ESL Discussion Questions about Space

Instructor: Sarah Mills

Sarah is an educational freelance writer and has taught English and ESL in grades k-12 and college. She has a master's degree in both Literacy and TESOL.

In this lesson, you will discover some engaging questions you can use with your English as a second language (ESL) students to facilitate conversations about space.

How to Use the Discussion Questions

The best way to acquire a new language is to practice it. That's why discussions are so useful in the ESL classroom. These questions about space can help your students enhance their oral language skills while also gauging their knowledge about space. Here are some ways to use these questions in your classroom:

  • Write the questions on note cards (or print them) and distribute them to pairs of students. Have students take turns asking his or her partner a question.
  • Pair students with limited English proficiency with more fluent speakers to promote a more fluid conversation.
  • To facilitate back-and-forth discussions, provide students with sentence frames that they can use as templates to formulate their responses. For example, you might print the following on a large poster and display it at the front of the classroom: 'I agree/disagree with what _____ said because _____.'
  • Set aside a regular block of time for students to engage in discussion, such as the last 15 minutes of every class or Friday mornings. The discussion questions can change, depending on the subjects students are studying in their classes.

Questions about the Planets

  • What is a planet?
  • How are planets formed?
  • Can you name all the planets in our solar system?
  • Should Pluto be classified as a planet?
  • Which planet in our solar system would you most want to visit?
  • Which planet in our solar system is the hottest?
  • Which planet in our solar system is the coldest?
  • Which planet in our solar system is the biggest?
  • Which planet in our solar system is the smallest?
  • Which planet in our solar system is closest to the sun?
  • Which planet in our solar system is farthest from the sun?
  • Which planet in our solar system is your favorite? Why?
  • What are the names of the planets in your native language?
  • If you could design your own planet, what would it be like? What would you call it?

Questions about Planetary Life

  • Do you think there is life on other planets? Why or why not?
  • Should we actively search for life on other planets?
  • Why do you think we haven't discovered life on other planets yet?
  • If there is life on other planets, do you think it's similar to human life?
  • Do you think aliens have ever visited Earth?
  • What do you think about people who say they've been abducted by aliens?
  • Do you think aliens are peaceful or hostile?

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