Universe Teacher Resources
Find Universe educational ideas and activities
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Is There a Center of the Universe?
The history of our understanding of the center of the universe is explored through this film. The ideas of Aristotle, Copernicus, Bruno, Descartes, and Herschel are included, as well as the new discoveries that have helped the theories evolve. Concepts mentioned include the Doppler effect, red shift, blue shift, and the big bang theory. Narration by a teenaged girl and colorful animations make this engaging even for the most distracted earth scientists in your class! Follow the video by discussing the questions provided on the website.
The Death of the Universe
We have all heard about the Big Bang and other theories about how the universe began, but how will it end? Cosmologists study dark matter and dark energy to try to figure out the answer to this mind-blowing question. This topic is a terrific addition to your lesson on the origin of the universe in your astronomy class.
String Theory and the Hidden Structures of the Universe
When we take things apart, we can learn how they work. Physicist Clifford Johnson explains how we break down all objects into elementary particles of matter and forces. Patterns have been identified with the particles, the existence dark matter has been suggested, and gravity's unexpected behavior at the quantum level all contribute to string theory. Studying the minuscule string theory can help us understand the vast structure of the universe! Strike a chord with your physicists by sharing this lesson on string theory.
Radius of Observable Universe
The concept of the universe can be incredibly complicated on a physical and mathematical level. Yet Salman Khan is able to explain ideas that lead to conclusions of universe size. He uses intriguing diagrams and presents information that should keep viewers interested.
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Interactive e-articles, graphic imagery, and high-quality video take you on a journey from the minuscule to the immeasurable! From the subatomic level, to the immense expanse of the universe, this will keep you occupied and learning about forces and matter for hours!
Getting Ready to Learn About Human Rights: Close Reading of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
Introduce young readers to informational texts with a well-designed, ready-to-use, and Common Core-aligned unit. Young readers will learn a variety of skills while studying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). As the first activity in this unit, the primary focus of the activity is learning to use the norms of class discussion as well as close reading practices. Your young readers will learn and practice strategies such as rereading, annotating, identifying key vocabulary, and summarizing. Making use of great instructional strategies, this unit is a must see! Note: The level of text complexity for this module would most likely make it appropriate for older grades as well.
Close Reading: The Introduction to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
As part of a group of lessons, your class will return to the primary text for this unit, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Key vocabulary as well as close reading strategies continue to be the focus skills; however, this lesson plan also covers identifying the main idea. For this section of the unit, your class will read, annotate, and take notes on the first five paragraphs of the UDHR. As the expert reader, you will model close reading strategies for paragraph one and guide the class through paragraph two before they complete paragraphs 3-5 independently. As a closing activity, everyone should add to the set of flashcards they started in the previous lesson plan.
The Beginning of the Universe, For Beginners
Cosmology is the study of how our universe evolves. The big bang theory is introduced as the beginning of everything we know. Particle physicists attempt to simulate early universe conditions and apply the results to a time when all of the different known forces were the same. If this topic is applicable to your curriculum, the short animation that can be embedded into your lesson on cosmology or particle physics.
Walt Whitman's Notebooks And Poetry: The Sweep Of The Universe
Whitman was an artistic practitioner. Read and compose poetry modeled on the poet's characteristic method of using his notebooks as a source of the personal experience to uncover the universal themes which he explored.
Students describe what scientists mean by an "expanding universe" in their own words. They explain how scientists comprehend the universie is expanding. Students comprehend the vast scale of the universe. They comprehend how theory and experiement come together to create scientific evidence.
The Universe Has Room for Change
In this universe and change worksheet, students read about the demotion of Pluto as one of the 9 planets as well as other changes in science. Students summarize their reading and identify unfamiliar words in the article. Students summarize the article using a graphic organizer and discuss with their classmates their understanding of the reading.
Dark Matter: The Matter We Can't See
It's looking like the dark side is bigger than we thought! Physicists speculate that perhaps 96% of the universe consists of invisible dark matter and dark energy, while only 4% is what we can view with the aided eye. This flabbergasting concept is explained with simplifying graphics and animated narration. A terrific film clip that will be a stimulating addition to your physics presentation when your class is studying fundamental particles. And may the force be with you!
Elegant Universe, The: Einstein's Dream
High schoolers visualize a universe with fewer than three spatial dimensions. They consider how more than three spatial dimensions could exist in the universe.
Sal defines and explains the premise of Hubble's Law and then uses trigonometry to show the relationship between velocity and distance. He explains that as the universe expands, objects get farther away from each other; as objects move away from each other, the relative velocity increases proportionally to the relative distance.
Identifying Universal Themes Across Cultures
Have your class read the story "The Magic Lake," retold by Liana Romulo, from Filipino Children's Favorite Stories. Guide them to identify the problem, solution, and universal theme. They compare the theme of this story to the theme of "A Feast of Gold" from the same book. The resource is well supported with vocabulary and information to build student background with the material. It also contains several useful charts and examples, but you have to register for a free login to get access to them.
Our Knowledge of the Universe
High schoolers explore an idea about the history of human knowledge of the universe and understand the process of scientific exploration. In this scientific exploration lesson students contemplate the state of astronomy and future missions.
Knowledge Quiz: The Universe
In this universe quiz learning exercise, students complete a set of 10 multiple choice questions that cover a variety of concepts about the universe: constellations, black holes, the solar system, etc.
New! Stanford University Commencement 2005
"Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on." In 2005, Steve Jobs looked back on his journey to becoming CEO and Co-Founder of Apple and Pixar, and offered some words of wisdom to the graduating class of Stanford University. Impress upon your young learners valuable lessons that they can take with them throughout their educational careers, such as the pursuit of passion and the need to have faith that even small actions will contribute to a greater outcome.
Building Background: A Short History of Human Rights
Here is the second part in a series of lessons where your class will return to their discussion of human rights and study of the primary source document the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Before continuing to read, they will need to understand why and how this document was written. First, show and discuss a video from UNICEF to demonstrate the need for such a document. Then have groups construct a timeline of events leading up to its creation. As with other lessons from this module, the lesson fosters great higher-level thinking skill such as asking questions and evaluating cause and effect.
The Basics of the Higgs Boson
Hot off the press! The Higgs boson may be proven to exist! In an ice cream "bar," two shady cartoon characters discuss the news. Since all particles are excitation of fields, the presence of this fundamental particle suggests that the Higgs field exists, filling the universe. The characters in the film break the concepts down in a cute and understandable way. Delight and perplex your physics learners as they consider the possibilities!