Straight Out of Science Fiction

article by Kate Walker , "1966 ... Captain Kirk- Star Trek" by x-ray delta one is licensed with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Worksheet: Space report


ACELA1507 | EN3-6B

Create a road trip style game, experimenting with the different uses of subordinate clauses.

Identify subordinate clauses in the text, and classify them by their use. For example, to express a condition (e.g. “Two movie astronauts, hurtling through space, sit down to breakfast”) or to link two ideas in terms of various time relations (e.g. “Star Trek was originally a science fiction TV series that aired over fifty years ago,” “While watching one particular episode, Cooper’s eye was caught by a small piece of space age gadgetry,” and, “Science finally caught up with science fiction forty-two years later when Apple produced the first real iPad”). Examine other texts in this issue, identifying additional functions of subordinate clauses. For example, to provide a reason (e.g. “I can’t chicken out because I would never hear the end of it, so I stay silent,” from The Wild Mouse) or to state a purpose (e.g. “He had been so lost in them that he had failed to get back to work on time,” from The Time-thief).

Play a quick game based on an idea from the text Road Trip Games, also found in this issue of Orbit! You could adapt ‘word chain’ for example. One person should create a complex sentence, featuring one of the types of subordinate clauses identified earlier (e.g. to provide a reason, such as, ‘I will let you borrow my toy because I don’t need it at the moment’). The next player must first also create a complex sentence featuring a subordinate clause that provides a reason, before creating a second sentence with a different type of subordinate clause (e.g. to state a purpose, such as, ‘I hung back after class to talk to the teacher’). Repeat this process, first including the same style of subordinate clause as the previous player before selecting an additional type and including it in a sentence.

Instruct students to create their own subordinate clause game, differentiating between the different purposes of subordinate clauses. Again, they can use the Road Trip Games text for stimulus.


ACELT1608 | EN3-8D

Conduct a fictitious interview, detailing the wide-spread usage of a product dreamed up in the 1960s.

Infer what this text reveals about historical and cultural contexts (that people fifty years ago imagined ideas for technology that would allow them to talk to each other and share news items, that writers and creators at the time dreamed up futuristic technology to include in cultural contexts such as television, that people strived to invent ideas they saw in cultural contexts).

View the theme song to The Jetsons, produced in the 1960s but set in the future. Identify imagined inventions of the future (e.g. a flying vehicle that transports passengers, releasing them in transparent pods before folding into the size of a briefcase). Imagine the flying vehicle has become a reality and is in wide spread use. Create a fictitious interview with the inventor, detailing how the show, The Jetsons, was the inspiration behind their incredible invention. Record the interview on video recording software, in the style of a television interview.

Engaging Critically

ACELY1796 | EN3-1A

Research arguments for and against technology use amongst children and young people and develop the text to include a clear position on the debate.

Infer how the writer may feel about modern technological devices (the writer appears reasonably neutral in position, choosing to omit any subjective language for example). Highlight, however the choice of information included, focusing on the development of technology, omitting any negatives, could imply some support for the advances.

Examine a variety of texts with a range of positions, for and against technology, particularly regarding its use amongst children and young people (e.g. 10 Benefits of Exposing Young Children to Technology, in favour of technology use and a Behind the News episode, Kids Talk, Screen Time recommending caution).

Draw conclusions on screen use amongst children and share these with peers. Develop the text, to include a paragraph sharing students personal conclusions on inventions such as the mobile phone and iPad and the impact their use has on children and young people.


ACELY1700 | EN3-1A

Design and pitch an invention.

View the accompanying photos and make inferences on the potential uses of the invention, based on its features (e.g. the large dial could be used for navigation, the coloured buttons might imply the machine is used for creating digital artwork etc.). Complete a BBC quiz, attempting to identify the uses of each of the inventions.

Select an invention name from an invention name generator. Discuss potential purposes for the invention, based on the name (e.g. an Atmospheric Service Generator may be used to maintain air humidity at an optimal level). Using a graphic design program to create a design of the invention discussed. Plan a presentation, sharing your design and pitching it to potential investors. View a video on Shark Tank for ideas on how to pitch the designs (e.g. including areas such as, the background of the design idea, the function of the design and its benefits etc.).