Seeing stars

Note : All Viralelt posts share the same structure. Teacher’s notes appear only on How to use Viralelt. This is done to keep “teacher text” to a minimum and avoid repetition.


  1. How do you react to the video you’ve just seen? How does it make you feel?
  2. Do you think we are alone in the universe, or do you believe there may be life on other planets? What type of life might there be? Do you think we will discover it, or will it discover us?
  3. When you try to comprehend the universe do you ever wonder about the meaning of life? Do you think life has a meaning?
  4. Do you know anything about the origin of the universe? What do you think of people who have religious explanations for the origin of the universe?
  5. Do you think spending enormous amounts of money on space exploration is justified? Are there any benefits for ordinary people living on Earth?
  6. What is your opinion of the Mars One project, in which a nonprofit organisation will attempt to establish a permanent human colony on Mars by 2027? A reality TV programme documenting the journey will partially fund the project and there are no plans for the first colonists to return to Earth.
  7. Do you think space tourism has a future? Would you like to spend a couple of weeks in space orbiting the Earth?
  8. In 1977, the Voyager spacecraft was launched with discs containing sounds and images reflecting life on Earth. They are intended for any extraterrestrial life forms that may find them. What would you have recorded on these discs?
  9. Some people say that we will be forced to colonise other planets because our planet will become uninhabitable. What do you think?
  10. What is the difference between astronomy and astrology? Do you think the movements of the stars can affect life on Earth? What type of effect might they have?


Which two of the above questions are being discussed?

Download “Question time” and the “Sitting comfortably?” script in an editable Word document here.



1) As a lead-in activity, I often brainstorm my students on the topic of the video they are about to see. For this I like using Poll Everywhere, an audience response tool which enables you to project your students’ comments on a screen for subsequent group or open-class discussion. Once you have created your ‘poll’ (e.g. “What goes through your mind when you’re gazing at the stars.”), students participate by going to the poll URL on their phones and texting their comments into a form field. As the application is updated in real time, students will be able to see how the screen begins to fill up with their contributions. If you’d like to try it out, watch the short video tutorial below.

2) Why not ask your students to enact a Mars One Project roleplay? Put your students in “couple types” that they feel comfortable with and can relate to. Then, give out or explain their roles. Possible “couple types” are unmarried couple, married couple with children, parent/son or daughter, best friends etc.

Role 1 : Break the news that you are considering volunteering for a the one-way mission to colonise Mars. Explain the reasons for your decision.

Role 2 : Try and persuade your partner to change their mind and remain on Earth with their loved ones. Use both rational and emotional arguments.

Before starting the activity give your students 3 or 4 minutes to prepare. While they are doing this wander around the classroom feeding in language and helping with ideas.

Thanks for dropping by! | Viralelt by Tefltecher



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