Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
Astronaut Ice Cream Anyone? – Any time of year, but especially when the temperature outside soars, ice cream is a “cold stone-proven” way to catch kids’ attention.
Earthlings have only to scoop a favorite flavor and set it firmly in a cone or cup.
Teachers and camp counselors may not always be able to serve up the cool delight on site, but invite kids to blast off on a space adventure in writing, composing stories about astronauts and ice cream in outer space.
Introduce this activity by giving students or campers the scoop on Astronaut Ice Cream. How?
Take them on a virtual adventure to the National Air and Space museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
There kids will learn that real ice cream, frozen to -40 degrees Fahrenheit, can be vacuum dried and sealed in foil for space travel. For the adventurous, vacuum dried ice cream can be enjoyed on ground missions, too!
Blasting off to the Smithsonian will be worth the travel time. The air and space museum is home to a collection of more than 240 historic and technologically special aircraft and more than 100 spacecraft.
After travel time, get kids busy writing a first draft of their stories about astronaut ice cream and space.
Ask students or campers to draw and color spaceship illustrations to go with their completed stories.
Volunteers will love making their spaceship drawings look like they’re “blasting off” as they present their stories to your group. Kids can even glue their stories to the backs of the drawings so that as they’re reading aloud, the “audience” is looking at the spaceship. Fun!
Reach for the Moon and Stars Poetry Party – Give kids cut out stars (available in dollar stores and teacher supply spots).
Invite them to draft poems on notebook paper about where they’d like to blast off to in space.
Instruct your group to copy their finished poems on the star cut outs, using their best print handwriting.
Kids with access to computers and printers can type completed stories, search for online space-related photos, and integrate them with star cut outs into finished pieces.
Show pictures of the stars, sun, moon and planets to help them begin their adventures.
Share my poem below, A Voyager’s Dreams, with your class or camp group.
If you’re working with overnight campers, lead kids outdoors on a clear night to see stars and read poems about space voyages by flashlight. An attention-getting, memorable event!
A Voyager’s Dreams
I am a voyager to the moon,
to the stars, even as I stand
earthbound before a telescopic
portrait of the night.
Dazzling like rare white diamonds,
the constellations and Milky Way
scatter across the sky.
Bright stars of night,
you make me release my dreams.
Help kids blast off on more space and science adventures in writing…
Poems That Inspire Poems AND Stories – Challenge kids to think about this…
Sometimes a poem will inspire you to write a poem of your own.
Sometimes a poem will inspire you to write a story. Why?
The answer may be that the shorter form of poetic writing whets your appetite for a subject, but hungry for more, you decide to “travel” further into the world of that subject by writing a story about it in longer form.
Spark kids’ ideas for blasting off on space poem and story writing adventures by reading the Cinquain poem I’ve written below.
In a Cinquain poem, the first of only five lines has one word – the subject.
The second line has two words that describe the subject.
The third line has three words that show action related to the subject.
The fourth line has four words that express the poet’s feelings related to the subject.
The fifth line has only one word that is another word for the subject.
Light traveling time
Night wishes on stars
Children love to explore.
Offering them fun activities that let them imagine themselves blasting off into space is a great way to focus on writing.
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Please send comments about how you connect curriculum or camp activities to space adventures.
Talk with you soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet