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ACTIVITY: Scale – History of Me


In this activity, you’ll write a history of yourself, and then you’ll reflect upon the scale at which you examined your own history. This will help show you how your own personal narrative has a lot in common with the much larger Big History narrative.
This activity also introduces the concept of both temporal and spatial scale. This will help you understand why historians will occasionally zoom out (in terms of both time and geography) to create a larger context for understanding a single history.


Take 4 minutes (time yourself!) to write a “history of you”. Do your best, and include whatever you want in your history. Don’t worry about spelling and grammar, this is more about the details of your life.
Ok start writing (and timing yourself) then when you’re done answer the questions below.
  1. Did you write about your time in school?
  2. Did you write about your childhood?
  3. Did you write about your parents? Your parents’ childhoods?
  4. Did you write about your grandparents?
  5. What about anything that happened over 100 years ago?
  6. How about anything that happened over 1,000 years ago?
You probably wrote about your childhood and your parents. You might have written about your grandparents, but you probably didn’t write about anything more than 100 years ago.
Also, did you write about anything that is further away than the state you’re currently in? Did you talk about anything that’s further away than the country you’re currently in? What is the most distant place you mentioned?
You can’t really think about history without first thinking about the scale at which you’re examining it, so it’s really important. This includes both time scales and spatial scales.
In this course, you’ll use timelines to help with scale, and you’ll also use the language of spatial scale when talking about where things happened in history. The terms personal, local, regional, national, and global will be used to help us think and talk about scales of space. There are many other terms, but those are the ones we’ll use in this course.

Want to join the conversation?

  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user dresdenrobson
    My great great great great(maybe even more greats) grandpa fot in the revelutionary war,and another grandpa in the cold war. :P
    (6 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user seasonkelsey
    my theory as to how the big bang came to be. 14.billion years ago there was already matter and space but time was non existent. from rocks and planets to atoms and particles every thing started rubbing against each other at incredible speeds creating friction so high that space could not handle it. it created an explosion so big that it kicked off the expansion of our universe therefor the big bang did not create the universe but instead started the expansion of it and started time as we know it. I am not exactly sure what the estimated size of the universe was before the big bang
    but I think it was probably about the size of andromeda
    (2 votes)
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