SEL-Music Unit: Who Am I? Exploring Inner and Outer Space

Day Two: Space Vocabulary/Engaging with Accompaniment

WA SEL Standard: Self-Management, Social Awareness

  • SEL.3-5.2A.2 Select and practice specific self-management skills to maintain self-control.
  • EL.3-5.4A.1 Identify verbal, physical, and situational cues that affect how others may feel.

WA Music Standard:

  • Mu:Cr2.1.4 a. Demonstrate selected and organized musical ideas for an improvisation, arrangement, or composition to express intent, and explain connection to purpose and context.

Age Range: Grades 3-5

Duration: 30 minutes 


  • Pantomime Cards
  • Pantomime Slides
  • Space Vocabulary Chart
  • Space Read Aloud

Activity One: Pantomime in Space

Students will practice pantomiming in small groups and as a whole class. The second part of the activity will focus on moving like objects in space. This activity allows students to move like specific “space” objects and engage in the space-sounding music in a fun, exciting way.


    • Explain to students that you are going to “speak” to them without using any words - only actions. 
    • Act out a few scenarios and have students guess what you are trying to tell them. Consider starting off with a few emotion related examples (pretend cry to tell the class you are sad, etc.) Pretend to do other actions such as sweeping, singing, writing, or whatever comes to mind. 
    • Explain that “pantomiming” is when we use our actions instead of our words to ‘say’ something.
    • Break students into partners or trios and hand each group a set of Pantomime Cards. Students will take turns pantomiming the emotions and actions on the cards. While one student is pantomiming, the other group member(s) should guess what the card says.
    • Transition to whole-class movement with these Space Pantomime Slides. Play the accompaniment and have students move around the room acting out the given prompts.
    • Lastly, allow students to move to the space song in their own way.


  • Ask students about their experience pantomiming:
    • “What emotions did you feel as an astronaut on this space adventure?”
    • “How difficult was it to come up with your own story?”
    • “What are some other art forms that we can use to tell a story without words?” (examples: painting, dance, sculpting, etc.)

Activity Two: Space Vocabulary Chart (Part 2)

Class will finish the “definition” and “sentence” columns in the Space Vocabulary Chart from last lesson. Students will also create an action for each word.


  • In the previous lesson, the class began the “Space Vocabulary Chart”. So far, the “Word” and “Prediction” columns have been filled out. 
  • Reveal the definition of each word and read it as a class. Compare student predictions with the provided definition. 
  • Offer a few examples of how to use the word in a sentence. (You may choose to have students turn and talk to come up with their own sentences, and then call out groups to share.)
  • Ask students to turn to a partner and decide a good action for the word based on its meaning. Have students show their actions and pick an action for each word. (You may choose to instead have preselected actions for each word). 

Activity Three: Space Read Aloud

Instructor will read a space-themed illustrated book to help students further engage with the concept of what it might feel like to be in space.

Read Aloud Suggestions:

  • “If I were an Astronaut” by Eric Braun
  • “You are the First Kid on Mars” by Patrick O’Brien
  • “If You Decide to go to the Moon” by Faith McNulty
  • “Pete the Cat: Out of this World” by James Dean
  • You may also choose to have a Read Aloud Video. Check out “Story Time from Space” – a non-profit that has videos of astronauts reading space-themed read-alouds while floating in space.