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Adventure 4: Space 2119

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The new adventure has started with us time travelling to the year 2119! The children first met Lunar Branson – the great granddaughter of Richard Branson. She has been working hard to continue his legacy and yesterday launched a spaceship that travelled to Mars in the same amount of time it takes to fly to Spain. As a result, she is now looking to launch a business offering holidays in space and this is where the children come in.

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The first activity for the children was to help them imagine what it would be like in the year 2119. They used pictures to imagineer key aspects of life in 100 years’ time: houses, transport, clothes and school.

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The children then created their own name for the tourism business and designed a logo for their company.

The children were still stunned with the fantastic accomplishment of the flight to Mars and felt that everyone should know about it. They therefore wrote newspaper reports detailing the flight. They imagined being reporters and completed a reporter’s journal with the key details (5 W’s). The children then collected some key quotes to include in their reports and looked at using inverted commas correctly. Finally, the children looked at an example newspaper report to support their understanding of structure and formality. 

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For the next part of the adventure, the children were wondering about whether Mars was the only planet we could take tourists. We investigated all about the other planets. The children completed a burn 2 learn where they had to unscramble the names of the planets, match the picture of the planets and key facts about them. We then realised that Mars would be the only potentially safe place to go.

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Using the information they had gathered, the children wrote reports about the planets including work on passive voice and improving simple sentences.

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We then started thinking more about the planets. We decided to create a model of the solar system to show how the planets orbit the sun. In groups, the children used papier mache to create the planet before painting them.

Picture 1 Sun
Picture 2 Mercury
Picture 3 Venus
Picture 4 Earth
Picture 5 Moon
Picture 6 Mars
Picture 7 Jupiter
Picture 8 Saturn
Picture 9 Uranus
Picture 10 Neptune

In Science, we looked at all aspects of Earth and Space: how day and night is caused, about different time zones around the world and how shadows are caused. The children watched videos to complete research, used a globe and torch to bring what the discovered to life and used atlases to locate countries and work out their time zones.

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The children also designed an experiment to understand how shadows are caused. Over the period of a day, we went outside to measure the length and position of a cricked stump. We used chalk to mark on where the shadow appeared at hour long intervals. The children recorded their findings in a table and then wrote an explanation of what they had done and learnt.

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As part of Science Week, Westwood held a Science day where we had stalls set up in the hall and each class (and their parents) got a chance to come and see the work we had been doing - even getting to have a go at some experiments themselves!

The children then discovered Lunar’s plan for where the rockets would take off from on their journey to Mars. The location of the spaceport she has in mind is in Middleton Park. This would require the park being completely changed and destroyed to make way for the spaceport. They first considered the pros and cons of this taking place, writing these on big pieces of paper.

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We then heard that other staff in school had opinions on this, so they came to discuss these with us. The children wrote down what they said before turning these into quotes to use in a balanced argument.

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Before forming their own balanced argument, the children looked at different examples of this genre and picked out key features. They then planned out the main points they wanted to include for and against the argument prior to writing their final piece.

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In reading, the children looked at a text all about astronaut’s space suits. They first explored the text and the technical vocabulary used and afterwards answered some questions based on the text.

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We then decided to write a story based on a title given to the children ‘Lost in Space’. The children had to create a main character, a problem to happen in space and a way to resolve it. During one of the inputs, we focused on the use of good vocabulary to add description. The children matched simple adjectives to their higher level synonym. The finished stories were fantastic!

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Throughout the adventure, the children completed some brilliant homework based around space.

For the finale of the adventure, Wilf’s grandad came into school and took us onto the field where we launched rockets! We even invited our Writing Buddies to join us.

After watching the rocket launches, we went down to show our buddies all the work we’d been doing and to find out about their adventure. Then we stayed to spend some time with them.

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For Space 2119, we thought that Elton John's Rocketman fitted the theme of our adventure well so picked it as the song of our adventure.

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