One teacher of a KS2 class shared with us how she ran an extension activity based on Team Work (from Chapter 4 of the Mars Diary). After clearing a space in the classroom, she set up a Martian landscape by dropping a few rocks on the carpet. She then allocated roles to the children:
- the ExoMars rover, who was blindfolded
- the engineer in Mission Control, who would give commands to the rover
- the astronaut who would assist the rover
- Mars scientists for the rest of the class.
The engineer then gave ‘commands’ to the rover, from a limited range provided in the activity. When the rover reached a Mars rock, they were instructed to ‘collect’. The astronaut then retrieved the rock and took it to a ‘space laboratory’ set up in the class. The scientists looked at the rock under the microscope, measured and weighed it, then made a record of it.
The children loved adopting different roles and imagining they were Mars scientists. It was a simple and effective way of involving the whole class in an activity that asked them to work as a group.