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The Space Race and the Impact on Society

by Allison Haerr

Grade Level:

7th grade

Subject Area:

English Language Arts

Length:

2-3 days + Project time

Common Core Standard:

Reading Literature 7.9: Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history.

Objective:

Using primary sources about the Space Race during the Cold War period, students will be able to discuss how the space race impacted American culture using evidence from the primary sources and the video.

Materials:


Assessments:

  • Venn Diagram- Space Race history vs. Bradbury story
  • Writing Assessment Options- Teacher can pick one or students can have an option
    • Research Paper- Students will research events in history that had a large impact on society like the Space Race. Their research paper will include history of the event and the impact it had on society.
    • Research Paper- Students can research a famous Science Fiction author and write about his/her influences and how he/she altered the history his/her stories may have been based off.
    • Sci-Fi story- Students can use their notes about Science Fiction Elements and write their own science fiction story using those elements. They must use elements of the Space Race in their story.

Procedure-

Hook-

  • Have the students work in small groups
  • Pass out the What the What?!? Worksheet and Artifacts worksheet
  • Tell the students that they need to look at the 5 listed artifacts and answer the questions on the worksheet to the best of their ability.
  • Give students 10 -15 minutes to complete the worksheet.
  • After the students have finished the worksheet pull up the PowerPoint.
  • Go over the PowerPoint together.
  • Make sure to stop for every artifact and ask students to share their answers for the worksheet.
  • After a few different students have shared their answers for each artifact, show them what it actually was.
  • Discuss briefly the actual item.
  • When you finish all the artifacts, discuss the final question as a class- What do all these things have in common?

Main Portion

Assessment-

  • Have students make a venn diagram comparing and contrasting the Bradbury short story and the information given about the space race. They may work in groups.
  • Discuss student responses.
  • Present both writing assessment options.
    • Student or Teacher can pick any of the options
      • Research Paper- Students will research events in history that had a large impact on society like the Space Race. Their research paper will include history of the event and the impact it had on society.
      • Research Paper- Students can research a famous Science Fiction author and write about his/her influences and how he/she altered the history his/her stories may have been based off.
      • Sci-Fi story- Students can use their notes about Science Fiction Elements and write their own science fiction story using those elements. They must use elements of the Space Race in their story.
  • Students may need computer access to do their writing assessment.
  • The writing workshop and the writing process would be the recommended models for the writing assessment portion.

Download the What the What?!? Artifacts Worksheet

Download the What the What?!? Worksheet