Space exploration has always been a significant achievement for mankind. But before humans ventured into space, there were creatures who paved the way for our journey – space monkeys.

This was one of the topics in Billy Joel’s hit song: “We didn’t start the fire.” In this project were tasked with choosing a topic in this song, researching it and presenting our research. Seems simple enough.


Learning the topic is one thing, but teaching it to someone, let alone a whole class is something else. We needed to teach a 30-minute interactive lesson on our topic and I decided to start off with an interactive story.

As a component of our project, we were tasked with creating a lesson plan on craft for History 12 teachers and their learners. Presenting was the easiest part for me as I memorized all the information on my keynote and was able to talk to the class rather than trying to figure out what I was going to say by looking at my device. My presentation was clear and explained the historical significance and implications of the Space Monkeys. My final check-in activity went much better than expected, as two dividing opinions allowed for debate.

(Scan above or click here to view my craft doc)

My interactive story was a powerful tool for eliciting empathy from my classmates. This type of story can be designed to engage the emotions of the reader or participant by immersing them in the experience of the animals and the suffering they endured in testing. It was a way to bring up the implications of using animals in space travel and get everyone’s brain going for my presentation.

To explain my lesson plan and topic concisely, I created a video using Premiere Pro. I added some editing flair between the cuts to make it engaging and added to media to enhance my message.

I was not, however, able to get an interview. I reached out to the National Air and Space Museum, and it was looking like I was going to talk with someone until… nothing. Absolutely nothing! I stopped getting emails, but instead of giving up, I looked online and found a researcher on animal testing. I picked quotes from her and synthesized my thoughts in the Authentic Quote page. In my lesson plan, my “flex” assignment involved the students noting down any time they use a product that was tested on animals and then writing a 100-word reflection.

A massive part of this project also relied on us taking effective craft notes for each project. Every week we needed a new note that synthesized a thought and connected it to something. I learnt how to change the aesthetic of my craft page, add page cards and edit the background photo.

I loved the different aspects of this project; using my editing skills to make a video, writing notes for every presentation and presenting in front of the class. My presentation went very smoothly and contained enough information for someone to take a stance on the ethics of the situation.