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Alien crash landing in playground? Ideas?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Lightbulb100, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. Hiya
    After Feb half term, we are starting our Space and Beyond topic (Year 6). I really want to kick it off with staging an alien spaceship having crashed on the field. I know several schools have done this in the past and posted on here, it's just I can't find any of them.
    If you know the threads, please post, or preferrably if you've done it yourself...what did you do?!
    I was thinking of getting a friend of mine who's a sculptor to create me a spaceship as well as contacting the local police to come up as well, maybe by a plumbers smoke bomb to release smoke out from the 'scene'?
    Any help/guidance appreciated!

  2. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    This sounds like an amazing idea. I think you will have to cause some 'damage' You could lay some rubble around the site. Could you let us know what you do? It sounds great. If your friend makes you a spaceship could you put some lights inside it so it flashes!
  3. clawthorpegirl

    clawthorpegirl New commenter

    Have a look on the Book Trust website, pretty sure I saw something like this on there.
  4. SleighBelle

    SleighBelle Occasional commenter

    We did ours on a patch of ground to the front of school. The caretaker dug out a section that looked like a spaceship crash landing, we put down some tubing, scrap metal and some computer innards. We also made an alien footprint in clay and laid it flat in the soil. Our year 3's loved it!
  5. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    My goodness you're lucky. Our caretaker won't even do what's in his job description!
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  7. I've just posted the message below on mumsnet because I think parents have a right to be concerned.
    In my mind, the discussions are long, long overdue as to what we teach our children - and I mean way deeper than arguments about 'history' and the national curriculum....

    "I have found it very worrying for many years that we mix up what we tell children - some fact, some fiction, some told as 'fact' but which may be 'fiction', some told as 'fiction' but which may be 'fact'.

    Personally, I don't find it acceptable but it is everywhere and for everything.

    Children are expected to distinguish between monsters and dinosaurs, ghoulies and ghosties and 'spirit', religious ideas/beliefs of others and yet their own religion is portrayed as 'real'...and so on...

    We are now a world of the internet where conspiracy theories abound - and some of which may well be true.

    So, do we put these forward to children too? We may as well but the question is, what age?

    We also portray spiritualism and a life-after-death scenario on the TV as 'for entertainment purposes only' and yet we have Sunday services with no such warning. Is that right?

    There is so much in our world that is changing and I think we need a really serious think about what, and how, we should teach all our children."

  8. <font size="1">I set up the same thing at my school it worked a treat! </font><font size="1">Some of the things I did:</font> Hope some of this helps.
    Sorry about any spelling errors!
  9. I think there is a huge difference between setting up an 'alien space crash' which is made up of cardboard boxes and is very clearly a bit of creative fun - and using plausible (for young children) electronic equipment and stage things so intensely that young children may take it all totally seriously.
    I believe that is the level of concern of the mum on mumsnet - and I think she has a right to be concerned rather than people suggest that she is being a spoiler of creative fun.
    I think it is very concerning if teachers themselves don't understand the difference in the two scenarios.
    I also think that, as a profession, we should be considering the implications of UFOs and life on other planets and that we should not be bringing our own 'beliefs' into the classroom. In the same way, I don't think we should bring our own religious beliefs into the classroom - and yet schools are increasingly associated with specific religions per se.
    There should be, arguably, professional dialogues at all levels surrounding how we modernise our teaching - and whether, for example, it is chance as to whether children are educated along the Tooth Fairy lines and brought up to date in terms of conspiracy theories of various subjects - and 'when' (at what age) these issues are best raised in schools.
    I remember being shown a film of the atom bomb exploding in my junior school. It affected me profoundly and that was many years ago.
    When, and how, do we expose our children transparently to both good and worrying issues - and how best do we do this.
    How much is it 'chance' as to the content of our children's curriculum?
    And with all this 'freedom' being introduced by the coalition government - what next? Where does this all lead?
    When is 'pink and fluffy' teaching under the guise of creativity and stimulation crossing over into issues which need a well-thought through, sensitive and responsible approach?
  10. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    I would say it is declining if anything. However, there are still too many faith schools out there.
  11. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Entirely off topic, but in September and October of 1962 I spent many hours in my London primary school being shown the Bert the Turtle "Duck and Cover" film and then practicing diving under the desks in the classroom which we all thought was loads of fun, but which made my mother cry hysterically when I told her about it at the end of the school day. After all, she read the newspapers about the missile crisis while we were focusing on surviving an atomic blast.
    Back on topic, I would urge the OP to teach the 'Space and Beyond' topic from a scientific approach, and leave any alien fiction out of it.
  12. Yes, and for that matter STOP reading any stories with monsters / fairies / magicians / elves etc. in lest children should get any idea that there might be something magical out there.

    I am really saddened to see such narrow, miserable views on TES. Our children loved the 'alien paceship crash' we set up for them. They were year 6 and we interviewed eye witnesses etc. It was great fun, the children played along with the pretence because that's what children do - we all enjoy living in a fantasy some of the time. This has nothing to do with religious or otherwise beliefs.
    For what it's worth, I think it's good that you were affected by seeing footage of an atomic bomb. We can't and shouldn't shield children from everything.
  13. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I'm sure they did.
    Our kids loved the end-of-term disco and the Christmas party.
    However, I'll bet that the experience of a staged alien spaceship crash, the disco and the party taught them nothing whatsoever about space.
    Indeed. Did they learn anything about space?
    By all means, use a staged alien spaceship crash to start a topic on science fiction. Smart idea!
    As a starter for a topic on space? Forget it!!
  14. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    That, to me, sounds like you were doing the crash to inspire creative writing not to introduce a topic on Space and Beyond.
  15. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    My goodness. What happened to doing something in schools just for the pure enjoyment of it?
    In the past I have pretended a fairy has been in school. Seeing the faces of the kids light up as they raced around the school looking for it was amazing. I wouldn't change that for the world. Cheesy but true! From my experience children are much poorer at imaginative play these days than when I was a child. Anything to encourage imagination is great in my opinion. Go for it.
    As for the mumsnet thing, most of the parents seemed to be on board as far as I read.
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Nothing at all but why package it up as teaching about Space why not use it to support creative writing?
  17. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    And for the record, the topic title should be changed. Space and Beyond? There is no beyond. Space is all there is. There is no other space outside of space. The universe is not expanding into some other space. It creates time and space as it expands.
    The inverse is not shaped like the space inside a balloon, it is shaped more like the surface of the balloon, but in three dimensions instead of 2 dimensions. Hence, there is no edge - no boudary for there to be something else "outside" of.
    Hence no 'beyond'.
    Bet you can't teach THAT with a staged alien spaceship crash!
  18. Benbamboo

    Benbamboo Occasional commenter

    The validity of your concerns stems from thepurpose of the activity. If by staging an alien crash site the intention is toteach about alien life, the potential for alien life in the universe and their possible appearance then your concerns are reasonable. If however, as aia suspect for the OP, the intention is to create a stimulus to feed into the curricular work then your points are merely pedantic fussing.
    We did this in the Autumn term for my year 3/4 class to feewd into their writing of stories and news reports. OP: we set it up in the classroom, pretended they came in through our skylight and went to town wrekcing the corner of the room, upturning table and ripping displays etc. The children are not realistically going to believe that it is real in Y6, however, they will play along and it will stimulate some fantastic creative ideas.
    Go for it OP!
  19. So, to extrapolate just a tad...
    Debbiehep, perhaps you would advocate telling little ones that Father Christmas doesn't exist. After all you presumably would not want them to blur fact and "fiction" as Santa, being able to circumnavigate the globe in something less than 24hrs delivering gifts to every household clearly has to be some sort of alien being.
  20. "...merely pedantic fussing"
    Well - I have found it very thought-provoking long before this thread to consider what is perhaps appropriate to 'teach' our children in infant and primary schools for the world as we move forwards.
    As I no longer teach 24/7, I have had the luxury of being able to read more widely, and think more widely.
    As I have the luxury of Sky TV with zillions of channels - most of which do not entertain or interest me, I have had the experience of watching various thought-provoking documentaries and other programmes which include ideas that are not generally mainstream.
    I've always been concerned about the role of religion in schools - particularly where 'worship' by law has been dictated by the government of our land in state schools.
    I have always noted the strange concoction we give children of (as I stated earlier in this thread) monsters, and yet dinosaurs, ghosties and ghoulies and yet notions of 'spirit' and 'heaven' and so on.
    Whilst aliens and vampires dominate popular TV, I am just thinking along the lines of whether we, as adults and teachers, consider the way in which these things affect children.
    I don't really think it is 'pedantic fussing' to point out that what may seem like some simple stimulation to get children enthused about their topics is necessarily appropriate - or appropriately staged.
    Then, it is clear to me that the people defending this provision are the ones who have already done the alien invasion scenario's in their schools.
    I hope those teachers are open-minded enough for me to have sown a seed or two about the way forwards for our pupils and children - what a current day and future class experience might be.
    I find it sad that so many people following the thread seem so very far from the page I am on as I consider world and 'universe' affairs and their relationship to primary teaching.
    And, just because we have always done things in a certain way (e.g. the Father Christmas thing) doesn't make it right - and it doesn't mean that we shouldn't consider the strange mix of fact and fiction that we provide for our children.
    I'm also speculating as to whether we always know what is really 'fact' and 'fiction'. That issue alone is worthy of considering for conversations in our classrooms.

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