It’s a spaceship from the past – can it change the future? Aquila has been found by boys bunking off a geography field trip. They have no idea where it came from or what it does. But Geoff’s discovered that when you sit in it these little coloured lights come on, and if you push one of the big blue ones… WHOOSH!
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- How are the two main characters in the story similar? How are they different? How would you describe each of their personalities?
- Browse through the text for unfamiliar words (e.g. inaudible, culminating, indifferently). Try to find out what they mean. Write a glossary of unknown words.
- Make a list of words which describe the boys’ emotions at different points in the story. Use a thesaurus to find synonyms for these words.
- Write instructions to teach others how to fly Aquila (see Resources below).
- In Chapter One, the author switches between two different situations (the boys in the cave and the teachers back at school). Discuss why he has chosen to do this. Can you think of other situations when this might make a story exciting for the reader?
- Read the beginning of the book and compare it with the start of the TV series. How are they similar / different?
- Think of words to describe a spaceship (see Resources below).
- Explore distances… What units are used to measure different types of distance? What units might be used to measure how far Aquila can travel?
- Find out about the different planets in our solar system. Which ones might be capable of supporting life? What do living things need to be able to survive?
- Use an art package to create a picture of Aquila based on the description in the book.
- Could you make a stop-motion animation of Aquila flying around the world?
- Design a new flying craft… What special powers might it have? How do they work? What materials would it be built from? Could you create a prototype using everyday materials?
- Use a map of your school / local area to identify places where it might be possible to secretly store an alien spacecraft.
- Discuss what is meant by the term ‘phobia’. Which characters in the story suffer from phobias? Do any of the children, their friends or family members have phobias? How can we help to overcome them?