Ch 15: Origins of the Universe Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Origins of the Universe chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach space science in your classroom. 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 Origins of the Universe 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 The Big Bang theory Singularity and universe expansion, the red shift of light, cosmic microwave background radiation and the formation of elements
Tuesday Galaxies and stars The solar nebular hypothesis, galaxy formation and galaxy shapes, star formation and star life cycles, sun structure, the life cycles of black holes
Wednesday Origins of the Earth and moon The development of planetesimals and the formation of the Earth's layers; the giant impact, capture, fission and condensation theories
Thursday Planets in the solar system Characteristics of the inner, outer and dwarf planets; predictors of extraterrestrial life on Mars and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn
Friday Other space objects Characteristics of comets, asteroids and meteorites

18 Lessons in Chapter 15: Origins of the Universe Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Origins of the Universe: The Big Bang and Expanding & Contracting Universes

1. 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.

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

2. 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.

Star Formation: Main Sequence, Dwarf & Giant Stars

3. Star Formation: Main Sequence, Dwarf & Giant Stars

Learn how stars are born, beginning with a protostar. Then learn about stars in later stages of life, including main sequence stars, brown dwarfs, red giants, and black holes.

Types of Telescopes: Radio, Reflecting & Refracting Telescopes

4. Types of Telescopes: Radio, Reflecting & Refracting Telescopes

Learn about the different types of telescopes that astronomers use: X-ray, radio, gamma ray, reflecting and refracting. Learn what the differences are between them and what different things they show us about the universe.

Galaxy Formation: Spiral, Elliptical & Irregular Galaxies

5. Galaxy Formation: Spiral, Elliptical & Irregular Galaxies

This lesson explains how galaxies form, starting with the Big Bang. You'll also learn about the solar nebula hypothesis and three galaxy types, including spiral, elliptical, and irregular galaxies.

Types of Stars by Size, Color and Life Cycle

6. Types of Stars by Size, Color and Life Cycle

Learn to identify the different sizes and colors of stars and how they relate to the star life cycle. In this lesson, we'll talk about spectral classification, how many stars there are of each type and the approximate color of the different classes of stars.

Structure of the Sun

7. Structure of the Sun

Discover the layers of the sun, including the core, radiative zone, convective zone, photosphere, chromosphere, and corona. Find out which layers you can see from Earth. Investigate what sunspots and solar flares are.

Stages of the Sun's Life Cycle

8. Stages of the Sun's Life Cycle

Discover our sun, the provider of energy for life on Earth. Learn how the sun was born, how it lives as a main sequence star, how it will age into a red giant and how it will die as a white dwarf.

Life Cycle of Neutron Stars

9. Life Cycle of Neutron Stars

Discover the life of a neutron star, including how it's born after a supernova explosion and how its extreme pressure causes protons and electrons to combine into neutrons. Discover also how pulsars are rotating neutron stars that will eventually slow down to become regular neutron stars.

Supernova and Supergiant Star Life Cycle

10. Supernova and Supergiant Star Life Cycle

Learn about one of the biggest explosions known to humankind - a supernova. Follow a star's life cycle and learn how a star changes from a red giant to a supernova to a black hole or neutron star.

Life Cycle of Black Holes

11. Life Cycle of Black Holes

Learn about black holes, their myths and their reality. Learn how black holes form after stars undergo supernovae and create singularities. Discover how big black holes grow, how scientists find black holes and where black holes are located in the universe.

Inner Planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars

12. Inner Planets of the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars

Take a tour of the four inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Known as the terrestrial planets, find out what makes each of them unique and how they are different from the outer planets, the gas giants.

Formation of the Earth: Theories

13. Formation of the Earth: Theories

In this lesson, the theory of how the planet Earth formed will be discussed. This includes looking at how it differentiated into three layers, how it formed its atmosphere, water, and land features, and how it continues to evolve today.

Formation of the Moon: Theories

14. Formation of the Moon: Theories

Explore the four major theories on the formation of the Moon. The theories include the fission theory, capture theory, condensation theory and giant impact theory. Also look at both information supporting and flaws found in these theories.

Planetary Predictors of Extraterrestrial Life

15. Planetary Predictors of Extraterrestrial Life

Investigate what is needed for life to exist anywhere and the implications for life in our solar system beyond Earth. Consider Mars and some of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, including Europa, Callisto, Ganymede and Enceladus.

Outer Planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

16. Outer Planets of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

Take a tour of the outer planets of our solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Find out what makes each of these gas giants unique and learn about Pluto, a dwarf planet.

Dwarf Planets of the Solar System: Pluto, Eris, Haumea & Ceres

17. Dwarf Planets of the Solar System: Pluto, Eris, Haumea & Ceres

Discover why Pluto had to leave the league of planets and was downgraded to a dwarf planet. Learn the definitions for planet and dwarf planet. Find out about the currently classified dwarf planets in our solar system: Pluto, Eris, Ceres, Haumea and Makemake.

Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets: Definitions and Characteristics

18. Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets: Definitions and Characteristics

This lesson will cover the definitions and characteristics of asteroids, comets and meteorites. It will also explore what impact they have had on Earth and the impact they might have in the future.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support