Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, currently on a mission aboard the International Space Station, uses Twitter extensively to maintain a connection with Earth.
“Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, in orbit since December 21 aboard the International Space Station, does not lose contact with Earth, far from it. Mr Hadfield regularly informs the 122,000 followers of his Twitter account about life aboard the station, such as what he ate for lunch. He also posts numerous images of the blue planet. "
Today's activities will allow you to wow your students by showing them some of these pictures. At the same time, you will have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with Twitter. If you want to go further, you can invite your students to analyze the elements of Chris Hadfield's photos or to learn about the astronaut and his mission.
At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- use their knowledge to identify elements of aerial photographs;
- use their skills to analyze these elements;
- learn about a new use of Twitter (and, who knows, create an account there?);
- use the Internet to obtain information on the journey of astronaut Chris Hadfield;
- make a concept map to structure your ideas.
ACTIVITY 1: What exactly is going on?
If you don't already have a Twitter account, you'll need to create one to view the information Chris Hadfield sent. If you have an account, log in using the link at the top right and search for “@Cmdr_Hadfield”. If you don't have an account, click the Follow button to the right of the “Chris Hadfield” box at the top, then follow the instructions. If you need help, call on your students: it is almost certain that at least one of them knows how to use the tool.
Once logged in, go to Mr. Hadfield's profile and click on one of the photos in the gallery on the left side of the screen. A slideshow will appear and you can navigate from one photo to another using the arrows.
Particularly interesting recent photos (you could view them without a Twitter account directly from these links)
– Major brush fire in Australia
– Organization of the territory (agricultural environment) in Central Asia
– Chaleur Bay, in New Brunswick
– Two very different Turkish lakes
– Montreal, view from space
Project these images and turn off the classroom lights so that students can appreciate all the intricacies. Ask them to describe what they see. If you have an interactive whiteboard, use the annotation tools to highlight items.
Questions arise from your students? Feel free to send them to Chris Hadfield via Twitter, it is not uncommon for him to respond!
ACTIVITY 2: Chris Hadfield's journey
Invite your students to research the Internet for a biographical portrait of astronaut Chris Hadfield.
Suggest that they organize their findings using a concept map. This map can be produced using software, or by hand.
Example of topics to explore:
- his basic biographical data
- his studies
- his travels in space (past, present, to come)
- his specialties