. Cultural History What three things would best help someone understand the context for your personal and family’s history?
  9. 9. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES 1. 2. 3. Example: Our family comes from a long line of merchants and traders that lived in Spain. Biological History What three things would help someone understand your biological history? 1. 2. 3. Example: I have green eyes that come from my mom’s side. Chemical History What three things would help people better understand your physiology? 1. 2. 3. Example: I am allergic to wheat. Origin Story - Can you put the information above into an origin story like we read from other cultures, like you are a hero? Use extra paper if you need or, even better, type it on to a computer!
  10. 10. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES
  11. 11. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES 1.5 (1 day) BH article - “Cosmology and Faith”- Read the article, marking any points that are important to you. Then, at the end of the article, summarize the most important point the article makes to you to share with your group. What is the most important point in this article that you want to share with your group?
  12. 12. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES 1.6 (1 day) Introduction to Big History David Christian- “What is Big History?” Use the transcript to put down any ideas you have during the film. We will stop the video at key points while watching so you can do this. After watching the video and taking notes, write down your answers to these two questions: What is Big History? Why should we care?
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  14. 14. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES 1.7 (2 days) Thresholds of Complexity We are going to be learning a few key words today that will be important for the rest of the year. Put down a meaning for each as you get it. Complexity- Goldilocks conditions- Thresholds of increasing complexity- While watching the video, we will stop at certain points to answer the questions below 0:25 – What are the three characteristics that all thresholds of increasing complexity exhibit
  15. 15. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES 0:34 – Why are thresholds so important to the issues of simplicity and complexity?
  16. 16. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES 1:18 – How do thresholds relate to each other? 1:38 – How does the Universe today compare with the early Universe in terms of complexity?
  17. 17. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES Now look at the threshold card, Thresholds of Increasing Complexity. Answer the questions below as a group, each of you should write the group answer in your journal. Threshold card questions 1. How are ingredients defined and why are they important?
  18. 18. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES 2. How are Goldilocks Conditions defined and why are they important? 3. How is complexity defined and why is it important? 4. What are the eight thresholds of complexity? How many could you name without looking at the card? Elect someone from your group to compete. The group that can name the most will get a prize!
  19. 19. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES 1.8 (3 days) Scale What does it mean to compare objects at different scales? What do we mean when we say we can look at things from different scales? Task one: As a group you are going to be given a small piece of wood that is 1 centimeter wide by 1 centimeter high by 1 centimeter long. Using cardboard and tape make an object that is 10 times as large as the cube, 100 times as large, and 1000 times as large. If you finish quickly, make a cube for extra credit that is 1,000,000 time the size of the original small cube!!! Did you find a pattern? Looking at things from different scales
  20. 20. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES We can look at things from different distances. Watch the Power of Ten video and write down any thoughts that come to mind about how this relates to Big History. Now answer this question: How do we look at our world using different scales of time?
  21. 21. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES 1.9 (4 days- 3 in class and 1 at home to finish) Conduct Investigation 1- Why look at things from far away and close up? Part One: Capturing your conjectures (a conjecture is a guess we make without much evidence) Why do you think it is useful for you to take a faraway look and a close-up look at something? Can you think of a time when this could be helpful to you?
  22. 22. BIG HISTORY PROJECT / COMMUNITY RESOURCES Investigation 1 – Why look at things from far away and close up? Read the materials in the Investigation Library. What do the pictures, texts, and activities teach you about the value of a faraway and a close-up view? Use the table in the investigation to help capture your information and organize your thinking. There is also a worksheet in Text 06 to help you use different scales to examine your own life. After reading all the documents, your initial conjectures, your notes, and any other information you have, try to figure out an answer to the investigation question. Don’t forget to cite your sources to support your argument!

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