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What are your “Big Questions” you wish a science text book would answer? Haldane once observed, “The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, it is queerer than we can suppose.” 1.

Teaching Ideas, Discussions, and Suggested Activities by Chapter: Introduction Bryson lists some questions he considered when he was young, and then again the ones that made him want to write this book. How small was the “singularity” that began the universe?

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Chapter 2 Demonstration: Read the “Trip Across the Solar System.” Analogy: Solar system: If the Earth is the size of a pea, Jupiter is 1000 feet away and Pluto is a bacteria 1 1/2 miles away. Be warned: If you use this book in your class, you as a teacher will have to be willing to say “I don’t know” in answer to students’ questions. Very often the answer to the questions listed in the guide is “No one knows.” National Science Standards currently emphasize teaching Science as Inquiry. The book is probably most appropriate for high school and college students. In the guide, I have tried to list some of the Big Questions Bryson asks (and sometimes answers) in the book. Teachers: If you'd like a printable version of this guide, download the PDF attachment at the bottom of this page. He received the Aventis Prize for Science writing in 2004 and the Descartes Prize for science communication in 2005 for A Short History of Nearly Everything.


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