Cosmic Times

Cosmic Times Overview Guide

The Cosmic Times posters

The Cosmic Times newspapers tell the history of our understanding of the changing Universe through student readings tracing the major discoveries in cosmology over the past century. Each poster resembles the front page of a newspaper from a particular time in this history, with articles about the various discoveries.

Here we give a brief overview of each of the Cosmic Times issues. We also list lesson plans that can either be used as an introduction to Cosmic Times as a whole or that are appropriate to be used with any of the posters. The other sections of the Teachers' Guide give background information about the articles in each Cosmic Times issue. In addtion, those pages list lesson plans designed specifically to accompany the science topics within that particular issue of Cosmic Times.

Jump to:
Articles :: Lessons :: Keywords and Themes :: Educational Standards :: Downloads


Lesson Plans

  • Click here to see a summary table of all Cosmic Times lessons →
  • Cosmic Times Gallery Walk
    • Overview: Students spend a few minutes at each Cosmic Times poster to answer an open-ended question about the information on that poster. This activity provides students an introduction to the material on the Cosmic Times posters. It may also be used to foster student discussion about a particular Cosmic Times subject.
    • Grades: middle school and high school
    • Topics: Physics, Astronomy, Multidisciplinary
    • Downloads
  • Cosmic Times Jigsaw
    • Overview: Students work in teams to see the big picture of about how scientists have come to know what they do about the Universe using articles from the Cosmic Times posters.
    • Grades: middle school and high school
    • Topics: Multidisciplinary
    • Download
  • Century Timeline
    • Overview: Students create a timeline of world events from 1905 through 2006, the years encompassed by the Cosmic Times posters, to get a sense of the history surrounding the discoveries over the past century.
    • Grades: middle school and high school
    • Topics: Multidisciplinary
    • Download
      • Lesson Plan: doc, pdf
      • Supporting Materials:
        • Appendix A: Examples of key historic events, organized by Cosmic Times themes: doc, pdf
        • Appendix B: Science, Cultural, and World Events: doc, pdf
  • Reading Strategies
    • Overview: Students learn several reading strategies that can be used to understand the Cosmic Times materials, and other readings that may be challenging to them.
    • Grades: middle school and high school
    • Topics: Multidisciplinary
    • Download

Keywords and Themes

We have provided a list of keywords to help you find materials related to specific topics. For each keyword, we've identified Cosmic Times articles and lesson plans that can be used to either teach that concept or supplement your existing curriculum.
Click here to see the list of keywords and associated materals →

Educational Standards

We have provided two tables to show which National Education Standards are met by each of the Cosmic Times Lesson Plans. Use the links below to view those tables.


Use the link below to visit a page containing all of the available downloads for all of the Cosmic Times issues, organized by Cosmic Times year.
Click here to visit the Cosmic Times master download page →

A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC