Journey to Mars is available as a free video version via YouTube. In this article, I’d like to describe an engaging and interactive way to utilise the video in whole-class settings.
Introduce the idea of space travel to the students. Ask the students how many planets they can name, and what they know about Mars. Explain that they will listen to an interactive story, where THEY are an astronaut who is going to travel to Mars.
2. Video viewing
Start the video and play until the first narrative choice comes up (Continue to Mars or Enter the Wormhole).
Tell the students to discuss the choice with a partner or group members, but then to make their own decision about what they want to do.
Ask all the students to stand up. Designate one side of the classroom to one choice, and the other side of the classroom to the other choice. Students “vote with their feet” and move to sit on the side of the classroom which represents their choice.
Students must then interview the person sitting next to them on the side of the class that they chose. The following questions worked well in my classes:
1) Why did you choose to (continue to Mars)?
2) What do you think will happen next?
Students must both ask and answer the questions in English.
6. Video viewing
Count up the number of students on each side of the room, and select the choice in the video represented by the highest number of students. Play until the next narrative split, then repeat from 3.
The free video version of Journey to Mars is a great way to introduce students to the concept of multi-path narratives, and generate some English discussion and debate in whole-class settings. The same lesson plan can be used on consecutive occasions with students being offered different choices to those selected previously.
For more ideas and activities for Atama-ii Books multi-path adventure stories, check out the Atama-ii Books forum.