This month, we’re digging deep into BHP’s Little Big History (LBH) projects. It’s the season to do so, after all! Across the globe, Big History teachers are engaging students in this individualized research project, which serves as a capstone for the course. If you ask BHP teachers what they love about Little Big Histories, comments about student engagement rise to the top. We dare you to find a single student who moans, “Why do I have to learn this?” or “Why does this matter?” as they engage in LBH research. With the LBH, students focus their research on an object of their own choosing – and then produce a paper (or multimedia presentation) that tells its history over billions of years. As a result, the Big History narrative comes to life in a personally meaningful way.
Read on for what’s hot this month!
A short history of the Little Big History project
Esther Quaedackers, a Big History lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, was the driving force behind the curricular design of the original Little Big History project. She contributed this blog post, which peels back the curtain on her initial inspiration for the LBH, and how the project has evolved since!
Exchange with Esther Quaedackers
BHP teachers are all about collaboration in our online community. Though they’re often the best sources of support and information for one another, we like to bring in the occasional guest to stimulate conversation and take it in new directions. This month, from March 3 to March 5, we’ll be graced with the presence of Esther Quaedackers (Big History lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, and creative force behind the initial LBH project). Come with any and all questions related to Little Big Histories!
New classroom activity: LBH Brainstorm Guide
Inspired by Esther’s post (see above), and Bob Bain’s blog post Launching Your First Little Big History: Some Tips, we’ve added a new LBH activity to the sequence. A special thanks to BHP teachers Hajra Saeed (California, USA) and Constance van Hall (Amsterdam, Netherlands) for their input and collaboration in bringing this activity to life!
Getting started with LBH projects
Activities related to Little Big Histories are peppered throughout the second half of the course. If the LBH is new to you, we give an overview in the online PD course Teaching Big History. Module 5.2 is where you’ll want to focus!