Resources for the Story of the Origin of the Universe

Variety of Versions:

The first time I told my daughter the Story of the Origin of the Universe, it was a version I wrote myself. I will always remember the spark in her eyes, her gasps and smiles and her “Amazing! I can’t imagine it! I mean I CAN imagine it and it’s amazing!”, and how she made her own illustration/impressionistic chart of what stayed with her. She’s so interested in atoms so my story included that–and I think that’s one of the beauty of telling these stories–you can make it your own, bringing out and highlighting parts that matters to you at a particular point in your co-learning and/or incorporating your own beliefs and values. And that is something I do say in all of my telling of the stories–that this is a version–and some people might have a different version of the story and some may not be telling this story at all; some may tell an entirely different story.

I do have (purchased for $349) Mainly Montessori’s Sequence Timeline as resource where presentations are organized in a convenient timeline format–including The Story of the Origin of the Universe, plus a resource guide that lists the experiments and impressionistic charts.

I also have (as an affiliate; but subscription is $99/month) Guidepost Montessori’s Homeschool Program curriculum which contains a video of the story and follow-up work.

I’ll include more free resources of different versions of the story, but for now I’ll share here that I loved watching this video of the telling of The Story of the Universe in a class by Harborlight Montessori. I liked the version they told, the way they used a projector to show huge pictures in a dark room, the ooohs and woahs of the children, and the way their telling transported me and ignited the imagination (“… stars repeat this process again and again–expansion and contraction–it is as if the universe itself is breathing long, slow breaths through the stars”).

Laws of the Universe Experiments:

Here you can see a file from Montessori Research and Development with 20 experiments showing the Laws of the Universe which help concretize some nature and behavior of things and phenomena that are part of the story.

More on the Laws of the Universe experiments from Montessori Kiwi here; plus printables which can help the child do the experiments independently after the guide/adult’s presentation for purchase here.

Impressionistic Charts:

An Impressionistic Chart made by my daughter. It is usually called How Small the Earth is or A Comparison of the Size of the Earth to the Sun. But we’re calling it The Yellow Dwarf and the Blue Dot based on the story I wrote myself, my own version of the First Great Story.

What they are and some Geography Impressionistic Charts (which start with the ones used for the First Great Story) in these Powerpoint slides by Dr. Michael Dorer

Books for Children:

Becoming Me: A Story of Creation by Martin Boroson, illustrated by Christopher Gilvan-Cartwright. Watch it here.

Older Than the Stars by Karen C. Fox, illustrated by Nancy Davis. Watch a read aloud here.

Born with a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story by Jennifer Morgan, illustrated by Dana Lynne Andersen

I’m excited to do something like this: a timeline of some events in the Universe’s story as seen towards the end of the book Born with a Bang.

Books for Prepared Adult:

The Deep Well of Time: The Transformative Power of Storytelling in the Classroom by Michael J. Dorer

Children of the Universe: Cosmic Education in the Montessori Elementary Classroom by Michael and D’Neil Duffy

Note: This is an evolving depository of resources which I will curate as I go along. I have been wanting to do a post on resources for a while and I thought I wanted it to be this ambitious completed list, but I realized that just as the Universe we see in our Story is always expanding and contracting, ever-changing; just as my then 5-year-old said–everything is always moving–so will this be a moving, evolving trove. Just as what the Universe wrote to Dearest Earthling in Born with a Bang–“as [we] learn more, the story will change”. This is this for now.

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Share your notes with me!