alien lifeFamed physicist Stephen Hawking and others have launched a $100 million program called Breakthrough Listen in their search for alien life beyond Earth. The search will begin with the one million stars closest to us in the Milky Way Galaxy and then expand into neighboring galaxies.

“We believe that life arose spontaneously on Earth, so in an infinite universe, there must be other occurrences of life,” Hawking said.

They have a lot of listening ahead of them. That’s a lot of area to cover!

Would you like to win a cool million?

Breakthrough Message, which Hawking is also involved in, is having a contest. All you have to do is come up with significant messages to send to the extraterrestrials that might be listening.

Now it’s your turn: Choose from one of the following three options.

1. Do you believe there are extraterrestrials? Write your opinion.
2. Write a message from Earth to intelligent alien life forms.
3. Write a short story about finding alien life. Will they see us, as Hawking thinks, as “no more valuable than we see bacteria”? (His comment reminds me of H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds!)

Copyright © 2015 by Sharon Watson
Original image courtesy of Efi21 / morguefile.com

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Writing in Summer Informer

Worried that writing will fall off your kids’ radar this summer? Use these fun writing activities your kids will enjoy!

Drop the Drama: Help Stuggling Writers Jump These 5 Hurdles Are your writers struggling? Do you wish you could figure out why your children won’t write? Would you love to have a peaceful writing class experience?

Help your struggling writers—and you!—by identifying five hurdles to writing. Then learn practical actions you can take against those hurdles.

This article by me in The Old Schoolhouse magazine is also loaded with links to other helpful posts that will give you and your writers some welcome relief.

Click here to drain some of the tension from your writing class



Frustrated that your students don’t finish an essay or don’t know the steps to complete one? Worry no more! Click here for my latest article in The Informer about a super-practical writing schedule you WILL use!

Want daily writing prompts to tempt reluctant writers and delight eager ones? Find out more about Sharon’s daily writing prompts posted on SchoolhouseTeachers.com under “Dailies” or click here.

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the-power-in-your-hands writing-fiction-in-high-school Check out the innovative The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School for your complete high school writing curriculum needs. If you have a storyteller at home, try Writing Fiction [in High School] with hundreds of examples from popular fiction and classical literature.

Jump InGet your middle school student ready for high school with this popular writing curriculum from Writing with Sharon Watson, published by Apologia! Featured in Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, Jump In will prepare and even amuse your students as they learn the fundamentals of effective essay writing and storytelling.