In this lesson,students discuss alien life and the possible first contact scenario and write an essay about different aspects of space exploration. The lesson also includes two videos about extraterrestrials.
This is a Flipped Classroom lesson plan. In a nutshell, it means that the first part of the lesson needs to be done by students at home. Learn more about flipped classroom and how we implement it in these lesson plans in our post.
Vocabulary & video
The pre-class part of the lesson starts with the viewing of a short video. In the video, a NASA scientist discusses if aliens exist. Students’ task is to check if their predictions regarding her answer were correct. Students also do a space exploration vocabulary task in which they complete eight gaps with words in the box (e.g. habitable, launched, microbial). After that, they watch the video again and decide which of the topics mentioned in the sentences the scientist in the video talks about. Finally, they decide how to describe different planets (e.g. gas giant, terrestrial planet, the Blue Planet). The vocabulary presented in this part will help students write an essay at the end of the lesson.
Writing an essay
The in-class part of the lesson starts with a revision of the vocabulary studied at home. Students need to complete five questions which refer to space exploration, theories about alien life on Earth, and Mars. They discuss the questions in groups and move on to the next task. Here, they need to choose the best word (e.g. radiation, expand, overheat) for each of the seven sentences. While watching a video, they complete three hypotheses as to why we haven’t found intelligent alien life yet. They do it using provided words and phrases (e.g. release oxygen, stabilize the climate). Then, they discuss the theories from the video and share their views on the possibility of humans finding alien life elsewhere in the universe. After that, students read a first contact scenario, and in groups decide what message they would send to the extraterrestrials and other steps they would take. Finally, students write an essay (200-260 words) discussing two aspects of space exploration. The task is structured like the first section of the Cambridge CAE writing part.
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