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Ch 24: Universe Theories Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Universe Theories chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the scientific theories that explain how the universe began and how it continues to grow. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Universe Theories chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday Beginning and growth of the universe The universe, solar system, galaxy, the Big Bang, the edge-center problem, Olber's paradox, and cosmic expansion
Tuesday Theories about the universe The entire universe vs. the observable universe, the Big Bang theory, the Steady State model, red-shift, background radiation, and expansion
Wednesday Early years of the universe Nucleosynthesis, cosmological principle, photons, development of the early universe, and particle soup
Thursday What the universe looks like Closed universe, flat universe, open universe, WIMPs, dark matter, nonbaryonic matter, cosmic inflation, horizon problems, and flatness problems
Friday Age and speed of the universe Cosmological constants, dark energy, quintessence, critical density, Hubble's law, time, and constant, big crunch, and age calculation methods

15 Lessons in Chapter 24: Universe Theories Lesson Plans
Solar System, Galaxy, & Universe: Definitions & Difference

1. Solar System, Galaxy, & Universe: Definitions & Difference

Want to learn what the universe, galaxy, and solar system are as well as some cool facts about each one? This lesson will give you an overview of what these three things are in a relatable fashion.

Origins of the Universe: The Big Bang and Expanding & Contracting Universes

2. Origins of the Universe: The Big Bang and Expanding & Contracting Universes

Students will learn the origins of the universe, the Big Bang theory, the timeline of the universe, how the universe is still expanding to this day, and what astronomers expect the universe to look like in the future.

Olbers' Paradox & Cosmic Expansion: Nature of the Universe

3. Olbers' Paradox & Cosmic Expansion: Nature of the Universe

Why is the night sky dark if there are so many stars in the universe? It used to be thought our universe had several properties that we now know not to be true. This lesson will explain what all that means and why the night sky isn't as bright as the sun.

The Observable Universe vs. the Entire Universe

4. The Observable Universe vs. the Entire Universe

This lesson will tie in the concepts of our observable universe, redshift, and the cosmic light horizon to explain why we cannot see the entire universe.

Evidence for the Big Bang Theory: Background Radiation, Red-Shift and Expansion

5. Evidence for the Big Bang Theory: Background Radiation, Red-Shift and Expansion

Discover what evidence exists to support the Big Bang theory of the birth of the universe. Learn how cosmic background radiation, the red shift of light and the ongoing expansion of the universe led scientists to believe that the universe was started with the Big Bang.

The Steady State Theory vs. the Big Bang Theory

6. The Steady State Theory vs. the Big Bang Theory

Did you know that the Big Bang wasn't always a well-accepted theory of our universe? There was a competing theory called the Steady State theory. Find out what it was all about and why its proponent actually helped name the Big Bang theory.

Photons, Particle Soup & Nucleosynthesis

7. Photons, Particle Soup & Nucleosynthesis

This lesson will explore what happened in the fractions of a second and minutes after the Big Bang occurred. You'll learn about matter, antimatter, photons, deuterons, positrons, and a lot more!

The Evolution of the Early Universe

8. The Evolution of the Early Universe

This lesson will describe four important stages of development in the early universe, the radiation era, recombination (decoupling) epoch, the dark age, and reionization era.

The Cosmological Principle

9. The Cosmological Principle

This lesson will dive into the famous cosmological principle by defining and explaining isotropy and homogeneity as well as their important implications for our universe.

Three Models of the Universe: Flat, Open & Closed

10. Three Models of the Universe: Flat, Open & Closed

This lesson will describe three models of the universe, including closed, open, and flat, as well as critical density and which model is most likely the correct one.

Hot & Cold Dark Matter & WIMPs

11. Hot & Cold Dark Matter & WIMPs

Neutrinos, neutralinos, axinos, gravitinos, and what the inos! Dark matter is a crazy thing and there are many different kinds of dark matter. This lesson will go over what they are and what they might be made of.

Cosmic Inflation: Solving the Flatness & Horizon Problems

12. Cosmic Inflation: Solving the Flatness & Horizon Problems

The standard Big Bang theory doesn't explain everything in our universe, namely the horizon problem and flatness problems. This lesson will explain what does, inflation, and how so.

The Acceleration of the Universe

13. The Acceleration of the Universe

The acceleration of our universe is driven by a mysterious dark energy, which can take more than one form. This dark energy helps to explain why our universe is flat.

How To Calculate the Age of the Universe

14. How To Calculate the Age of the Universe

This lesson will explain to you how old our universe is and how we calculate it thanks to the Hubble law and Hubble constant as well as one other simple equation.

The Universe's Curvature, Age & Fate

15. The Universe's Curvature, Age & Fate

What is the age of our universe? What shape does it take? What determines the fate of our universe and what is this fate? This lesson will tell you all of this and more!

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