Space holiday advert
This activity looks at space tourism and advertising. It will help children think critically about the subject as well as help them develop their persuasive writing skills. There are options for how much reading and how in-depth to go as well as whether children do any form of written response or just discuss it, so you can do what is best for the children you are working with.
This session involves researching and critical thinking on space tourism, writing an advert for a space holiday, and an optional extension on thinking critically about the nature of advertising. You can do this as one longer session or complete it over two.
You may wish to look through the links beforehand and decide which would be best to use. For some children it may be helpful to print off an article and highlight parts to use.
What you need
- Access to links or print outs of the articles (there is enough information to do the activity on this page without using the links)
- Writing materials or alternative to make notes and write adverts
What to do
- Step 1: Read a little (or a lot if you choose!) about space tourism from the links in the first section.
- Step 2: Follow the steps in the activity to think about the positives and negatives of space tourism
- Step 3: Use the results of Step 2 to create an advert for a space holiday.
- Step 4 (Optional) Extension activity for children to critically reflect on the nature of advertising based on their experience of writing an advert.
Step 1: Read about space tourism
What is space tourism and who is doing it?
Space tourism is about providing trips into space for members of the public. There are several companies trying to set themselves up as space holiday providers. They all say that they are very close to being able to sell tickets for people to have the chance to take a trip into space and even go on a space walk!
As you can imagine, these trips are very expensive – currently at least £200,000 and up to tens of millions!
Read more about space tourism and who is working towards providing holidays in space using the links below. They are mostly aimed at adults, so you may need to read through them together.
Step 2: Critical thinking on the positives and negatives of space tourism
Consider the benefits and negatives expanding on the examples given. Make some notes and/or discuss it together. As an optional extra, read and discuss the opinions given on the links to extra reading.
What are the benefits of space holidays?
Example: Appreciate earth, exciting, opportunity for more people.
What are some negatives?
Example: Environmental concerns, cost, risk, physically demanding.
Optional extra reading
Future Learn blog post outlining positives and negatives.
Pegasus website present two opposing opinions (This isn’t particularly kid-friendly, so you may need to help children read through it or highlight key information.)
Step 3: Write a space holiday advert
Read through the guidance and ideas below with children to help them write their advert. Their advert can be in written form for a magazine, spoken for radio or filmed for television. For written and filmed adverts they can include some great images that will persuade and inspire people to choose space as their next holiday destination.
Writing your space holiday advert
Focus on the positives
Use what you have thought about for the positives of space tourism to decide what your main selling points will be.
Thinking about the negatives, what might people be worried about and how will you reassure them and persuade them to do it anyway?
Include a quote
There are some powerful quotes that have been made by people who have been into space that could help you sell the idea. Below are some quotes you could use. You might be able to find some more. These quotes can also give you ideas for pictures and descriptions you could use in your advert.
“I thought at one point, if you could be up in heaven, this is how you would see the planet. And then I dwelled on that and said, no, it’s more beautiful than that. This is what heaven must look like. I think of our planet as a paradise. We are very lucky to be here.” Mike Massimino
“In the future, I would like to be more of an advocate for animal conservation. Every single part of the Earth reacts with every other part. It’s one thing. Every little animal is important in that ecosystem. [Seeing the planet from above] makes you realize that, and makes you want to be a little more proactive in keeping it that way. If I could get every Earthling to do one circle of the Earth, I think things would run a little differently.” Karen Nyberg
“It was incredible – the best ride I’ve been on ever.” Tim Peake on his journey back to Earth.
“The Earth is a beautiful planet. The space station is a great vantage point to observe it and share our planet in pictures. It makes you more of an environmentalist.” Scott Kelly
“I still dream about being on the space station with the feeling of being weightless. The weightlessness is the most amazing, relaxing and natural feeling.” Helen Sharman
Write a memorable snappy slogan
Write a short, snappy line that people will remember from your advert. You can make it up or use part of a quote. A good example is this line at end of a National Geographic animated timeline:
“Once you’ve seen our home from space, you’re never the same again”
(To find the video, click on this link and scroll a little way down the page to find the video)
Step 4 (Optional): Critical reflection on advertising
Read through and discuss the questions below with children. Help them reflect on their own experience of writing an advert and the adverts they see in their everyday lives. You can choose just a couple of these to discuss or do them all. Add your own questions amend any as you see fit.
Questions for discussion
1. Did you find yourself whole-heartedly agreeing with what you said in your advert? Did you have to focus more on positives and ignore some of your doubts?
2. Think about your experience of writing an advert to sell space holidays to people in relation to adverts you see in your daily life. Do you think the people who write the slogans and design the adverts always believe in what they are selling?
3. Can you think of some adverts where you think the writers of the advert have to ignore some of their doubts about the product or experience they are being paid to sell?
Some possible examples to reflect on:
Unhealthy food and drinks
4. What questions would you ask a professional advert writer if you got the chance?
5. Can you think of examples of adverts that persuade people to do good?
Some possible examples to reflect on:
Charities raising money and awareness for good causes such as cancer research.
Groups campaigning against environmental destruction such as pollution or deforestation.
Groups working to protect wildlife.
Groups working to help those in need such as homeless people or those suffering from natural disasters.
6. Reflect on any similarities and differences between these two types of advertising.