Create New Planet
Recommended For: Ages 9 and up
Badges: Space & the Future, Artist in Space
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Every story needs a setting. In science fiction, authors, directors, and artists often create entire planets where their stories take place. In this activity, you can create your own planet.
What You Need
Legos or craft supplies (recycled materials, tape or glue)
In science fiction, like in other types of stories, the setting plays an important role. Think about your favorite books and movies. Where and when do they take place? The setting of a story includes the time it is happening (past, present, or future). It also includes the place or location.
Where the story takes place can impact the story’s events. Maybe the story takes place in space, on a spaceship, on a planet, or even multiple planets. Writers want to create a detailed, vivid description of the story’s place. Think about what a newcomer to the planet would see, hear, smell, and experience.
Research some examples of planets created by different authors and artists. Here are some to explore:
In Star Wars, George Lucas created the planet Coruscant, a Galactic City. The entire planet is one giant city. There is no ground for farming food or other raw materials. Therefore, it relies on food being imported from other planets. The city is made up of enormous skyscrapers. This planet is very technologically advanced. Citizens use flying vehicles as transportation.
Coruscant is home to over one trillion citizens, both human and alien species. Coruscant rotates around one sun. There are 24 hours in a Coruscant day and 365 days in a Coruscant year.
In Dune, author Frank Herbert created the planet Arrakis as part of the universe that the story takes place in. It is located on the edge of the solar system, far away from the other major planets. It has two moons.
This is a harsh desert planet, made of mostly rock and sand. Large mountain ranges stretch across the planet separating the deserts. There is scorching heat and a dry climate. The brutal environment means that certain resources are harder to come by, especially water. Enormous sandworms roam the deserts.
In the movie Avatar directed by James Cameron, the story takes place on the moon Pandora. Pandora is one of the 13 moons of the gas giant planet Polyphemus. Pandora has lush jungles, oceans, volcanoes, and floating mountains. There is a lot of different plant life and natural resources. Pandora’s atmosphere is toxic to humans, but not to the species that live on the planet.
Before you start to create your planet, think about the following questions. It might be helpful to write your answers down.
Is your planet big or small?
Does it have a moon, or many moons?
What type of climate does your planet have? Is your planet hot or cold? Can you breathe your planet’s air? Is there a day and night?
What kinds of geography does your planet have? Does your planet have mountains, oceans, deserts, or cities? Is your planet underwater or made of lava?
Can people live on your planet? Or is it a different species?
How many citizens live there? Are there planets and animals?
How do citizens get around on your planet? Where do they live?
What will you name your planet?
Now that you have thought about what your planet, you are ready to create it. You can draw it. You can build it out of recyclable materials found around your house. You can build it out of Legos. Remember to be creative!
Want to complete this task towards collecting a Wondernaut badge? Share with the Wondernaut community by sharing a photo or drawing of your planet. Don’t forget to include your planet’s name and tell us a bit about it.