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Universe Teacher Resources
Find teacher approved Universe educational resource ideas and activities
An introduction to creative writing, this resource from Battlestar Galactica takes young writers through the process of creating a science fiction piece. The lesson begins with activities designed to show learners how real life events and people can be incorporated into fiction, as well as how universal themes add believability to fictionalized stories. Next, learners use a daily observation journal to augment their writing.
Prompted by a viewing of Emiko and Chizu Omori’s Rabbit in the Moon, a documentary about the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, high schoolers examine a series of documents, including the Bill of Rights and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They summarize and share what they have read, and then write a reflection about whether or not the US government was justified in any of its actions toward Japanese Americans.
Students recognize some of the universal themes in conflict, including those found in science fiction. They make connections between large scale examples of conflict and personal examples of conflict and develop their own plot outlines based on a central conflict and involving characters who may or may not be human.
Have your class read the story "The Magic Lake," retold by Liana Romulo, from Filipino Children's Favorite Stories. Guide them to identify the problem, solution, and universal theme. They compare the theme of this story to the theme of "A Feast of Gold" from the same book. The resource is well supported with vocabulary and information to build student background with the material. It also contains several useful charts and examples, but you have to register for a free login to get access to them.
After reading on the topic of their paper, high schoolers work in pairs to assess how to write powerful, precise thesis statements. The introduction contains three statements: a universal statement, a bridge statement, and a thesis statement. The lesson plan is designed for research projects, but it could translate well to any essay that involves stating a claim or argument.
How can we identify shapes in the Universe? High schoolers will compare and contrast elliptic and hyperbolic geometry. They will also explore one possible way to measure the curvature of the Universe, namely, by measuring the sum of the angles in a triangle. Resource links are included.
Explore positive and negative character traits and universal themes in the story of Cinderella with primary learners. Story elements are reviewed and discussion questions are listed. Learners practice retelling the story and begin a service learning component in which they participate in a clothing drive. Then they research local agencies and choose one for how they will donate the clothing items.