How to Learn the Entire History of the Universe (and Then Some) in One Song

Using the Barenaked Ladies’ song “The Big Bang Theory,” which is the theme of the show of the same name, this lesson covers: the formation of the universe, the beginning of life, discoveries of humankind, human evolution, and the future of the universe.


Some media may contain mature content. Discretion is advised when viewing with students.

Lesson Plan

Begin the lesson by asking students what they know about how the universe began and what they think will be the fate of the universe. After this discussion, the YouTube video of the song can be shown. A printout of the lyrics with room for student notes would also aid in the development of student ideas and discussion. The lyrics of the song are brief annotations on various topics in science and human history. Pause the video after the noted sections of lyrics and clarify them for students. The entire song can be used to express the concept of Uniformitarianism, which essentially investigates the events and laws of the past and how they continue to affect the universe today. This lesson can also be used to introduce evolution as it covers the ancestral environment of the Earth, several species, and their evolutionary fates. Finally, this lesson can also be used to explain the Big Bang and Big Crunch theories in an astronomy unit.

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Lesson tags: Eleventh, Music, Ninth, Science, Television, Tenth

Anthony Naclerio

Anthony Naclerio Tony Naclerio is a curriculum writer and experienced Science educator. Tony specializes in merging video games, music, movies, and other forms of entertainment with life science principles. Tony believes that the key to teaching science is showing how science can apply to everyday life. Science is, in its purest sense, a way to understand the world around you, and in turn, yourself.