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Spaceship Landing on Its Feet

Space travel has captured imaginations for generations. Combine creativity and problem solving to construct a 3-D spaceship. Plan a voyage that’s out of this world!

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Could life exist on planets other than Earth? Are there other solar systems? What would it be like to travel to these planets and search for life? What would a spaceship need to take passengers into space and deliver them safely back home again? Have students work in small groups to research these questions, as well as others that they suggest focused on the topic of space travel. Then they will design a ship for space travel.
    2. Encourage students to carefully plan each aspect of a trip into outer space. Design a spaceship to meet all the needs for a space trip. Students use a variety of colors of recycled materials and colored construction paper for the ship. Is a rocket booster needed for take-off, landing gear for smooth landings, an extra room for any guests? Be creative when deciding on the functions for and decoration of a spaceship.
    3. Decorate spaceships using Crayola® Washable Markers. Add dimension to make the structure look realistic. For example, cut thin strips and wrap them around a marker barrel to make curls. Make cuts along the edges and fold up fringe so color on the back side shows. Use chenille stems to connect parts or make antennae. Attach foam pieces for details and decoration. Glue and tape the spaceship together. Air-dry before handling.
    4. Students prepare an oral presentation explaining travel plans, design criteria, and spaceship features. Provide time in the school day for students to present to small groups of classmates.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Solve problems involving measurement and estimation of intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects.

    SCI: Obtain and communicate information about the sizes of stars, including the sun, and their distances from Earth to explain their apparent brightness.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: If You Decide To Go To The Moon by Faith McNulty; What's Out There?: A Book about Space by Lynn Wilson; National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space by Catherine D. Hughes

    Working in small groups, students design a series of spaceships that are meant to travel together. Students describe the specialty of each spaceship and its unique function within the designed fleet. Students may also want to assign jobs for each other and determine which ships they would be using to work.

    Students collaborate to compose stories about a trip through outer space. What was the most interesting part of the trip and why? What was the most difficult part of the trip? What problems arose while traveling in space? How did the crew resolve those problems? Were any other civilizations encountered while traveling in outer space? If so, how were they like humans? How were they different?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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