Big History ProjectBig History weaves evidence and insights about the Universe (and our place in it) from many scientific and historical disciplines into a unified and coherent narrative. The concept of Big History arose from a desire to go beyond specialized and self-contained fields of study to a deeper understanding of history as a whole. Big History explores how we are connected to everything around us, and where we may be heading. It provides a foundation for thinking about the future and the changes that are reshaping our world. 

To support your middle and high school students at home, veteran BHP teacher Rachel Hansen will guide students daily through the Big History Project on Khan Academy. She will provide content recommendations for each day, along with a Word of the Day and guiding questions. The Khan Academy version of the course also includes a comprehensive set of practice quizzes and activities for students at home.

If you are a parent who wants a little more support as you use these materials with your kids, sign up as a home school teacher at and join the BHP Teacher Community. There you’ll find real-time support from other BHP educators and academics as you support your students, and get answers to your own questions.

Rachel teaches at Muscatine High School in Muscatine, IA — where she and her students like to wear flannels on Fridays and name their class plants. She’s taught the Big History Project for six years and serves as a teacher leader for the program. In addition, Rachel is a National Geographic Explorer whose work focuses on storytelling for impact using podcasts. When not teaching social studies, Rachel enjoys going on outdoor adventures, coaching basketball, and dinking around on the piano.

BHP Lessons
  • BHP Lesson 10: Evidence

    One of the most powerful claim testers we have at our disposal in search of the truth is evidence. It’s hard to ignore the kind of facts that you can see and verify. That’s why evidence is so strongly…

    • 2 Apr 2020
  • BHP Lesson 9: Authority

    Authority is one of the claim testers that helps us decide what to believe. People who are experts gain credibility in their field by consistently demonstrating logical and reliable patterns of thinking…

    • 1 Apr 2020
  • BHP Lesson 8: Claim Testing

    In Big History, students are presented with a lot of claims. We use the term “claim testing” in Big History to describe the process that someone goes through when evaluating the credibility of an assertion…

    • 31 Mar 2020
  • BHP Lesson 7: The Big Bang

    The Big Bang remains a mystery in many ways. We have a lot of evidence for what happened just after, but we can only guess at what existed before. Observing the Universe tells us a lot about the Big Bang…

    • 30 Mar 2020
  • BHP Lesson 6: Changing Views of the Universe

    The Big Bang hasn’t always been the generally accepted explanation of how our Universe came to be. In fact, our views on the origin and structure of the Universe have changed drastically over the last…

    • 29 Mar 2020
  • BHP Lesson 5: Complexity

    As the planet has evolved since the beginning of time, everything, including plants, humans, and animals, have gotten more complicated. In Big History, we break up time, or periodize, by using major changes…

    • 26 Mar 2020
  • BHP Lesson 4: What Are Disciplines?

    History relies on way more than just historians to put together accounts of the past. Archeologists, anthropologists, physicists, cosmologists, and many, many others contribute to our understanding of…

    • 26 Mar 2020
  • BHP Lesson 3: Origin Stories

    Everything came from somewhere. In this video, we’ll consider those somewheres, and the stories we tell to explain and understand how life, the universe, and everything came to be. You’ll also meet Alphonse…

    • 24 Mar 2020
  • BHP Lesson 2: Scale

    Today, we’ll learn about the importance of scale when studying history. We’ll think about scales of both time and space, and how they impact our understanding of the past.…

    • 23 Mar 2020
  • BHP Lesson 1: Welcome to Big History

    This video introduces the Big History Project course on Khan Academy, and your host, Rachel Hansen. You’ll be given a driving question to explore, a word of the day to think about, and video to watch.…

    • 22 Mar 2020