Big History Project
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Big History examines our past, explains our present, and imagines our future

Watch Overview

Journey through nearly 14 billion years of history with your students. Ask the big questions about our Universe, our planet, life, and humanity. Explore where we are going in the future and challenge your students to develop the skills and knowledge they need to get there.

Are you a student?

Join classroom here

Not an educator?

Check out our public course — a four-to-six hour tour of Big History. It's a great option for parents and lifelong learners who want to study Big History.

The Big History Project: free, open, and online

Big History Project School Screenshot

Today we have more information available to us on our phones than was available in all the great libraries of Alexandria. How do we decide what claims we can trust? Big History teaches students to examine their intuition, looking at the authority, evidence, and logic of claims across disciplines and scales. Students learn to apply a thoughtful, consistent, and rigorous approach to engaging with new ideas and information and using evidence to construct effective arguments.

Register now to explore the course.

Why Teach Big History?

Thousands of teachers are teaching Big History. Just ask them...

Students have an instinct to think deeply and feel respected when presented with deep questions. The Big History Project facilitates independent, critical cross-disciplinary thinking, which is what the real world is all about. Our active class discussions and questions reflect this. Wow! — High school teacher, Brooklyn, NY
The curriculum melds multiple disciplines together in a very approachable way, enabling students to create astounding connections and igniting exciting discussions. — High school teacher, Novi, MI
Big History's captivating narrative engages students while challenging them to ask if they have enough proof to believe the story. This translates into better writing, stronger arguments, and a more rigorous, independent approach to their studies. — High school teacher, San Pedro, CA

What is Big History?

13.8 billion years of history told through engaging videos, animations, articles, and classroom activities targeting middle- and high-school students

  • Flexible and adaptable — the course can be delivered over a full year or just a semester, depending on your school's needs.
  • Everything is online — materials are up to date, always available, and easy to download and print.
  • Easy to customize — use teacher-generated lessons or explore and create your own using a comprehensive library of custom designed content.
  • Built to hit Common Core, C3 and state standards — built from the ground up to align with the expectations of the CCSS, starting with the learning outcomes and including the assessment and lesson activities. The Big History Project emphasizes inquiry, analysis, and argument over content knowledge.
  • Comprehensive professional development — online instructional guides, detailed lesson plans, training sessions, and videos—available online, anytime anywhere. Plus monthly online sessions to go deeper on core topics.
David Christian - What is Big History
What is Big History?

David Christian explains Big History and how it fits within a long-standing human tradition of telling origin stories.

Bill Gates - Student of Big History
One student of Big History

Bill Gates is providing program support to the Big History Project that includes preparing it for free public access.

Sample Main Talk Video
Sample Video Talk

Each unit features a Video Talk. Watch the sample video from Unit 6.

Join us!

The Big History Project is not a for-profit program. Your engagement will exclusively benefit teachers and students around the world.

Teaching the course
It's easy to teach Big History — all you have to do is register, set up a class, and go!


Start a pilot

Schools that want to work with us have the option of joining a small group committed to delivering Big History. By working closely with a handful of schools, we can use feedback to rapidly improve the course.

Create a movement

Districts and networks that want to explore how to bring Big History to life should reach out to discuss partnering with us. We can customize the course, aligning it with PBL, STEM, and other unique environments.

Teach the course

All of our courseware is free, online, and available to any teacher. The course content and curriculum is updated and fresh. We also offer technical and curriculum assistance. If you need it, just drop us a line!

Teaching Guide

Everything you need to know, from course pedagogy to course planning. Get it here.

PowerPoint Presentation

Need to inform parents or your school about Big History? Use these PowerPoint Slides.

Program FAQ

What's the course structure? Who's behind it? Get answers to often-asked questions.

Not an educator?

Check out our public course — a four-to-six hour tour of Big History. It's a great option for parents and lifelong learners who want to study Big History.

Questions about the Big History Project? Send us an email.

Are You A Student? Join Classroom Here

Register to teach Big History

You're about to take your classroom on an amazing journey through 13.8 billion years of history. It's gonna be great!

We know you want to get started. We've received your registration and have sent a confirmation letter to the email address you used to register. Click on the link in your confirmation e-mail to authenticate your account and you're all set to explore the Big History Project right away. Look for a follow-up e-mail from us for quick tips how to get started. Didn't get these messages? Email us at help@bighistoryproject.com.

Not a teacher? No problem. We've got a Big History Project for history buffs and other curious minds. Just visit https://www.bighistoryproject.com/bhplive to sign up for the public version of the Big History Project and you're on your way.