BHP Lesson 41: The History of Everything

We’ve studied 13.8 billion years of history in this course. Now it’s time to reflect on what we’ve learned!

Driving Question: What were the most significant events in history?

  • If you had to identify the three most important moments in your life, what were they? That’s a pretty small timeline! What if we made our timeline larger? How would that change what you deemed significant? We could do that same exercise for your country. What were the three most significant events in your country’s history? Determining historical significance is exactly what a historian does! They look at the whole narrative and decide what they deem most important to focus our time and attention on. Those important events become the cornerstones of the stories that we tell about ourselves and our place in the world. 

Word of the Day: Significance

  • Definition: The quality of being worthy of attention or having importance. 
  • In history, we’re often looking to identify historical significance. To do that, we must analyze large chunks of time in the past and determine what stands out as a significant trend or moment. Oftentimes, historical significance might depend upon the lens with which you’re analyzing history. Different historians may arrive at different conclusions. 


  • Go to Khan Academy and do the activity Timeline Review.
  • We’ve studied 13.8 billion years of history in this course. Now it’s time to look back and think about what we’ve learned. In this activity, you’re going to use the Big History Timeline Infographic to pick out the four most important events in the history of the Universe that are not thresholds. You’ll need to justify what you think makes that event so significant!

Historian’s Journal Prompt

  • What are the three most significant events in the history of your life?
  • You might want to start by constructing a timeline of your life. Include as many events as you think are relevant. Your timeline could even begin before you were born. Were there events leading up to your birth that are an important part of your story? Once you have the timeline constructed, decide on the three most significant events. Then explain why you chose those three.