Space invader alien, knitted tile

Aliens

The eternal question of “is there any life out there?” has been playing on the minds of people for centuries, and after all these years the question still intrigues us. What makes aliens and UFOs so interesting? Why has it captured our imaginations? Could it be that the thought of humanity being all alone in the universe scares us?

This lesson aims to get students talking about the most thought-provoking question of our time. Intermediate students will be able to use their creativity and linguistic flexibility to share their ideas and feelings.

  • Language level: B1+
  • Aim: Students talk about aliens and our place in the universe.
  • Learner type: Young learners; Teens; Adults
  • Time: 45 – 60 minutes
  • Activities includedDiscussing quotes, conversation questions, presentationimage discussion
  • Topic: Aliens and UFOs
  • Language: Any (could pre-teach modals to prepare for this lesson)
  • Materials: Text and images

Useful vocabulary

  1. Exotic (adjective) – characteristics that are of foreign origin. For example, exotic intelligent life.
  2. Exoplanet (noun) – a planet which can support life, but not in our solar system.
  3. Microorganism (noun) – a very small, perhaps even single cell, animal.
  4. Habitable zone – The space around a star where a planet is cool enough and warm enough to support life and liquid water.
  5. Abduction (noun) – to take someone by force and against their own personal choice.
  6. Android (noun) – a mechanical being, but not organic.
  7. to beam someone up – a light that can lift people from the ground.

Aliens printable worksheet

thumbnail of Aliensthumbnail of Images for class

Did you know?

  • Astronomers Margaret Turnbull and Jill Tarter from Carnegie Institue of Science have found over 17 thousand stars which may have habitable planets orbiting them.
  • Almost 200,000 people use SETI@HOME software to help SETI (The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) scan through millions of hours of recordings to find that one special sign of life beyond our solar system.
  • Antônio Vilas-Boas, was a Brazilian farmer who claimed to have been abducted by aliens in 1957. While this sounds very common to our modern culture, his story was one of the earliest stories of alien abductions.

Quotations

“I don’t like alien films where you don’t get to see the aliens.”
– Peter Borg

“Is E.T. out there? Well, I work at the SETI Institute. That’s almost my name. SETI: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. In other words, I look for aliens, and when I tell people that at a cocktail party, they usually look at me with a mildly incredulous look on their face. I try to keep my own face somewhat dispassionate.”
– Seth Shostak

Questions

• Do you believe in aliens or life in the universe?
• What might aliens look like?
• Do you think aliens have ever visited earth?
• What does the acronym UFO mean?
• Have you seen a UFO or do you know someone who has seen a UFO?
• What is your favourite alien from a film?
• What is the scariest alien film?
• If aliens did come to a country and met with the government of that country, what do you think would happen?
• Why are humans so fascinated by aliens?
• How many planets do you think are in our galaxy? How about the universe?
• Do you think humans will travel to another planet in your lifetime?

Presentation

Create a presentation based on your personal feelings of aliens. You can include childhood experiences and ideas that are commonly represented in films.

Links

Below is a small collection of interesting articles on the subject of aliens

What We’ve Learned From 60 Years of U.S.-Funded UFO Probes

Aliens Could Detect Life on Earth. Here’s How.

Is Humanity Ready for the Discovery of Alien Life?

We May Not Be Alone, Former Pentagon UFO Investigator Says

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