Just Imagine

KS1

Awesome Universes

The books in this theme explore the factual and imaginative space beyond our own planet. The books will focus on our fascination with the stars and planets, our curiosity about where life began, whether life could exist elsewhere in the universe and of mankind’s continuing quest for cosmic knowledge.

Some of the books offer opportunities for children to read about real people, and animals, who have journeyed beyond the earth’s atmosphere. These include:

  • Chris Hadfield The Darkest Dark
  • Don Brown One Giant Leap: the story of Neil Armstrong

Some of the books aim to draw children into the imaginary worlds of non-human space dwellers. These include:

  • Mini Grey Toys in Space
  • Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre Cakes in Space

Book introductions

The books in this theme explore the factual and imaginative space beyond our own planet. The books will focus on our fascination with the stars and planets, our curiosity about where life began, whether life could exist elsewhere in the universe and of mankind’s continuing quest for cosmic knowledge.

Some of the books offer opportunities for children to read about real people, and animals, who have journeyed beyond the earth’s atmosphere. These include:

  • Chris Hadfield The Darkest Dark
  • Don Brown One Giant Leap: the story of Neil Armstrong

Some of the books aim to draw children into the imaginary worlds of non-human space dwellers. These include:

  • Mini Grey Toys in Space
  • Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre Cakes in Space

Letter from a space scientist

Assemble a collection of ‘space objects’ such as:

  • pebbles with strange ‘alien writing’ on
  • a selection of different slimes (you can use shop bought or make it yourself, or use florist water beads)
  • painted egg shape rocks, painted egg shells or coloured beans to represent new alien life
  • instruction manual sheet with strange equations and sketches of UFOs
  • maps of fictional planets
  • photographs of UFOs or alien pictures

Gather the class or a group together and introduce a letter from a space scientist asking the children to explore the objects that have been found in a package.

Working in small groups allow the children time to explore their chosen objects in detail. Ask them to think about and record their ideas, thoughts and questions. Offer some prompts:

  • where did they come from?
  • what might they be used for?
  • how can we make sense of them?
  • what do we want to find out?

Generating Discussion

Challenge the children to think about ideas for a space themed reading area where these objects can be displayed alongside reading materials that will help them in their quest to find out more about the Awesome Universe.

Encourage children to share book recommendations, reviews and ideas from stories by writing messages to each other on an alien communication board.

Add daily/weekly curiosities to a display wall. These can include photos or articles from the internet related to the Awesome Universe theme. Challenge the children to check the board and make links between the curiosities and the books that they are reading.

Provide access to a ‘Discovery Journal’ in a ‘Space Station Reading Zone’. Children can write messages to the space scientists about the things they have discovered or imagined inspired by their reading.

Use tubes and space telecommunications equipment to pass on short extracts from the books from person to person, or person to alien. How would you explain the ideas of the book to an alien who cannot read earth languages?

Ask the children to retell stories in alien language and challenge peers to make sense of the content using clues from the books.

 

Book talk

What is the most interesting thing you have learnt about space from the book you have been reading?

What do you imagine it would be like in outer space?

If all humans had to leave planet earth, where would they go and what would they have to do to survive?

Why have humans sent animals into space? Is it a good thing to do (ethical)?

What would you have thought about the universe, if you were the first human on Earth?

What is an alien? How do we know if they exist?

What might aliens think about our planet, our inventions and the ways we live?

Could we share a planet peacefully with alien forms of life?

Who do you think would enjoy the book that you have been reading?

How would you encourage someone to read the book that you have been reading?

£136.00

The Reading Journey: Awesome Universes (24 books)

The Reading Journey is Just Imagine's programme for supporting independent reading, to develop wider reading and make more productive use of book corners.  The Reading Journey is designed specifically to keep class book... Read more

Display ideas

Alien Chairs

In your book corner, turn the chairs into Aliens by adding eyes and antennae

Hanging UFOs and Moon Rocks

Hang model UFOs or create your own. Make cushions look like moon rocks with antennae peering over the top.

Contributor

Sara Stanley specialises in creating philosophical worlds in the classroom. Sara shares her passion for picture books to develop all aspects of creative learning and thinking.

http://sarastanley.co.uk/