SRSP 11-16 Topic 5 U1e – Terraforming


Terraforming means making other planets more like Earth, so that human beings can live there. Mars is presently under consideration for terraforming.

This topic examines some of the ethical and spiritual issues surrounding the technological challenge of turning the ‘Red Planet’ into another blue-green planet like the Earth.

Students will consider ways in which humans extend values to living and non-living entities. They will also explore the notion of human responsibility and stewardship in the context of the Genesis creation narrative. Terraforming provides an interesting lens through which to look at environmental issues.

Pupils will examine differing points of view and be encouraged to form reasoned personal opinions. They will be given opportunities to develop their spiritual awareness.

This unit consists of 4 lessons aged from 11 to 14 years and 4 lessons aged from 14 to 16 years.


Key Questions

  • What is terraforming?
  • If it becomes scientifically possible should it be done?
  • Do we (humanity) have any responsibility for the universe beyond our planet?
  • How ‘alive’ does something need to be to have rights? Can rocks have rights?

Some of the materials can be viewed on screen and some can be downloaded for editing or printing. To view the pdf files you need Adobe Acrobat Reader. See the about section for more details.

Ages 11-14

Unit Resources

Unit Overview (Word)

Quotes for the classroom wall: Posters (PDF)

Quotes: Powerpoint (PPT)


Lesson 1

Lesson Plan: The planet Mars (Word)

Student Resource Sheet: The first Mars expedition (Word)

Student Worksheet 1a: The planet Mars (Word)

Student Worksheet 1b:The planet Mars (Word)

Powerpoint: Images of Mars (PPT)


Lesson 2

Lesson Plan: What on earth is terraforming? (Word)

Student Resource Sheet: What on earth is terraforming? (Word)

Student Worksheet 1a: What on earth is terraforming? (Word)

Student Worksheet 1b: What on earth is terraforming? (Word)


Lesson 3

Lesson Plan: The perfect planet (Word)

Student Resource Sheet: The legend of Magrethea (Word)

Student Worksheet: The perfect planet (Word)


Lesson 4

Lesson Plan: Genesis (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 1: Genesis – if you were God I (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 2: Angels (Word)

Student Worksheet: If you were God II (Word)


Ages 14-16

Unit Resources


Lesson 1

Lesson Plan: The Red Planet (Word)

Student Resource Sheet: The Planet Mars (Word)

Student Worksheet 1: Images of Mars (Word)

Student Worksheet 2: Is terraforming a good thing? (Word)


Lesson 2

Lesson Plan: Do we have a right to change Mars (Word)

Powerpoint Presentation: Quotes (PPT)

Student Resource Sheet 1: The Mars exploration program (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 2: Declaration of the Mars society (Word)


Lesson 3

Lesson Plan: Do rocks have rights? (Word)

Student Resource Sheet: The sound of the earth crying (Word)

Student Worksheet: Do rocks have rights I? (Word)

Additional Worksheet: Do rocks have rights II? (Word)


Lesson 4

Lesson Plan: Whose universe is it? (Word)

Student Worksheet 1: Thinking about Mars (Word)

Student Worksheet 2: Model answer (Word)

Student Worksheet 1: Model answer II (Word)

Powerpoint Presentation: Environmental destruction (PPT)

© 2011 LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion)