All Summer In A Day Essay Prompt


                           

Ms. Lee I really think you have enough material to successfully teach the first few weeks of the 1st 9 weeks.  I would prefer to teach this short story, but if you need it here it is...and if you need more short story lessons email me and I can develop more material. 

“All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury

Study Guide

Directions:  Answer the questions in complete sentences using the RACE strategy.  Remember to use details from the text.  Please use your own sheet of notebook paper.

R-Restate (the Question)

A-Answer (the Question)  

C-Cite (Give page(s) # & “Quote” information from the story)       

E-Explain/Expand    (Answer the question “So what?” & “What does that mean?”)

  1. How does Ray Bradbury emphasize what 7 years of rain must seem like? 
  2. List ways that Margot is different from the other children. 
  3. Why don’t Margot’s parents return her to Earth?
  4. How did the children know that the sun was coming out?
  5. Why do the children lock Margot in the closet?
  6. How does Margot react to the children locking her in the closet?  Why does she react this way?
  7. How does Ray Bradbury describe the setting of the sun coming out? 
  8. What is the central idea or theme of “All Summer in a Day”?
  9. What does the author use to present an effective setting?
    1. Repetition of sound
    2. Dialogue / Conversation
    3. Mention of familiar places
    4. Vivid adjectives

10    . What special knowledge or lesson did the children learn when they returned to let Margot out of the closet?

11.  Compare and Contrast Activity

Compare and Contrast Margot from the short story "All Summer in One Day" by Ray Bradbury to the other children in her class

You will find below some other ideas that you can incorporate into this story…remember only choose activities you feel comfortable…

Detailed Description of Activities

Pre-Reading Activities

  1. Building Background Knowledge: About Author, Historical Events and Historical  Perspective, 45 minutes
  • The teacher will distribute a worksheet with questions to be answered with partners. Using the computer lab, the students will complete a web scavenger hunt to explore the life of Ray Bradbury and how his writing was affected by the Cold War era.  (see student materials for website links at end)  These interesting websites will generate interest in Ray Bradbury’s life, ideas and perhaps other stories.

Pre-Reading Activities

  1. Preteaching Vocabulary, 10 minutes
  • Using the definition plus rich context procedure, introduce the following vocabulary words: surged, resilient, apparatus, and immense. Have the words and context available on an overhead, review and discuss. Hand out a worksheet to complete with a partner.  (see student materials) The worksheet will use the vocabulary words in both the context-relationship procedure.
  1. Building Background Knowledge About the Story, 10 minutes
  • Pair up with a partner and read the Preview (see student materials) of “All Summer in a Day.”  This will offer students the opportunity to begin to think about the story, its characters and read a brief summary up to the climax.  The critical thinking questions at the end of the preview give the students something to think about as they read the text.

During-Reading Activities

  1. Reading to Students, 15 minutes
  • Teacher reads the story out loud to students or you can play the story on the CD, while they listen and follow along.  Read to students.  The reading level of this story is very appropriate for this age group and should not be difficult for them to tackle.  Having the first reading of this powerful story be out loud to the students will allow the initial impact of the ending to be experienced by all of the students at the same time.

Post-Reading Activities

  1. Questioning/Discussion, 10 minutes
  • Students will have some powerful feelings immediately following this story.  This will be an opportune time for them to discuss their reactions to the story and make personal connections that they may have to these or other similar character issues.
  1.  Questioning/Classwork
  • Students will complete a worksheet with the comprehension questions that require them to use the higher order thinking skills of understanding and analyzing. (see student materials)

Post-Reading Activities

  1. Artistic, Graphic, and Non-Verbal Activities 45 minutes
  • Students will choose a partner and complete a think pair share activity in which they record their collective prior knowledge about the planet Venus on the Inspiration® graphic organizer (see student materials).  The teacher will give each student an important piece of information to present orally to the class about the planet Venus. The students will have to take that information and create at least one original simile and one original metaphor using that information. The students will complete their Venusian Travel Guide worksheet (see student materials) as each student presents the information needed for each topic area.
  1. Writing, as Classwork
  • Students may need the lab for this two links are provided…Students will work independently to locate inaccuracies within the short story.  Students will be responsible for listing five inaccuracies from “All Summer in a Day” and write a full paragraph as to whether or not it would be feasible to colonize Venus and if so, what you would need in order to do so.

Learning About Planets: Venushttp://tqjunior.thinkquest.org/ 3645/ Planets/ Venus.html

Venus Introductionhttp://www.solarviews.com/ eng/ venus.htm

Post-Reading Activities

  1. Writing, 20 minutes

·         The ending of this story leaves many readers upset, and wondering what happened next.  This is a wonderful opportunity for students to re-write the story.  Students will form new groups for this task, whose purpose will be to recreate the ending in a drama that can be presented to the class.  Students will use the character discussion questions that they considered prior to reading this short story.  The only requirement for the new ending is that it will be mutually agreeable by all of the students in the group. 

·         This requirement will enable students to utilize higher levels of thinking as they explore the critical issues that are involved with group dynamics.

  1. Drama, 25 minutes

·         The purpose of this activity is two-fold.  It will enable many students who need to be supported with multi-sensory kinesthetic movement to be out of their desks, and acting out the story ending.  It will also enable students to being closure to the story with a new twist, possibly creating a more win-win situation for the characters in the story.  This activity has the potential to change the direction of some social behavior in the future, making it a critical component of this lesson and an excellent final activity for this short story unit.

Student Materials

Character Education Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways is this a caring world?  In what ways is it uncaring?  When someone is uncaring, how does that affect friends, school and community?  Use examples in your discussion.
  1. Would you give money to a stranger on the sidewalk who asked for spare change?  Why or shy not?  Would it make a difference if the person were, (a) a mother with child, (b) very old, (c) from a different culture?  What does giving homey to a stranger have to do with caring anyway?
  1. Do you think your self-respect sometimes affects the way you make choices?  In what way?  Do you think the quality of your choices affects your self-respect?  In what way? 
  1. How often do you think about whether something is right or wrong before you decide to do it?  Do you think you usually know right from wrong?  How?  What are your guidelines?
  1. Discuss a real or imagined experience in which you performed a random act of caring and a purposeful act of unkindness.  How did you feel about yourself after each incident?
  1. Someone once said that when a person does something that’s wrong, “it gets on your conscience and you don’t realize it until the fun is stopped, and then you realize, well, maybe I shouldn’t have done that.”  Has that ever happened to you?  What have you learned from it?
  1. Think about a time you may have been the victim of discrimination or intolerance?  How about a time when you may have been the one doing the discriminating? 

Ray Bradbury and the 1950's

Working in your small groups, click on the Ray Bradbury links toanswer the following questions:
www.raybradbury.com
http://www.spaceagecity.com/bradbury/
http://www.bradburymedia.co.uk/
http://raybradburyonline.com/

1. Where and when was Ray Bradbury born?

2. When and how did he begin his writing career?

3. In which genre does Ray Bradbury usually write?

4. What did Ray Bradbury create for Disney World?

5. What special honor did Bradbury receive in ?

6. Why do you think that Ray Bradbury depends on the use of similes and metaphors in his writing of Science Fiction?
Part Two: Scavenger Hunt--Independent Search:
Using Google’s search engine, explore the Internet for resources on the 1950's and McCarthyism. Answer as many of the following questions as possible. CITE ALL YOUR SOURCES. Be sure to carefully evaluate the sites you visit for validity and accuracy.
1.  What was the House un-American Activities Committee (HUAC)?

What was it's purpose?


2.  When and why did become the interest of the committee? Name three films that the committee and others considered "questionable."


3.  Who were the "Unfriendly Ten"? Why were they called that?

4.  Who was Joseph McCarthy? Why was “Mcarthyism” such an important part of the 1950’s culture?

5.  What was the "Cold War"? When did it start? What kind of impact did it have on America?

Vocabulary Words

All vocabulary words will be presented as part of the Pre-Reading Activities 

Surged

To rise suddenly to an excessive or abnormal value

The speed skater was solidly in fourth place when suddenly he surged ahead of the other three skaters and won the gold medal.

Immense

Incredibly huge, immeasurably large

Amanda stared up at the immense mountain and wondered how she would ever be able to climb to the top.

Context-Relationship Procedure Items:

Apparatus

Today was the telephone installers first day on the job.  He looked at the complicated apparatus used to hook up the phone system and felt frustrated.  The apparatus this company used was nothing like the apparatus he trained with and he was worried he would not know how to use it to hook up the phones with it. 

Apparatus means:      

_____sporting goods

____equipment you use to complete a job

____ Stuff you need for work

Resilient

The candidate had lost three elections in a row.  He wanted to be President very badly; he was resilient and kept campaigning.  He did not let the defeat dampen his efforts.  He picked himself back up each time and ran again.  Eventually, he won.  Resilient is more than flexible. Being resilient is the ability to get back up and function after suffering a misfortune or a defeat.

Resilient means:

____ Being able to adjust to change

____ Being enthusiastic

____ Wanting something with your whole heart

Preview for “All Summer in a Day”

Can you imagine what it might be like to have sunshine come for only one hour, once every seven years, with non-stop rain every single day for the entire seven years?  Have you ever had a group turn against you, just for being who you are?  Has anything ever happened to you that was so horrible that it left you changed, forever?

Margot and her family joined the community that relocated to the planet Venus five years ago.  On Venus, it rains every day, and then after seven years, the sun shines for one hour, and then the rain returns.  Although she did remember the warmth of the sunshine and could describe how the sun looked, no one believed her.  Being rather sickly, she was already isolated from her classmates, but when she talked about the sun, they became hostile, and taunted her.  She tried to convince them that she remembered, but they seemed to become more angry, and then…

Read on to find out whether the rain ever comes, how her classmates deal with their feelings of jealousy and what happens to Margot.  As you read, think about what you would do if you had the opportunity to permanently alter the life of another human being, but it meant standing alone and going against everyone else to do it.  What would you do?

“All summer in a Day” Comprehension Classwork

Why do you think Margot does not fit in?

Describe a time when you did not fit in?  What happened?  How did you feel?

How have the people on Venus adapted to the rainy climate?

How would you feel about living on a planet that had rain everyday?  Which activities you would miss?  Discuss how people might feel and behave if they could not spend anytime outside in the sunshine.

Every seven years when the Sun comes out the plant life on Venus changes.  What happens?  Be sure to use details and quotes from the story.

Venusian Travel Guide

Source of the Selection, Additional , and Other Material

Source of the Selection

http://www.intermed.it/bradbury/Allsummer.htm an online resource for reading the complete text of the story “all summer in a day” by Ray Bradbury, 1959.

Additional by the Same Author

Bradbury, R.  (1985).  Dandelion Wine.  :  Bantam Spectra.

Bradbury, R.  (1998).  Driving Blind:  Stories.  :  Books.

Bradbury, R.  (1990).  The Illustrated   :  Bantam Books.

Bradbury, R.  (1998).  I Sing the Body Electric and Other Stories.  :  Books.

Bradbury, R.  (1994).  The Martian Chronicles.  :  Bantam Books.

Bradbury, R.  (1993).  The October Country.  :  Ballantine Books.

Bradbury, R.  (1998).  Something Wicked This Way Comes.  :  Books.

Bradbury, R.  (1980).  The Stories of Ray Bradbury.  New York:  Knopf.

Resource materials

, L.W., & Krathwohl (Eds.). (2001).  A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. : Longman.

Graves, M.F., & , B. (2003).  Scaffolding Reading Expeiences: Designs for Student Success. : Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.

, M.F.  (2006).  The Vocabulary Book.  New York: Teachers College Press.

Internet Resources

http://www.raybradbury.com/.  The official Ray Bradbury website offers biographical information, links to other Ray Bradbury-related sites, articles about the author, and an overview of his career.

http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/50s/huac-main.html. Housed at this website is an overview of the House Un-American Activities Committee and links to additional pages about this group and its actions in the 1950s.

http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/50s/mccarthy-bio.html.  Offers a short biography of Joseph McCarthy and his political career and actions.

http://www.qacps.k12.md.us/Comtek/Lessons/6-RLA-All_Summer/Venusian_Travel_Guide.doc  This teacher created worksheet was designed to introduce students to the planet Venus and motivate.

http://library.thinkquest.org/3645/Planets/Venus.html  This website is written for kids by kids and discusses the planet Venus.

http://www.solarviews.com/eng/venus.htm  This website provides scientific facts and statistics about the planet Venus.

http://www.nineplanets.org/venus.html  More scientific information about the planet Venus that one would ever think to ask.

http://pds.jpl.nasa,gov/planets/special/venus.htm  A planet profile of Venus, complete with raw data.

http://www.brainpop.com/english/writing/similesandmetaphors/  Brain Pop is an educational website aimed at grades 4-8.  It contains animated movies within the subject areas of English Science, Math, Social Studies, Health and Technology.

http://www.spaceagecity.com/bradbury/  This site provides information about one of 's greatest storytellers, Ray Bradbury, spotlighting his featured favorites.

http://www.bradburymedia.co.uk/  This site concentrates on Bradbury's work in the media - film, TV, radio.

http://raybradburyonline.com/  The goal of this site is to provide information about Ray Bradbury and his work to fans and anyone interested in or researching Ray and his work.  

Bradbury’s short story was written at a time when space exploration was gaining significant momentum, as the Cold War raged and the space race between the Soviet Union and the U.S. picked up speed. Just 15 years after “All Summer in a Day” was published, the 1969 Apollo 11 mission succeeded in sending the first humans to the moon.

“All Summer in a Day” fast-forwards past the time-consuming, resource-intensive process of scientific research and plops the reader into an already well-established society on Venus. As is typical of much of Bradbury’s writing, the author takes a cautionary view of the sacrifices needed to achieve sustained life on other planets. His story reveals that despite advances in technology and science, human nature and human relationships are still fraught with age-old conflicts and hardship.

_________

Key Questions

•How do we judge if a sacrifice is worthwhile when the outcome is unknown?

•What truths can we learn about ourselves in extreme, dangerous, or unusual situations?

_________

Activity Sheets

As students read and discuss, they might take notes using one or more of the three graphic organizers (PDFs) we have created for our Text to Text feature, which matches often-taught texts with Times articles and other content.

• Comparing Two or More Texts

• Double-Entry Chart for Close Reading

• Document Analysis Questions

_________

Text 1: Five videos from “Life on Mars” 360 video series by Niko Koppel, Nick Capezzera and Veda Shastri.

Note: As of publication, there are six videos in the series.

_________

Episode 1: Preparing for the Red Planet

In the first episode of “Life on Mars,” we join the HI-SEAS Mission 5 crew during the training before their eight-month isolation begins. They meet mission support and learn about their new home, a structure they call “the habitat.” During their mission, they will have to wear spacesuits any time they leave the habitat. Their only communication with the outside world will be by email with a 20-minute delay, about the length of time it would take for a transmission from Mars to reach Earth.

Episode 2: Get to Know the Crew

On Jan. 19, the scientists celebrate the start of their mission. Their days are filled with geological fieldwork, personal research projects and upkeep of the habitat. In the second episode of “Life on Mars” we find out how they are settling in — and how they clean the toilet.

Episode 3: At Home in the Habitat

The crew has been in isolation for more than four months, the halfway point of their mission. In the third episode of “Life on Mars,” the crew shows us around the 1,200-square-foot habitat, which is outfitted with more than 150 sensors that collect data on water usage, battery power, carbon dioxide levels and other resources. These are analyzed by researchers and monitored by mission support to assess the well-being of the crew.

Episode 4: The Crew Answers Your Questions

In the fourth episode of this 360-video series, the crew answers select audience questions, including what they miss most during their eight-month isolation, how they resolve conflict and if they still would go to Mars.

Episode 5: Mirages of Earth

In the fifth episode of the series, see how the crew uses virtual reality as a coping mechanism for stress caused by isolation. The scenes are meant to relax crew members through exposure to natural and urban environments.

_________

Text 2: Excerpt from “"All Summer In a Day" by Ray Bradbury.

“Ready?”

“Ready.”

“Now?”

“Soon.”

“Do the scientists really know? Will it happen today, will it?

“Look, look; see for yourself!”

The children pressed to each other like so many roses, so many weeds, intermixed, peering out for a look at the hidden sun.

It rained. It had been raining for seven years; thousands upon thousands of days compounded and filled from one end to the other with rain, with the drum and gush of water, with the sweet crystal fall of showers and the concussion of storms so heavy they were tidal waves come over the islands. A thousand forests had been crushed under the rain and grown up a thousand times to be crushed again. And this was the way life was forever on the planet Venus and this was the schoolroom of the children of the rocket men and women who had come to a raining world to set up civilization and live out their lives.

“It’s stopping. It’s stopping!”

“Yes, yes!”

Margot stood apart from them, from these children who could never remember a time when there wasn’t rain and rain and rain. They were all nine years old, and if there had been a day, seven years ago, when the sun came out for an hour and showed its face to the stunned world, they could not recall. Sometimes, at night, she heard them stir, in remembrance and she knew they were dreaming and remembering gold or a yellow crayon or a coin large enough to buy the world with. She knew they thought they remembered a warmness, like a blushing in the face, in the body, in the arms and legs and trembling hands. But then they always awoke to the tatting drum, the endless shaking down of clear bead necklaces upon the roof, the walk, the gardens, the forests, and their dreams were gone.

The story continues:

“You’re lying, you don’t remember!” cried the children.

But she remembered and stood quietly apart from all of them and watched the patterning windows. And once, a month ago, she had refused to shower in the school shower rooms, had clutched her hands to her ears and over her head, screaming the water mustn’t touch her head. So after that, dimly, dimly, she sensed it, she was different and they knew her difference and kept away.

There was talk that her father and mother were taking her back to Earth next year; it seemed vital to her that they do so, though it would mean the loss of thousands of dollars to her family. And so, the children hated her for all these reasons of big and little consequence. They hated her pale snow face, her waiting silence, her thinness, and her possible future.

“Get away!” The boy gave her another push. “What’re you waiting for?”

Then for the first time, she turned and looked at him. And what she was waiting for was in her eyes. “Well, don’t wait around here!” cried the boy savagely. “You won’t see nothing!”

“Oh, but,” Margot whispered, her eyes helpless. “But this is the day, the scientists predict, they say, they know, the sun . . .”

“All a joke!” said the boy, and seized her roughly. “Hey, everyone, let’s put her in a closet before teacher comes!”

“No,” said Margot, falling back.

They surged about her, caught her up and bore her, protesting, and then pleading, and then crying, back into a tunnel, a room, a closet, where they slammed and locked the door. They stood looking at the door and saw it tremble from her beating and throwing herself against it. They heard her muffled cries. Then, smiling, they turned and went out and back down the tunnel, just as the teacher arrived.

“Ready, children?” She glanced at her watch.

“Yes!” said everyone.

“Are we all here?”

“Yes!”

The rain slackened still more.

They crowded to the huge door.

The rain stopped.

_________

Questions For Writing and Discussion

1. How are the sacrifices made by the Hi-SEAS participants and Bradbury’s characters in “All Summer in a Day” similar and different? Do you think these sacrifices are worthwhile given that what is gained as a result is not fully known? How should sacrifices be evaluated differently for adults (who make choices willingly and knowingly) compared to children, whose choices are restricted (based on the decisions of their parents)? In the story, is it better or worse that the Venus-born children don’t really understand what they’re missing? How might this scenario be similar for a future Mars-born generation?

2. How do the settings of both texts play a central role in the conflicts the participants and characters experience? If you were in the world of “All Summer in a Day” or living in “the habitat” on Mauna Loa volcano, how would these environments affect you? What might you learn about yourself and how would you overcome these circumstantial challenges? Given that the purpose of the Hi-SEAS mission is to help determine what personal qualities are necessary for long-duration space travel, what traits can you identify that are necessary for surviving, even thriving, in such an extreme setting?

3. Despite the unique settings of both texts, how are some of the social dynamics similar to those experienced in everyday life on Earth? Why does Margot feel isolated and distant from the other Venus-born children, and how does this effect how she is treated by them? In what ways do the Hi-SEAS group members deal with isolation and interpersonal conflict? Why are isolation and loneliness such common themes in literature and across the human experience? For whom do you think Bradbury wrote “All Summer in a Day”?

4. What can we learn from the way the Venus civilization was established as we begin research and development for a possible future Mars community? What steps have the Hi-SEAS team members taken to make their mission a success? From your perspective, what are some non-negotiables for setting up a healthy community and way of life for people in a new and potentially challenging setting? Why is it important to look at the experiences of others as you make decisions about your own life trajectory?

5. Across these texts, the tone varies from excitement and hope in what is humanly possible, to cynicism about the lack of human progress. Why it is important to balance ambition and hope with caution? How can naïveté obstruct people’s chances to succeed in their endeavors? What advice might Ray Bradbury give to scientists engaged in research for Mars exploration? What recommendations might Elon Musk give to the leaders of the imaginary Venus civilization?

_________

Going Further

Fact or Fiction?

For centuries, authors have taken a fantastic and speculative approach to writing stories about life beyond Earth’s bounds. The “red planet” and its many fictive Martian characters have served to supply the content of many science fiction stories over the years.

In addition to Venus-based “All Summer in a Day,” Bradbury also wrote a more substantial series of short stories compiled as “The Martian Chronicles.” The stories tell of a Mars colonized by Earthmen, marked by moments when both the Martian population and Earth’s population face near-extinction. At the time of Bradbury’s death in 2012, the Times coverage returned to this collection to highlight its strong environmental theme.

More recently author Andy Weir chronicled a tale of Mars explorers that reflects more accurately the challenges astronauts would face today. “The Martian” follows the life and struggle of the sole survivor of the first manned mission to Mars. Similar to how Bradbury originally published the stories of “The Martian Chronicles” in serial form, “The Martian” by Mr. Weir was first released one chapter at a time on his personal blog, which he later compiled and self-published in 2011 as an e-book on Amazon.com at the lowest possible price — 99¢. After quickly rising to the top of Amazon’s science fiction best seller list, it was picked up by Crown Publishing Group. By 2014 “The Martian” debuted on the Times best seller list. At the time of debut, Mr. Weir was already in negotiations with 20th Century Fox over the story’s film rights. Starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, the movie version premiered in 2015, eventually won two Golden Globes and was nominated for seven Oscars. See the official trailer, below.

The Times spoke with its director, Ridley Scott, about the production of the film. Just as the Hi-SEAS developers chose a Hawaiian volcano for its mission, Mr. Scott shot much of the film in Wadi Rum in Jordan to mimic the Mars-like conditions.

Because we can only speculate about life on other planets, what must science fiction authors consider when writing human stories in fantastic settings? How did the available sources of information about space vary when Bradbury wrote his science fiction stories in the 1950s compared to what was available to Mr. Weir as he was writing in the 21st century? To make their work compelling and accessible to the reader, how must authors walk the line between fantasy and the familiar? Is science-fiction a genre that is appealing to you? Why or why not?

_________

Support for Space Exploration from One Administration to the Next

Early NASA initiatives received robust support during the 1960s because of the political climate. The Cold War conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union created an environment where advances in space exploration represented both military dominance as well as social and cultural prowess. The space race was a way that these two countries could flex their muscles without heating up the rivalry to outright war with one another.

But in the decades that followed, funding for NASA’s programs declined and leveled out to less than $20 billion annually, approximately 0.5 percent of the federal budget. At the end of his presidency, Barack Obama spoke boldly about reviving our commitment to interplanetary efforts, specifically with Mars in mind. Less than a year into the Trump administration, it’s still too early to tell whether the he will leave a noteworthy mark on space research and travel.

The Times explored the question of where NASA will go under the Trump administration in the weeks following the 2016 election. Since taking office, President Trump advocated for manned missions of deep-space travel, but NASA concluded that this would cause extensive delays and significantly increase the price tag of their current efforts to get its new Space Launch System off the ground.

Based on what you read in these articles, compare and contrast Mr. Obama’s and Mr. Trump’s commitments to NASA’s endeavors. To what extent do you think the federal government should invest in advances in space exploration and technology? What is there to gain from looking beyond Earth’s bounds? Could this allotment of the federal budget be well-spent elsewhere?

_________

Seeking Applicants for Space Travel

While initially the space exploration industry was dominated by government efforts, now companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, as well as the Dutch nonprofit Mars-One, all compete for a piece of the space-business pie.

At the International Astronautical Congress last fall, Mr. Musk roused excitement and curiosity in sharing his plans to develop a rocket that would take passengers to Mars as early as 2024. Mr. Musk’s long-term plan is for SpaceX vehicles to take 100 passengers at a time to Mars, with the hope of eventually establishing a self-sustaining civilization there. He argues this would enable humans to become a “multiplanetary species” and ensure our survival in the event of possible future catastrophes on Earth, such as an asteroid strike.

Traveling as far as Mars may be too risky and isolating for some, so why not just travel around the moon and back? SpaceX also recently announced plans to send two tourists on just such a trip by late 2018. Such space tourism, while still new, isn’t entirely unprecedented. Between 2001 and 2009, seven civilians traveled beyond Earth’s atmosphere with Space Adventures, Ltd. in conjunction with the Russian Space Agency.

Is space travel, as tourist or as an explorer, something that interests you? Do you think you fit the bill to be a space traveler? After reading these articles, analyze what motivates people to take such exhilarating but risky journeys. Review Mars-One’s list of qualifications for applicants, and evaluate whether these traits are necessary for someone wanting to take a one-way trip to Mars.

_________

Write Your Own Science Fiction

What can you learn about science from fiction? What can you learn about the elements of fiction from stories about the work of real scientists? In our lesson plan Lab Lit: Writing Fiction Based on Real Science, students learn about the genre of “lab lit,” then choose from a number of activities to explore an area of science by creating their own.

_________

Related Resources

Student Opinion | Will Humans Live on Mars Someday?

Picture Prompt | A Trip to Mars

Article of the Day | ‘Visions of Life on Mars in Earth’s Depths’

On This Day: Men Walk On Moon

Teaching Science with the ‘Trilobites’ Column

Questions for: ‘SpaceX Launches a Satellite With a Partly Used Rocket’

Brooke Mackin teaches sixth and seventh grade E.N.L. (English as a New Language) at I.S. 230 in Jackson Heights, Queens.

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