Feel the Force: Star Wars Day Activities for Sci-Fi Fans
The Classroom

Feel the Force: Star Wars Day Activities for Sci-Fi Fans

Newsela Editorial
Apr 22, 2024

Do your students have a favorite fandom? Whether they’re loyal members of the Swifties or the BeyHive, argue the finer points of DC versus Marvel, or can’t wait to celebrate Star Wars Day on May 4, they’re likely no strangers to going all-in on a fandom they enjoy. By bringing fandom content into the classroom with Star Wars Day activities, you can keep students engaged, practicing literacy skills, and expanding their minds all while immersed in a topic they already know and love:

See how Star Wars Day brings science fiction activities into the spotlight

Teach students about the “Star Wars” franchise’s science fiction roots to get them better acquainted with the themes of the movie and why it has so many fans. With Newsela ELA, you can:

Show students the cultural impact of Star Wars Day

Science fiction fans have been enchanted by “Star Wars” since the 1970s. It’s thanks to them that we celebrate this unofficial holiday each year on May 4, a play on a famous line from the movie, “May the force be with you.” Help students explore the franchise’s legacy and how it’s still making a cultural impact almost 50 years later:

  • See how the French Fencing Federation incorporated “Star Wars” into its offerings by registering lightsaber as an official sport.

  • Discover how “Star Wars” fans are calling for better race, gender, and sexuality representation in the franchise with some of its newest characters.

  • Learn about “Star Wars” costume designer John Mollo and the work he did to bring George Lucas’ characters to life through their wardrobes.

Let students try fantasy writing for themselves

Science fiction sets itself apart from other genres thanks to its focus on futuristic concepts, industrial innovations, and fantasy themes. Introduce students to the art of fantasy writing by showing them other examples from the genre, like:

  • The Orb” by Rebecca Birch

  • The Glow” by Pamela Love

  • A Wind-Tossed Spell” by Maggie Murphy

Then, build background knowledge on topics and themes students may find in sci-fi stories, such as:

  • Discussing if planets like those shown in the “Star Wars” universe could really exist in our galaxy.

  • Uncovering the mysteries behind unexplained wonders of the world, like sand holes at Mount Baldy Park, the creation of Stonehenge, and the formation of Giant’s Causeway.

  • Exploring the wonders of natural phenomena, like volcanoes, and discovering their geology and how they create different ecosystems.

Teach students about the “Star Wars” movie that started it all

Without the first “Star Wars” movie, nobody would celebrate Star Wars Day. The first movie hit theaters on May 25, 1977, and has been a fan favorite since. With Newsela Social Studies, you can teach your students about the movie that started it all and the significance of storytelling in our culture with activities like:

  • Discovering the “hero’s journey” used in Star Wars and other fiction, as told through the eyes of writer and anthropologist Joseph Campbell.

  • Seeing how “Star Wars” made a cultural impact beyond the screen and what role its iconic characters, symbols, and phrases have played in everyday society.

  • Encouraging students to use what they’ve learned to write a scene from an original sci-fi story, incorporating what they know about science fiction and technological innovations like AI.

More to explore with Newsela products there is

As Yoda says, “Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.” Help expand your students’ minds by introducing them to the best content and activities to build background knowledge, practice literacy skills in context, and explore diverse perspectives on topics they care about.

If you’re not a Newsela customer yet, you can sign up for Newsela Lite and try our premium differentiated content and activities using four curated articles per month. Plus, all Newsela Lite subscribers can sign up for a free trial of our premium products!

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