Time: 10 mins
Group size: whole class
Tag words: reading strategies, phonics, geography, science, alien, planet, letter
Arrange for someone from the office to deliver a “Letter from the ESA” letter to the classroom (see associated resources for this printout). It will be most effective and funny/memorable if it is so large that everyone can read it. As a class go through the letter talking about the purpose of the address, the letter header etc., bring in any reading strategies you are working on and underline any digraphs you find in the words. Explain that the letter is telling the class they have been chosen to go on a mission to a new alien planet. Tell them that “before we go we are going to need to train as astronauts.”
Working as a whole class, make a list of the things you will need to learn and take and write this list on the board. Encourage them to think about the kind of technology and machinery they will need to be able to use in order to visit the planet. This can serve as a follow-up activity following the pupils’ own interests throughout the topic.