Keep up to date with all of the latest digital learning releases from The Arts Unit
Back to Top
Print this page
>> Back to SpecEd 2019 – Stage 3 – Out of this world

Syllabus outcomes for this unit

Select the key learning area to show the list of outcomes.

English

EN3-1A: Communicates effectively for a variety of audiences and purposes using increasingly challenging topics, ideas, issues and language forms and features.

EN3-2A: Composes, edits and presents well-structured and coherent texts.

EN3-3A: Uses an integrated range of skills, strategies and knowledge to read, view and comprehend a wide range of texts in different media and technologies.

EN3-5B: Discusses how language is used to achieve a widening range of purposes for a widening range of audiences and contexts.

EN3-6B: Uses knowledge of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary to respond to and compose clear and cohesive texts in different media and technologies.

EN3-7C: Thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically about information and ideas and identifies connections between texts when responding to and composing texts.

EN3-8D: Identifies and considers how different viewpoints of their world, including aspects of culture, are represented in texts.

EN3-9E: Recognises, reflects on and assesses their strengths as a learner

Mathematics

MA3-4NA: Orders, reads and represents integers of any size and describes properties of whole numbers.

MA3-2WM: Selects and applies appropriate problem-solving strategies, including the use of digital technologies, in undertaking investigations.

MA3-6NA: Selects and applies appropriate strategies for multiplication and division, and applies the order of operations to calculations involving more than one operation.

MA3-9MG: Selects and uses the appropriate unit and device to measure lengths and distances, calculates perimeters, and converts between units of length.

MA3-18SP: Uses appropriate methods to collect data and constructs, interprets and evaluates data displays, including dot plots, line graphs and two-way tables.

Creative arts

Drama

DRAS3.1: Develops a range of in-depth and sustained roles.

Music

MUS3.1: Sings, plays and moves to a range of music, individually and in groups, demonstrating a knowledge of musical concepts.

MUS3.2: Improvises, experiments, selects, combines and orders sound using musical concepts.

Visual arts

VAS3.2: Makes artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways.

VAS3.4: Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.

Science | Technologies

Science and technology

ST3-1WS-S: Plans and conducts scientific investigations to answer testable questions, and collects and summarises data to communicate conclusions.

ST3-10ES-S: Explains regular events in the solar system and geological events on the Earth’s surface.

ST3-9PW-ST: Investigates the effects of increasing or decreasing the strength of a specific contact or non-contact force.

ST3-2DP-T: Plans and uses materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity.

HSIE

Geography

GE3-2: Explains interactions and connections between people, places and environments.

PDHPE

PD3-3: Evaluates the impact of empathy, inclusion and respect on themselves and others.

PD3-4: Adapts movement skills in a variety of physical activity contexts.

PD3-5: Proposes, applies and assesses solutions to movement challenges.

PD3-10: Selects and uses interpersonal skills to interact respectfully with others to promote inclusion and build connections.

Vocabulary words

Teaching and learning activities

Select the activity to display its details.

To print out the following activities, please select the ‘Print this page’ button at the bottom of this screen.

Activity 1 – What is out there?

Learning intention

Students will share their current knowledge about outer space and describe what they ‘wonder’ about space.

Success criteria

Students create a visual representation of what they think about space. The class will add to an ‘I wonder …’ board.

Syllabus outcomes

  • VAS3.2: Makes artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways.

Resources

  • Black sheet of A4 paper for every student
  • Collection of craft materials, pencils (particularly white) and textas
  • A large sheet of paper/whiteboard to write ‘I wonder …’ ideas
  • Ambient Space Music (YouTube)

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Before students walk into the room, play Ambient Space Music. Write the words ‘OUTER SPACE’ on the board and set a piece of black A4 paper for each student on their desk. Assemble a collection of craft materials, pencils and textas (including white pencils).
  2. Once students are seated, ask them to draw what comes to mind when they hear the words ‘outer space’ on their black piece of paper. Allow students approximately 20 minutes to create their image.
  3. Ask each student to present their image to the class. After all students have shared, ask the class what they ‘wonder’ about outer space. You may wish to suggest some examples. Add these comments or questions to the ‘I wonder …’ paper or board.
  4. Explain that in this unit of work, students are going to be learning all about our neighbourhood in outer space – the solar system – and that they are going to have some fun wondering about what they might find out there.
  5. Display the artwork and the ‘I wonder …’ board throughout the rest of the unit.

Reflection

Students share with a partner what they are most looking forward to learning in this unit.

Activity 2 – What is in the solar system?

Learning intention

Students will learn about the planets of the solar system and the requirements necessary to classify planets.

Success criteria

Students develop strategies to memorise the order of the planets in the solar system.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ST3-10ES-S: Explains regular events in the solar system and geological events on Earth’s surface.

Resources

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Hand students a sheet of A4 paper. Explain to students that you will be drawing the different planets together (in no particular order). Ask students to draw the sun on the left-hand side of their books. On a separate sheet of A4 paper, students trace around glue sticks or another round object to draw the planets (in no particular order), and students colour in and label the planets correctly. Students cut out the labelled planets and place them (without gluing) in their books in the order they think is correct. Direct students to wait until after they have watched the video to glue the shapes.
  2. Watch a video about the solar system, for example, Exploring our Solar System. As they watch, invite students to change the order of the planets on their worksheet and glue them in place.
  3. Ask students if they have heard about Pluto. What do they know about Pluto? Explain that Pluto used to be the ninth planet but was declared to not fulfil the requirements for a planet in 2006. Watch Why is Pluto not a planet? Ask students to write down the three conditions necessary to be classed as a planet.
  4. Explain what a mnemonic is and why we use them. Pair up the students to create their own mnemonic together to remember the order of the planets. Invite students to write their mnemonic in their books and practise reciting it aloud.
  5. Each pair shares their mnemonic with the class. Choose one or two of these to put up on charts in the classroom.

Reflection

Play Planets in our solar system Song.

Activity 3 – What would you weigh?

Learning intention

Students will understand the difference between gravity, mass and weight and how these vary within the solar system.

Success criteria

Students can explain why their weight would be different on another planet.

Syllabus outcomes

  • ST3-9PW-ST: Investigates the effects of increasing or decreasing the strength of a specific contact or non-contact force.
  • MA3-6NA: Selects and applies appropriate strategies for multiplication and division, and applies the order of operations to calculations involving more than one operation.

Resources

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. As students walk into the room, ask them to walk in as astronauts going on a spacewalk. Discuss why the students think the spacewalk looks like that.
  2. Write these three words on the board: gravity, weight and mass. Ask students to talk to a partner, explaining what they think the difference is between these three terms.
  3. As a class, read through What is gravity? and Mass versus weight. Fill out the definitions of gravity, mass and weight on Attachment 3.1. Turn to the tables on Attachment 3.1 and demonstrate to students how to work out what they would weigh on each planet. Students work through the rest of the worksheet.
  4. Ask the students to identify where they would weigh the most and where they would weigh the least. Ask if they were surprised.
  5. Students write one sentence explaining what they think a black hole is. Watch What is a Black Hole? Invite students to write another sentence explaining what they know to be a black hole from the video. Discuss the term spaghettification as a class.
  6. Add ‘I wonder …’ statements to the class board about black holes.

Reflection

Students write one sentence in their books explaining why they would weigh a different amount on another planet.

Activity 4 – See you on the dark side of the moon

Learning intention

Students will be able to identify the phases of the moon.

Success criteria

Students will correctly identify the phases of the moon during a quiz.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN3-3A: Uses an integrated range of skills, strategies and knowledge to read, view and comprehend a wide range of texts in different media and technologies.
  • ST3-10ES-S: Explains regular events in the solar system and geological events on the Earth’s surface.

Resources

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. As students walk in play Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd.
  2. Ask students to write the heading ‘MOON’ on the next page in their books. Invite students to brainstorm everything they can think of bout the moon. Discuss any interesting ideas together.
  3. As a class, read through Attachment 4.1. Discuss.
  4. Watch Lunar Cycle – Phases of the Moon. Pause when the students have questions and when each phase is described (for example, crescent). Students write the term and draw what the moon looks like at each phase. Answer the questions that appear in the video as a class (quiz begins 3:50). Stop the video at 4:38.
  5. Point out to the class that the song that was playing when they walked in was called Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. There have been many songs and movies written about the moon. Countries have spent billions of dollars on landing spacecraft there. People have written poems and painted masterpieces focused on the moon. Why do the students think people are so intrigued by the moon? Ask students to write a paragraph expressing their ideas.
  6. Explain that in the next activity they will investigate these ideas further when they look at some famous artworks about the moon.

Note: This activity could be used as an assessment opportunity.

Reflection

Just before you let the students go, read them the famous children’s poem The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Activity 5 – By the light of the moon

Learning intention

Students will be able to discuss the artistic merit of, and techniques used in, a variety of famous artworks. Students will be able to write a descriptive ‘show don’t tell’ sentence.

Success criteria

Students note the artistic techniques they observe in various images and write a descriptive sentence about an image using the ‘show don’t tell’ technique.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN3-1A: Communicates effectively for a variety of audiences and purposes using increasingly challenging topics, ideas, issues and language forms and features.
  • EN3-7C: Thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically about information and ideas and identifies connections between texts when responding to and composing texts.
  • VAS3.4: Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.

Resources

Approximate time

45 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Hand out a different artwork image to each table group that shows the moon shining and illuminating the landscape from The moon in art.
  2. Write the quotation from Anton Chekov on the board: ‘Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass’.
  3. Without explaining what is happening in the activity, ask students to read the quotation and look at their given image. What do they think the quotation means? Discuss as a class. (It is all about the technique of show don’t tell.)
  4. Ask students to look at their images. Explain that they will work in groups to analyse how their artist used different techniques to show that the moon is shining without focusing on the moon itself.
  5. Ask students to write the name of the artwork and the artist in their books.
  6. Invite students to consider the following techniques and elements:
    • Reflections
    • Texture
    • Colour (hue) – warm or cool, intense or muted
    • Brushstrokes – are they soft and blended or thick and expressive?
  7. Students break off into their groups and identify these elements in the artworks and note the impact they have on our response to the works.
  8. Students also write a sentence about one thing that they like about the image (for example, colours, shapes and characters). Groups swap images after five minutes so that students can view and write about at least three different artworks.
  9. Explain that it isn’t just artists who use multiple ways to communicate a message to their audience. Writers do this as well. It is called ‘imagery’. ‘Show, don’t tell’ is a key tool for writers to engage their audience.
  10. Using one of the images (or similar), demonstrate to the students how to write an engaging, descriptive sentence based on the image. The trick is that you CANNOT use the words moon, light, shine or shone in your description. To use the second image (The South Bay at Night with Full Moon by Walter Linsley Meegan) as an example: ‘Shards of gold traced lines across the water, like a ladder to the heavens’.
  11. Students choose one of the images and write their own sentence describing what they see without using the words moon, light, shine or shone.
  12. After the activity, display some of the images and accompanying descriptions from step 11.

Note: This activity could be used as an assessment opportunity.

Reflection

Students read their sentences to the class.

Activity 6 – Different texts, different purposes

Learning intention

Students will identify the key features of different text types and the benefits and limitations of each. Students will gather key facts about a planet in the solar system.

Success criteria

Students compile a list of positives and negatives about different text types. Students collaborate to produce a list of facts about each group’s planet.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN3-3A: Uses an integrated range of skills, strategies and knowledge to read, view and comprehend a wide range of texts in different media and technologies.
  • EN3-5B: Discusses how language is used to achieve a widening range of purposes for a widening range of audiences and contexts.
  • EN3-7C: Thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically about information and ideas and identifies connections between texts when responding to and composing texts.

Resources

  • Attachment 6.1 – Planet research
  • Collection of texts about the planets of the solar system (picture books, children’s reference books, adult reference books, websites, videos, apps, podcasts, factsheets, posters)
  • A3 paper

Approximate time

90 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Before the activity, gather a collection of texts that provide information about the planets of the solar system. Include picture books, children’s reference books, adult reference books, scientific publications, websites, videos, apps, podcasts, factsheets and posters. Choose as many different types of texts as possible.
  2. Explain to the students that they are going to be working in small groups to research and write an information report about one of the planets of the solar system. You may either wish to allocate planets or let the students choose, as long as all of the planets are covered.
  3. Ask the students where they would go to get the information that they need. Write down all of their suggestions in a brainstorm. When they have exhausted their knowledge, suggest some of the other texts that you have collected.
  4. Go through one of the different types of texts that you have collected with the class, discussing what sort of a text it is. Create a poster about it on A3 paper. What is it? For example, storybook. Where would you find it? For example, library, classroom, home. Draw a positive and negative column on the poster. Brainstorm positive and negative things about this type of text when looking for information (for example, it may be easy to understand with lots of pictures but has a lack of technical vocabulary or not enough information). Put the poster up on a wall.
  5. Do one more type with the class as a whole (for example, website). Explain that you are going to have these posters around the room and that students will add to the positive and negative columns as they read through various texts in their research. Put a poster for each of the other text types up around the room as well.
  6. Split the students into small groups or pairs. Allocate or let them choose a planet to research. Explain that they are going to have to find answers to the 10 questions on the research template (Attachment 6.1) as well as five facts of their own. Students are to use at least four different TYPES of texts in their research. They must write down the name of the text that they used on the template. Once the groups have finished using a text, they also have to add a positive and negative to the text type posters around the room.
  7. Give the students an appropriate amount of time to conduct their research, dependent upon your class (may take up to an hour).
  8. Once students have completed their research templates, gather back together to discuss the results on the text type posters. Which type did most people find useful? What were the limitations of the different texts? Which were their favourites to read?
  9. Leave the posters around the room for the next activity.

Reflection

Each group shares their favourite fact that they discovered about their planet.

Activity 7 – Let us tell you about …

Learning intention

Students will work together in groups to create two different information reports about their chosen planet based on their research. They must choose two different types of texts (for example, picture book and webpage or factsheet and podcast).

Success criteria

Each group produces two different types of texts conveying the same information about their planet.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN3-1A: Communicates effectively for a variety of audiences and purposes using increasingly challenging topics, ideas, issues and language forms and features.
  • EN3-2A: Composes, edits and presents well-structured and coherent texts.
  • EN3-5B: Discusses how language is used to achieve a widening range of purposes for a widening range of audiences and contexts.
  • EN3-6B: Uses knowledge of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary to respond to and compose clear and cohesive texts in different media and technologies.
  • EN3-7C: Thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically about information and ideas and identifies connections between texts when responding to and composing texts.
  • EN3-9E: Recognises, reflects on and assesses their strengths as a learner.
  • ST3-10ES-S: Explains regular events in the solar system and geological events on the Earth’s surface.

Resources

  • Text type posters and research sheets from the previous activity

Approximate time

120 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review the previous activity’s posters about the different text types and their positives and negatives. Discuss with students what sort of audience would be accessing those texts. How would your vocabulary change based on the text type chosen? Add the elements of each text type to the posters, including subheadings in fact sheets, pictures in storybooks and introductions in podcasts.
  2. Explain that each group will take the facts that they gathered in their research to create their own information texts. The catch is that they have to create two different information texts in two different types (for example, webpage and picture book). The group may choose to divide tasks between themselves or work together on all aspects. However, each member of the group must review both texts before submitting them. They must check that their texts meet the standard expectations of those text types (point out the posters as a reference) and that they are using appropriate vocabulary for the text.
  3. Allow students enough time to create their texts (may take more than one lesson). They should consult with you before submitting them.
  4. Once all groups have completed the task, share the texts as a class, if briefly. Ask each group to explain why they chose the text types and what they found difficult or enjoyable about the task.

Note: This activity could be used as an assessment opportunity.

Reflection

If any of the groups wrote picture books suitable for a younger class, provide the opportunity for the group to read the book to an appropriate audience, or even place the book in the library.

Activity 8 – Some huge numbers

Learning intention

Students will work in groups to manipulate, order and read large numbers.

Success criteria

Students work in groups to successfully answer questions about their set of numbers.

Syllabus outcomes

  • MA3-4NA: Orders, reads and represents integers of any size and describes properties of whole numbers.
  • ST3-10ES-S: Explains regular events in the solar system and geological events on the Earth’s surface.

Resources

  • Six compiled sets of ‘Planet research’ pages (Attachment 6.1 as completed)
  • A3 sheets of paper

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Remind the students of some of the key planet facts that they discovered in the last two activities. Explain that today they are going to be working with some of those huge numbers from the previous activity.
  2. Split the students into six groups. Give each group a handful of A3 sheets of paper and a combined set of the research pages that the groups created in Activity 6. Two of the groups write the heading, ‘Size of the planet’ at the top of their page. Two of the groups write the heading ‘Weight of the planet’ at the top of their page. Two of the groups write the heading ‘Distance from the sun’ at the top of their page.
  3. Explain that you are going to ask the groups to work on a set of quick challenges using the huge numbers that they discovered in previous activities. They will have to work together as a group and will only have five minutes for each challenge (adjust the time as necessary for your class).
  4. Challenge one: Each group writes down the name of each planet and the associated number in ascending order (for example, Mercury – 57,900,000km, Venus – 108,200,000km, and so on, for the ‘Distance from the sun’ groups). You may need to remind students of what ascending order means.
  5. Challenge two: Each group writes down the name of each planet and the associated number in descending order.
  6. Challenge three: Round each number to the nearest 1,000 kilometres. There could be a series of questions like this.
  7. Challenge four: The teacher asks one member from each group to read out the figure for a planet (for example: Can they read that number for Jupiter?). You may choose to do this for a number of different planets to let every student have a chance to answer this question.
  8. Challenge five: Which digit is in the 10 million’s column for Uranus? You may choose to ask a series of similar questions.
  9. You may choose to include other questions that extend the place value knowledge of the class.

Note: You may also create individual questions to use this activity as an assessment opportunity.

Reflection

Students discuss with their group: At what other time might they use numbers this big?

Activity 9 – Star light, star bright

Learning intention

Students will work together to create scaled images of the planets in the solar system and recognise why they can’t create a scaled image of the solar system itself.

Success criteria

Students create correctly-scaled images of the planets in the solar system.

Syllabus outcomes

  • MA3-4NA: Orders, reads and represents integers of any size and describes properties of whole numbers.
  • MA3-2WM: Selects and applies appropriate problem-solving strategies, including the use of digital technologies, in undertaking investigations.
  • MA3-6NA: Selects and applies appropriate strategies for multiplication and division, and applies the order of operations to calculations involving more than one operation
  • MA3-9MG: Selects and uses the appropriate unit and device to measure lengths and distances, calculates perimeters, and converts between units of length.
  • ST3-10ES-S: Explains regular events in the solar system and geological events on the Earth’s surface.
  • PD3-10: Selects and uses interpersonal skills to interact respectfully with others to promote inclusion and build connections.

Resources

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review the fact that we are dealing with huge numbers when calculating distance in our solar system. Explain that if we want to display something like the solar system, we need to use scale to do so.
  2. Explain what scale is and do some simple examples on the board. For example, if we want to draw a paddock and it is 1km long, how might we represent that on the board? How do we work out other dimensions?
  3. Discuss as a class whether it is possible to create a scaled model of the solar system. How would you go about doing it? Ask: Could we create it in the classroom? Do you think we could create it if we used the playground?
  4. Watch To Scale: The Solar System. This explains why you can’t actually create a scaled model of the solar system at school. Discuss with the students afterwards just how far you would have to travel from school to locate Neptune (answer: over 11 kilometres).
  5. While we can’t build a scaled model of the solar system with the orbits of the planets, we can create scaled models of the planets themselves. Split the students into small groups and set them the challenge of creating the planets out of paper, using a correct scale. Please note that the smallest that they can make the sun is 30cm, as this will make Mercury only 1mm in diameter. You could scaffold this challenge depending on their groups with the most able students having to discover a scale for themselves. You may set the scale, or you could use this online tool – Build a solar system. Allow students to use any tools that they need, such as calculators, to perform the task.
  6. Display the scaled planets in the classroom.
  7. Optional: For advanced students, or in a follow-up lesson (if time allows), introduce the concept of light-years. Ask if students came across the word ‘light-year’ as they conducted their research. Explain that scientists had to come up with a new way to measure distance in outer space because the numbers became so big! Scientists use the distance light travels in a year (hence ‘light-years’) as a scale. Light is the fastest thing to travel in the universe at 300,000km per second – imagine travelling from one side of planet Earth to the other, 7.5 times every second! We calculate light-years by multiplying 300,000 km/second into a km/year – that’s a lot of kilometres! Show What is a Light-Year? to the class and/or students. Check for understanding and invite students to add questions to the ‘I wonder …’ board about light-years. Students could even create and present an information text on light-years for the class to reference.

Reflection

As a class, discuss any surprises about the scale that they had to use for their planets.

Activity 10 – Rocket through space

Learning intention

Students will understand the importance of a fair test. Students will learn how to work out an average. Students will create a two-column graph, based on results of their rocket experiment.

Success criteria

Students work as a class to create a reliable and accurate two-column graph showing the results of the experiment.

Syllabus outcomes

  • MA3-2WM: Selects and applies appropriate problem-solving strategies, including the use of digital technologies, in undertaking investigations.
  • MA3-9MG: Selects and uses the appropriate unit and device to measure lengths and distances, calculates perimeters, and converts between units of length.
  • MA3-18SP: Uses appropriate methods to collect data and constructs, interprets and evaluates data displays, including dot plots, line graphs and two-way tables.
  • ST3-1WS-S: Plans and conducts scientific investigations to answer testable questions, and collects and summarises data to communicate conclusions.
  • ST3-9PW-ST: Investigates the effects of increasing or decreasing the strength of a specific contact or non-contact force.
  • ST3-2DP-T: Plans and uses materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity.

Resources

  • Attachment 10.1 – Balloon rockets
  • Balloons, drinking straws, string, tape, scissors

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review the huge numbers that students have been dealing with in the solar system and how far it is all the way to outer space. Ask the students: How can we get out there? The answer is a rocket! Brainstorm if the students know what makes a rocket work. Explain that in this activity, the students will create their own rockets from balloons. The rockets will move forward through the force from the air moving in one direction pushing the balloon in the other direction.
  2. Hand out and read through Attachment 10.1.
  3. Split students into pairs and allow them to follow the experiment on the sheet.
  4. Encourage students to experiment with their balloon rockets for a while before having some balloon races.
  5. Review what is needed for a fair test in science (only changing one variable – the rocket). All other variables must remain the same.
  6. Ask pairs to let go of their rockets one at a time. Measure the distance that each rocket travelled. Compile this data as a class. Conduct the experiment three times, recording data each time. No changes are to be made to the rocket itself during these three attempts.
  7. As a class, discuss how to work out the average of three numbers. Do an example on the board. Each group is to work out the average of their distances, and this information is recorded as a class. Together, draw a graph to represent this information. Students copy this graph into their books.
  8. Invite groups to make adjustments to their rockets and techniques to try to improve their distances. Allow time for experimentation.
  9. Redo the test recording the results again.
  10. Each group works out their average distance travelled.
  11. This data is added to the graph in another colour to create a two-columned graph. Students copy the graph into their books.

Reflection

As a class, discuss the results of the experiment. Did the distance improve for groups? Why or why not? What else could you measure with this experiment? What would happen if you changed a different variable? For example, whether the thickness of each group’s string or different types of balloons would change the results.

Activity 11 – Meteor shower

Learning intention

Students will work as a team to play a rob-the-nest-style strategy game.

Success criteria

Students demonstrate teamwork and movement skills and enjoy the physical aspects of the game.

Syllabus outcomes

  • PD3-4: Adapts movement skills in a variety of physical activity contexts.
  • PD3-5: Proposes, applies and assesses solutions to movement challenges.
  • PD3-10: Selects and uses interpersonal skills to interact respectfully with others to promote inclusion and build connections.

Resources

  • Tennis balls (or similar)
  • Large hoops, small rings or markers
  • Basketballs

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. In this rob-the-nest-style game, students are split into four teams. (You could have multiple games going at once in different areas). Two teams compete against each other at once.
  2. Each team is given a base area, known as their ‘space station’. This could be marked with a hoop or with court markings for a larger area. Each space station is given an equal amount of energy balls (tennis balls).
  3. The area in between each space station is known as ‘outer space’. Line up basketballs (meteors) on markers/small rings along a centre line running through outer space.
  4. Each team assigns one ‘spacewalker’ who can roam around in outer space, collecting any energy balls that they find and returning them to their space station. Spacewalkers CANNOT touch or interfere with the trajectory of any meteors while in outer space.
  5. On your signal, the team members in the space station try to dislodge meteors by throwing energy balls at them, hoping that the meteor hits/lands in the other team’s space station. If a meteor does land in a space station, collect it and set it aside. Once the last meteor has hit a space station, the game is over.
  6. The winning team is the one with the most energy balls at the end of the game.

Note: This activity could be used as an assessment opportunity.

Reflection

Students pack up the equipment and suggest any modifications to the game for next time.

Activity 12 – Twinkle, twinkle, little star

Learning intention

Students will learn about different constellations including the Southern Cross and how constellations have been used throughout history.

Success criteria

Students recognise and identify at least three constellations.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN3-3A: Uses an integrated range of skills, strategies and knowledge to read, view and comprehend a wide range of texts in different media and technologies.
  • EN3-8D: Identifies and considers how different viewpoints of their world, including aspects of culture, are represented in texts.

Resources

Approximate time

45 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Ask students what they know about the stars in the night sky. Brainstorm as a class. Do they know any constellations?
  2. Discuss the fact that stars are just like our sun. Stars may be bigger in size than our sun, but we see them shining from a very long distance away. They are emitting light from many light-years away in outer space. Revisit the concept of ‘light-years’ from Activity 9 if applicable. Watch History of Stargazing. Allow time for discussion after viewing.
  3. Invite students to answer the following questions in their books.
    • Name one of the 12 zodiacal constellations.
    • What did ancient people use the constellations for?
    • Which star did the Polynesians use to navigate the ocean?
    • What did the Yolngu people in the Northern Territory call Orion’s belt?
  4. Read through The Southern Cross – a star guide and discuss with the class anything new they learnt. Optional: Read through or watch Use Southern Cross to find due south to discover how to use the Southern Cross to find due south as a class.
  5. Divide the class into small groups and distribute myths about the constellations from the ancient Greeks. You can use Constellation Legends by Norm McCarter (PDF 1.7MB) for this purpose.
  6. Each group reads their myth together and works out which constellation it is about. The group finds an image of their constellation online. Students work together to create their constellation using silver star stickers and a white pencil on black paper or cardboard.

Reflection

Each group presents their constellation and its corresponding myth to the rest of the class.

Activity 13 – The first stargazers

Learning intention

Students will learn some basic facts about Indigenous astronomy and respect the differences in how the First Australians used that knowledge.

Success criteria

Students are able to name at least five ways that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples used astronomy in their daily lives.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN3-3A: Uses an integrated range of skills, strategies and knowledge to read, view and comprehend a wide range of texts in different media and technologies.
  • EN3-8D: Identifies and considers how different viewpoints of their world, including aspects of culture, are represented in texts.
  • ST3-10ES-S: Explains regular events in the solar system and geological events on the Earth’s surface.

Resources

Approximate time

90 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Ask the students: Who do you think were the earliest astronomers?
  2. Watch Aboriginal Astronomy. See also Aboriginal Astronomy – Behind the News Teacher Resource (PDF 559KB).
  3. Invite students to write a paragraph describing what they have learnt from the video.
  4. Discuss, as a class, the significance of the Wurdi Youang stone arrangement from the video. For more information see Deadly Story’s article – Wathaurong people build Wurdi Youang astronomical site.
  5. Divide students into pairs to research one of two Indigenous constellation stories: the ‘Emu in the sky’ or the ‘Canoe in Orion’. Students collect information and present a poster to the class with their findings and images of the constellation.
  6. Explain that the class will now watch a documentary about Indigenous astronomy – Before Galileo. Advise students that their job is to write down as many examples as possible that mention how Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples have used astronomy in their daily lives.
  7. Discuss the similarities and differences between how European and First Australian astronomers have used the night sky.

Note: This activity could be used as an assessment opportunity.

Reflection

Students share their favourite new fact about Indigenous astronomy with the class.

Activity 14 – Songlines

Learning intention

Students will learn what songlines are and their importance for First Australians.

Success criteria

Students explain what songlines are in a paragraph and why they are important.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN3-3A: Uses an integrated range of skills, strategies and knowledge to read, view and comprehend a wide range of texts in different media and technologies.
  • EN3-8D: Identifies and considers how different viewpoints of their world, including aspects of culture, are represented in texts.
  • VAS3.4: Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.
  • GE3-2: Explains interactions and connections between people, places and environments.

Resources

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. If at all possible, organise for a local Elder or a local AECG representative to be present during, or to deliver, this activity. Please refer to Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) regions to find regional representatives and their contact details.
  2. Review what students learnt about Indigenous astronomy in previous activities. Discuss how the First Australians conveyed their knowledge about the stars (paintings, dances, songs, stone formations and stories).
  3. Discuss how the class might usually go about gaining knowledge about space (for example, books, internet, and television). Ask whether students could also learn about space from songs, dance, paintings and stories.
  4. Ask whether students have heard of songlines. What do they already know? Brainstorm. What do they think it means?
  5. Read through How ancient Aboriginal star maps have shaped Australia's highway network, stopping to discuss important information as needed.
  6. As a class, watch Understanding Songlines.
  7. Discuss all of the different ways that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples communicate their knowledge within songlines (music, art, dance, stories). Students write a paragraph describing what songlines are and why they are important.

Reflection

Students add an ‘I wonder …’ question or comment about songlines to the board.

Activity 15 – Music as a universal language

Learning intention

Students will understand that there are many ways to communicate with others, including through music.

Success criteria

Students are able to identify a range of ways that we communicate with others besides with language.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN3-7C: Thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically about information and ideas and identifies connections between texts when responding to and composing texts.
  • EN3-8D: Identifies and considers how different viewpoints of their world, including aspects of culture, are represented in texts.
  • PD3-10: Selects and uses interpersonal skills to interact respectfully with others to promote inclusion and build connections.

Resources

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Before students walk in, write the following quote on the board: ‘Music is the universal language of mankind’ by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
  2. Give students two minutes to think silently about whether they agree with the quote. Ask students: What does it mean? Students write down their response and compare it with a partner. Discuss some interesting observations with the class.
  3. Read Attachment 15.1. Students answer the comprehension questions.
  4. Explain the following challenge to students. In pairs, students are to pretend that they have just met each other and that they speak completely different languages. The pairs have to find a way to communicate a message to each other without talking or writing. Give each pair five minutes to experiment with the challenge.
  5. Watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Music communications scene. Discuss how the scientists and the aliens managed to communicate.
  6. Explain that this challenge had to be faced in real life when NASA sent a craft into outer space to try to find other life forms. Watch this video on the ‘golden record’ – 40 years ago, NASA sent a message to aliens – here's what it says  – to see how NASA chose to communicate with other life forms if the spacecraft happened to meet aliens on its journey.
  7. Students write the heading, ‘My Golden Record’ in their books. Ask students to write a paragraph about the ‘golden record’ that NASA sent into space explaining what it was and why it was sent. Students write down a list of 10 images and 10 sounds that they would choose to put on their own ‘golden record’ to let an alien life form know what Earth is like.
  8. Students split into groups of four to share their 10 images and 10 sounds. Each group has to reach a consensus on its top three images and sounds.

Reflection

Each group shares their final choices with the rest of the class, explaining how they came to agreement and why they chose those images and sounds.

Activity 16 – Situation shapes communication

Learning intention

Students will be able to identify the characteristics and benefits of informal, formal and neutral register and use them in their own speech.

Success criteria

Students are able to use neutral, informal and formal register.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN3-1A: Communicates effectively for a variety of audiences and purposes using increasingly challenging topics, ideas, issues and language forms and features.
  • EN3-3A: Uses an integrated range of skills, strategies and knowledge to read, view and comprehend a wide range of texts in different media and technologies.
  • EN3-5B: Discusses how language is used to achieve a widening range of purposes for a widening range of audiences and contexts.
  • EN3-9E: Recognises, reflects on and assesses their strengths as a learner.
  • PD3-10: Selects and uses interpersonal skills to interact respectfully with others to promote inclusion and build connections.

Resources

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review the previous activity and recap all of the different ways that we can communicate with one another. Explain that in this activity, the students can go back to using words to communicate. Put students in pairs to discuss the following questions: Do all people use language in the same way to communicate? If not, why? For three minutes, pairs discuss how and why people might use language differently. Students write a sentence about their discussion and share with the class.
  2. Watch Men in Black – The best of the best ... with honours scene.
  3. Brainstorm the difference between the language used by Will Smith’s character (Agent J) and Second Lieutenant Jake Jenson (could pause at 1:12). Steer the conversation towards formality and vocabulary. Ask the students: Which of the two characters used the more appropriate language for the situation? Why? Ask: How would the class describe the interviewer’s language? He appears to be using more neutral language – not too formal, not too informal. Play the video again if necessary.
  4. Watch Men in Black 3 – Cell phones scene.
  5. Brainstorm as a class the difference between the language used by Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K. Again, steer the conversation towards formality and vocabulary. Why does Agent K tell Agent J (Will Smith) to ‘keep it simple’ for his presentation? Why do you think Agent K advised Agent J to communicate simply? Do you think it was a good way for Agent J to talk to the audience? Why/why not?
  6. Hand out Attachment 16.1. Fill in the table as a class, outlining the features of the three different registers and when each is appropriate or inappropriate to use. Discuss answers to the ‘formal’ column. Why is it useful to be able to use this register? Focus on the need to use a formal register in job interviews, formal speeches and so on.
  7. Split students into pairs. Provide a topic of conversation (for example, what you did on the weekend). Assign pairs one of the three registers to use while discussing the topic. Give the students one or two minutes to complete this task. Switch the register and/or topic so students can try each register.
  8. Students complete the rest of the worksheet. Discuss as a class.

Reflection

In unison, ask the students to do the following:

  • Tell us that you liked that activity using an informal register.
  • Tell us that you are looking forward to watching Schools Spectacular using a neutral register.
  • Say goodbye to a classmate using a formal register.

Activity 17 – Communication 2.0

Learning intention

Students will recognise the positive and negative aspects of social media communication.

Success criteria

Students can articulate one way to manage their social media use.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN3-5B: Discusses how language is used to achieve a widening range of purposes for a widening range of audiences and contexts.
  • EN3-7C: Thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically about information and ideas and identifies connections between texts when responding to and composing texts.
  • PD3-3: Evaluates the impact of empathy, inclusion and respect on themselves and others.
  • PD3-10: Selects and uses interpersonal skills to interact respectfully with others to promote inclusion and build connections.

Resources

  • Attachment 17.1 – Talking versus social media
  • Act eSafe – Primary resource by the Australian Government eSafety Commissioner (video and lesson plan)
  • Cyberspace (YouTube)

Approximate time

60 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Before the students walk in, write the following question on the board: How do we communicate online? Once students come into class, ask them to write down all the possible ways/apps/tools that they can use to communicate online (for example, blogs, websites, email, Snapchat, Instagram and podcasts).
  2. Discuss, focusing on examples of social media. Hand out Attachment 17.1. Invite students to write down all the similarities and differences between social media and talking in person using the Venn diagram.
  3. Ask the class: What are some of the ‘unwritten rules’ surrounding social media? Students work in pairs or small groups to brainstorm all of the rules that they can think of (for example, don’t use all caps because it looks like you are yelling, or always like and comment on your friends’ photos).
  4. Discuss these ‘unwritten rules’ as a class. Ask the class: How did you learn about these rules?
  5. Students write a paragraph expressing their opinion on the statement, ‘Social media is a great way to communicate’.
  6. Brainstorm with the class: What are some of the dangers of social media?
  7. Watch these two short videos about cyber safety for kids: Act eSafe and Cyberspace.
  8. As a class, brainstorm tips for staying safe online on the board. Ask: Do the students have other good ideas or advice for using social media in a positive way?
  9. Split students into groups to create a rap, poster, slogan/design for a t-shirt, cartoon strip, video, or webpage (or similar) for kids about using social media safely. This may extend over more than one lesson. When the activity is completed, groups present their text to the class and, if applicable, to the school or year group.

Note: You may also ask students to work individually to use this activity as an assessment opportunity.

Reflection

Students share one tip that they picked up from the videos about managing social media communication.

Activity 18 – What is an alien anyway?

Learning intention

Students will use a dictionary and thesaurus and use the term ‘alien’ appropriately in sentences. Students will recognise discrimination and why it is unfair.

Success criteria

Students use the word ‘alien’ accurately in four different sentences and find a number of definitions and synonyms for ‘alien’.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN3-6B: Uses knowledge of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary to respond to and compose clear and cohesive texts in different media and technologies.
  • PD3-3: Evaluates the impact of empathy, inclusion and respect on themselves and others.

Resources

  • Attachment 18.1 – Aliens!
  • Dictionary and thesaurus (hardcopy or online)
  • Racial discrimination? Know your rights (YouTube)
  • Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope – Cantina scene (YouTube)

Approximate time

90 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Write the word ‘alien’ on the board. Give students three minutes to draw a picture of what they imagine when they see that word.
  2. Hand out Attachment 18.1. Ask each student to look up the word ‘alien’ in the dictionary and write down the definition(s) that they find (there will be many).
  3. Students find 10 synonyms for ‘alien’ in a thesaurus and write these on the worksheet.
  4. Ask the class: Were you surprised at the range of definitions and synonyms?
  5. Students use the different definitions of ‘alien’ to write four sentences using the word in different ways. Students share their favourite sentence with the class.
  6. Put the three most common definitions from the Oxford Dictionary on the board.
    1. Belonging to a foreign place
    2. Unfamiliar and disturbing or distasteful
    3. Supposedly from another world; extra-terrestrial
  7. Ask the class whether anybody has ever travelled to another country. Ask the students, if any, about how they felt when they were there. What was it like to be different from all those around you? What about on a much smaller scale? How do you feel when you are new to a school or visiting another school?
  8. Students write the first definition (a) in their books. Allow students five minutes to draw what it feels like to be an ‘alien’ in a place. Students share their images with a partner and/or share some with the class.
  9. Discuss the second definition (b). Ask the class: Have you ever been in a situation where you knew you didn’t fit in? Perhaps you didn’t have the right clothes, or you weren’t fast enough for the team. Maybe you didn’t use the right sort of language for the group.
  10. Students write the second definition (b) in their books. Give the students five minutes to draw what it feels like to be an ‘alien’ in a social group. Discuss with a partner and/or the class.
  11. Explain that treating people badly because they are different is called discrimination. Discrimination based on what country or race people come from is called racial discrimination. Watch and discuss Racial discrimination? Know your rights.
  12. Students answer this question in their books: Is it okay to treat people differently, just because they look different to you or others around you?
  13. Brainstorm sci-fi movies that feature aliens and different-looking characters. Watch Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope – Cantina scene. Ask the class to take notice of how all the different characters interact. Do they spot any discrimination? Stop the clip at 2:00 (a fight scene comes shortly afterwards).

Reflection

Students discuss with a partner how they would feel being in the cantina scene in Star Wars. Would they be comfortable being around so many different characters? What could they do to build these skills?

Activity 19 – Cantina

Learning intention

Students will be able to list a range of musical instruments and understand that anything can become an instrument of sound. Students will compose their own sci-fi theme song using found instruments. Students will learn the basic components of swing music.

Success criteria

Students will create an original composition using found instruments.

Syllabus outcomes

  • MUS3.1: Sings, plays and moves to a range of music, individually and in groups, demonstrating a knowledge of musical concepts.
  • MUS3.2: Improvises, experiments, selects, combines and orders sound using musical concepts.

Resources

Approximate time

120 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Remind students of the scene that they saw from Star Wars in the last activity. Explain that the song that they can hear playing during that scene is called ‘Cantina Band’. Play Cantina Band from Star Wars (audio only). Ask the students to write down any instruments that they think they can hear.
  2. Discuss some of the instruments that the students thought they heard. Write them on the board.
  3. Ask the students: Why do you think the composer wrote this type of music? Does it suit a sci-fi movie? Why or why not?
  4. Discuss what genre of music the Cantina song fits into. Is it rock, pop, classical, jazz, funk or country? It might be worth clarifying what ‘genre’ means. Different classes will have different prior knowledge about musical genres. This song is in a jazz or, more specifically, swing style.
  5. Watch Jazz Fundamentals: What is Swing? Students write down the important elements of swing music. Discuss.
  6. Hand out Attachment 19.1. Students read through the material as a class and answer questions on the worksheet.
  7. Return to the list of instruments that the class brainstormed earlier. Ask students to brainstorm any other instruments that they know of that make music. This should be a long list. Discuss whether these traditional instruments are the only things that make music. What about our voices? What about our bodies? What about things we find lying around? Demonstrate how you can keep a basic rhythm just using some simple things around you (for example, pencils and a pair of scissors).
  8. Put students in small groups and give them five minutes to come up with a basic rhythm or song, using only the things they find around them and their bodies. They could also use sounds from themselves, but not ‘singing’ as such. Each group can perform their ‘song’ for the class.
  9. Explain that there are new and different ‘instruments’ being created all of the time. People use all sorts of things to make instruments. Show Strange Musical Instruments Never Seen Before – Man Invents Hundreds of Them.
  10. Students write a paragraph in their books answering this question about the video: Was this music? Why or why not?
  11. Explain the final task of this activity to students. In the early days of sci-fi movies, the composers used all sorts of strange instruments to create an ‘alien’ sound. Students will use their ‘found instruments’ in small groups to add extra sounds to the song ‘Martian Theme Song’. They will be able to use anything that they find in the classroom (or around the school if you would like the class to go outside). Perhaps there is a collection of recycled materials that you could use as well. Each group will have 10 minutes to add their own instruments to the track, to make it sound even more ‘alien’.
  12. Play Martian Theme Song by The Satellite Singers for the class so that they know what it sounds like. Each group will need a recording of the song or access to it online.
  13. Once the group has worked out their ‘song’ they should make a recording.

Note: This activity could be used as an assessment opportunity.

Reflection

Each group gets to show some of the instruments that they created and play their recording for the rest of the class.

Activity 20 – Picture book alien

Learning intention

Students will understand the difference between simple, compound and complex sentences.

Success criteria

Students write a descriptive paragraph using a range of sentence types.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN3-1A: Communicates effectively for a variety of audiences and purposes using increasingly challenging topics, ideas, issues and language forms and features.
  • EN3-2A: Composes, edits and presents well-structured and coherent texts.
  • EN3-6B: Uses knowledge of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary to respond to and compose clear and cohesive texts in different media and technologies.

Resources

  • Collection of alien-themed picture books

Approximate time

30 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Choose a picture book that features an alien with interesting features. Read the book to the class.
  2. Together, brainstorm the features of the alien, for example, antennae, interesting facial features, colours, the way it talks or moves, and so on.
  3. As a class, write a simple sentence describing the alien. Talk about why this is a simple sentence. Discuss why we sometimes want to use simple sentences.
  4. As a class, write a compound sentence describing the alien. Discuss the features of a compound sentence. Discuss why we use them in our writing.
  5. As a class, write another simple sentence, describing the alien. Ask whether this is a simple or compound sentence. Ask for more information. Add a dependent clause providing more descriptive information. Circle the independent clause. Underline the dependent clause. Explain how they have now made a complex sentence. Explain dependent and independent clauses.  Discuss why we use complex sentences.
  6. Students write two complex sentences of their own describing the alien. They should circle the independent clause and underline the dependent clause. Read some of them out loud.
  7. Split students into pairs. Hand out a collection of picture books about aliens or go and visit the school library and let students find them (could be an opportunity to review library skills). The pairs read their picture books together and write a paragraph describing their alien. Students should use one simple sentence, two compound sentences and two complex sentences.
  8. Each group types up their paragraph using Word or Publisher. Students add a border and heading, print their document and draw an illustration of the alien. Display the pages in the classroom.

Reflection

Students read their paragraphs to the rest of the class. As they read, the rest of the students put their hands on their heads when they hear a simple sentence, on their desks when they hear a compound sentence, and on their chairs when they hear a complex sentence.

Activity 21 – Create your own alien

Learning intention

Students will create their own visual representation of an alien and will be able to express the character’s personality through acting and movement.

Success criteria

Students create visual and dramatic representations of an alien, both with appropriate detail.

Syllabus outcomes

  • VAS3.2: Makes artworks for different audiences assembling materials in a variety of ways.
  • DRAS3.1: Develops a range of in-depth and sustained roles.

Resources

Approximate time

At least 90 minutes (depending on the art forms used)

Activity plan

  1. Remind the students of some of the ‘crazy aliens’ that they have seen during the course of this unit from movies like Star Wars or in the picture books. Explain that in this activity, they will be able to let their imaginations run free!
  2. Explain the following task. Each student is going to create their own alien. It can be as fanciful and different as the student likes. You can decide whether you would like the students to draw or paint their alien. Perhaps they could make aliens out of clay or recycled materials or create a costume to wear. The sky is the limit!
  3. Give students enough time to create their alien with the available materials. This will be different for each class.
  4. Once the class has created their aliens, ask students to give them a name and decide which planet they come from (they can make up a name for a planet).
  5. Gather the class together and invite students to introduce their alien, either to the whole class or to a small group. They should state the alien’s name and planet of origin and show their artwork.
  6. For the next part of this activity, explain that students will try to BECOME their alien. They should think about how their alien might walk. For example, will they crawl, shuffle, or stride? How will they use their (multiple) legs, arms and eyes? How would their alien behave around others? Would their alien be aggressive, shy, or inquisitive? Give students time to brainstorm.
  7. Explain that you are now going to pretend that the whole class are sitting about in the club on Tatooine from Star Wars where the Cantina band were playing. Clear a space in the classroom. Choose three or four ‘aliens’ to come up and walk about the space, showing their character through the way they walk, look and interact with the others. Nobody can ‘speak’ or make any noises. Let the group of students ‘get into character’ for about 10 seconds, and then play sci-fi themed music (can use different music each time, or just replay one song). For example:
  8. Ensure that everybody gets a turn at acting as their alien. Consider recording the dramatic interactions for assessment purposes.
  9. Display the artworks around the room.

Note: This activity could be used as an assessment opportunity.

Reflection

Discuss which artworks and dramatic interpretations told us the most about the aliens (focus on details). In the same way as the class has already learnt about ‘show don’t tell’ in Activity 5, the students have given details about their aliens without using words. Reflect on ‘show don’t tell’ again with the class.

Activity 22 – Alien encyclopedia

Learning intention

Students will create an information report about their alien. Students will provide constructive feedback on another student’s work and edit their own work in response to peer feedback.

Success criteria

Students create an information report with a detailed description and using a range of sentence structures.

Syllabus outcomes

  • EN3-1A: Communicates effectively for a variety of audiences and purposes using increasingly challenging topics, ideas, issues and language forms and features.
  • EN3-2A: Composes, edits and presents well-structured and coherent texts.
  • EN3-3A: Uses an integrated range of skills, strategies and knowledge to read, view and comprehend a wide range of texts in different media and technologies.
  • EN3-6B: Uses knowledge of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary to respond to and compose clear and cohesive texts in different media and technologies.
  • EN3-7C: Thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically about information and ideas and identifies connections between texts when responding to and composing.
  • EN3-9E: Recognises, reflects on and assesses their strengths as a learner.
  • VAS3.4: Communicates about the ways in which subject matter is represented in artworks.

Resources

Approximate time

90 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Review some of the fantastic and fanciful aliens that were created by the class in the previous activity. Explain that they are all so fabulous and so different that we need a way to be able to find information about them in the one place. Explain that the class is going to create its own ‘Alien encyclopedia’ (or come up with a name for it, for example, ‘Aliencyclopedia’).
  2. Show an example of a current visual encyclopedia aimed at children, for example, Lego Minifigures Character Encyclopedia or Star Wars Character Encyclopedia.
  3. Brainstorm the features of these types of texts, for example, contents pages, one page for each character, images, subheadings, facts, use of colour and whether the characters are in alphabetical order or organised by theme. Discuss why this type of text is really just a collection of information reports.
  4. Hand out Attachment 22.1. Discuss with the class.
  5. Choose one of the aliens that were created (perhaps one student is away, or you might have created an alien that could be used here) and do a modelled example of how to fill in the template. Focus on the criteria for success: detailed descriptions, attractive drawings and colours on the page, and a variety of simple, compound and complex sentences (at least two of each).
  6. Students spend time filling in the information report template about their own alien. Allow approximately 20-30 minutes. At this point, students MUST use a lead pencil to write and draw their images.
  7. Discuss the concept of constructive feedback. Students are going to swap their information report with another student and provide constructive feedback. On a sticky note, students should write one thing that they like about the information report and two things that could be improved, so that the reader can really understand what the alien is like. They also have to leave a sticky note saying whether they found two simple, two compound and two complex sentences.  Students also leave a sticky note comment about the illustration and any hints for improvement.
  8. Allow students 10 minutes to provide constructive feedback on another report.
  9. Swap the reports again, with another student (not the author), so that students receive one more set of constructive criticism.
  10. All students get their original information report back. Give them time to read their constructive feedback.
  11. All students now make adjustments to their information report based on their feedback. Students create their final published report using colours and pen.Collect all of the information reports and collate them into a book for the classroom and/or school library.

Note: This activity could be used as an assessment opportunity.

Reflection

Students comment to a partner about one interesting alien that they read about in another student’s report and what they liked about it.

Activity 23 – Schools Spectacular – Here we come!

Learning intention

Students will understand what Schools Spectacular is and know what to watch for in the Out of this world segment.

Resources

Approximate time

15 minutes

Activity plan

  1. Ask if any students have attended a previous School Spectacular performance. Those who have attended can explain to the class.
  2. Watch the Schools Spectacular 2019 promo video. Discuss with students what they think.
  3. Explain that there will be a segment in the show that reflects all that they have been learning in this unit. They will hear some of the music that they have listened to during these activities and they are going to see people helping each other out and working together.
  4. Explain that you want them to pay particular attention to the people they see working together and supporting each other in the show, so that when they are back in the classroom after viewing or attending the show they can try to write a description of some of those moments.

Reflection

Students tell a partner what they are most looking forward to seeing at Schools Spectacular.

Activity 24 – Schools Spectacular – STARS!

Learning intention

Students will respond to the performance and observations of helping behaviour at Schools Spectacular.

Resources

  • The televised edition of the Schools Spectacular 2019 performance if unable to attend in person.

Approximate time

15 minutes

Activity plan

1. Discuss as a class, what were their favourite things about the Schools Spectacular 2019. Ask: If they attended the show, would they go again? Would they try out to be a part of the show in 2020?

2. Focus on the Out of this world segment. What happened during this part of the show? Did the students recognise any of the songs from what they have learnt in this unit?

3. Discuss the aliens that they saw during the performance. Each student writes a description of one of the aliens using a simple, compound and complex sentence.

4. Students share one of their descriptive sentences with the class.

Reflection

Ask students what their favourite part of this unit has been.

Find out more about The Arts Unit Digital Engagement

Back to Home