Worlds of David Darling > Children's Encyclopedia of Science > Could You Ever Meet an Alien? > Hands On


a book in the Could You Ever? series by David Darling

Could You Ever Meet an Alien book cover Contents
The Challenge
1. Life on Earth and Beyond
2. Where Are They?
3. E.T. Phone Home!
4. Thoughts about Aliens
Hands On

Hands On

Invent your own alien

Describe your alien, how it lives, what it does, and the world it comes from. Then make a model of it. Begin by imagining a planet going around another star. Decide on its size, gravitational pull, atmosphere, surface features, temperature (day and night, winter and summer), length of day and year, and numbers of moons. How do these factors affect the type of creature living on its surface? If the gravitational pull is strong, will the life forms be short and squat? If the planet is completely covered by ocean, could highly intelligent life evolve? If, like Jupiter and Saturn, the planet is blanketed by an immensely thick atmosphere, could creatures develop that looked like flying gas bags?

Be adventurous. Try to come up with something that is totally unlike any animal or plant you have ever seen before. Describe its body, sense organs, and lifestyle in detail. How does it communicate? How smart is it? What has it invented? Can it travel to other planets and stars? Draw or paint it and its world. Compose a scrapbook about it.

From your artwork, construct a model of the alien. Use stiff wire to obtain the basic shape. Then cover the wire with strips of paper mâché until the shape is just right. Use thin wire for antennas, string for hair, and any other materials you need for special features. Then finish the model by painting it. Invite friends and relatives to an exhibition of your alien from Planet X.