What it's all about
Something strange happened in the middle of the night: a spacecraft landed in the woods near the school, writes Victoria Grace Walden.
The children in the class are shocked, but quickly reassured that the aliens have come in peace. In fact, one wants to visit the school.
This is the scenario in TES contributor counter33's journey topic plan, which encourages children to show their understanding of the world around them by guiding an alien to school.
After children have learned basic navigational terms - directions, names of landmarks - ask them to map a route for the intergalactic traveller. You could even take them outside and physically track the alien's journey to school.
Start at the alien crash site - a wood, the school field or even the high street. Why not arrange some clues for the children and ask them to work out the exact spot where the spacecraft - now hidden away for safety - landed.
Next ask them to work out how to get back to class. How many footsteps does it take? How long is the journey? What landmarks do they pass? Do they need to turn left or right?
Back in the classroom, the children draw a storyboard of the alien's journey, showing what he would see at different points. Finally, they create a map and put it in an envelope with a welcome letter, ready to send to their new alien friend. Or they can create signposts so that the alien can find his way to class without a map.
Check out counter33's journeys topic plan. bit.lyJourneyTopic
Try TESiboard's "Going to school, I see" activity. bit.lyGoingToSchool.