In this week’s COW Writing Challenge, we are asking students to stretch their imaginations, and invent an alien.  It sounds simple enough.

But wait!  There’s more to inventing an alien than taking a humanoid shape and adding a couple of antennae here or an extra eye there.  It requires a great number of considerations.  These considerations include:

•  Creatures are adapted to live in specific types of environments.  

•  Each characteristic of a creature (or alien) should be an adaptation to some aspect of its environment.

•  So, when inventing an alien, students must also be inventing a planet upon which their alien can live.

Before inventing their alien, they may want to think about the planet where their alien lives.  They should think about a number of aspects, including:

a.  the atmosphere

b.  the temperature

c.  the terrain

d.  any other life forms

Inventing an alien is really about inventing an planet, then creating an alien that can survive upon that planet.  One alternate activity to this is to have students choose a planet from our solar system, do some research on the conditions of that planet, then invent an alien that can survive those conditions.

We hope the writing your students do with this challenge will be out of this world!