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Write Science Fiction

Students will conduct research to learn about current projections for space travel. Using that knowledge as a base, they will write a science fiction story about living in outer space.

PROCESS:

  1. Remind students about the article's description of life on the International Space Station. Crews sleep in phone booth-sized beds. They are "assaulted by continuous light, sound and surveillance." Have the class compare this reality to outer space living conditions on TV shows or movies they've seen.
  2. Point out that TV shows and movies about outer space are examples of science fiction. Inform students that in order for stories like these to succeed, they have to have enough real science mixed in with the fiction for the plot to be believable.
  3. Have students conduct research to learn more about the current projections for space travel. Challenge them to identify different options that have been put forward and the anticipated timelines for completing various projects. 
  4. Instruct students to use what they learned to write a science fiction story about living in space. Challenge them to find a creative mix between the science and the fiction in their tale. 

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to read their stories aloud to the class. Challenge classmates to identify the facts and the fiction in each story.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:   

Grades 3-4:
Conduct research about space travel as a class. Then divide the class into small groups. Instruct each group to select one idea or projection about space travel. Challenge them to use that idea as the central theme in their plot.

Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Instruct groups to conduct research about space travel. Challenge groups to use one idea or projection about space travel as the central theme in their plot.

Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Have partners conduct research about space travel. Then instruct them to write a science fiction story based on one overall idea or projection about space travel. Challenge them to incorporate additional facts to make the story as believable as possible.

Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into pairs. Have partners conduct research about space travel. Then instruct them to write a science fiction story that includes two or more overall ideas or projections about space travel. Challenge them to incorporate additional facts that relate to modes of transportation, living conditions, obtaining food and communication.