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Teachers: Literacy: Text

Last Updated: Tuesday August 29 2006 13:06 GMT

Write a space poem

Text level


An astronaut in space
Space travel is due to take a giant leap as shuttle Atlantis prepares to set flight to carry out work on the half-built International Space Station.

The mission will be the first to resume assembly of the $100bn space station since the Columbia disaster in 2003.

Learning aim

  • To convey feelings, reflections or moods in a poem through careful choice of words and phrases

    Introduction - part one

    Click below to read the story:

    Read a selection of space poems. For example, you could use

  • Space Poems by Gaby Morgan
  • Space Poems (Poetry Paintbox) by John Foster

    Prompt: Ask children to listen out for key words and phrases related to space travel.

    Draw an outline of a vertical space rocket on your board and ask children to discuss the space-related words they heard during the poems. Record their ideas in the rocket, leaving space at the bottom for later use.

    Main activity - part one

    Explain to children that they will be writing a variety of space travel poems which will then be used to compile a class book. Children draw their own rocket and half fill it with words associated with space and travel. If you have any early finishers, they could add design and colour to their rocket which could then be used on the back cover of the book.

    Support: Provide science text books and dictionaries for children to undertake their own research.

    Introduction - part two

    Inform the children that their poems have to be based on an imaginary trip to space and how they would feel. Use questions to stimulate ideas.

  • Would you be happy or sad to leave your family and friends behind on Earth?
  • Would you feel lonely in space?
  • Would you be scared or excited if you met a space monster or alien?
  • Would you feel tired or full of energy after a long journey?
  • Would you be angry, amazed, shocked, relieved, victorious?

    Main activity - part two

    Children return to their 'words and phrases' rocket and add a selection of moods and feelings.

    Next, ask children to begin drafting their poems.

    Extension activities

    Design a front cover for the class book. Give some elements which must be included, i.e. a space rocket, planets and stars.

    Write a blurb.


    An alien from Dr Who
    Write an uninteresting start to a poem such as, ' I flew to the moon, I met some aliens'. Model how improvements can be made to attain the learning aim.

    For example:

    Up, up, up, alone, I flew to the moon.

    Alone not for very long.

    I met some ugly green aliens on Mars.

    Down, down, down, scared, I flew back to Earth past asteroids and stars.

    Teachers' background
    • Space agency Nasa says you must be physically fit and highly qualified in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics to become an astronaut.

    • Businessman Sir Richard Branson is planning on using advanced technology to take members of the public into space. Sir Richard hopes the first flights will take place in 2007. But tickets won't be cheap at a cost of more than 100,000 each!

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