This assignment re-imagine Ray Bradbury's "The Long Rain" from The Illustrated Man. In this new scenario the story is actually the Lieutenant’s diary, here is the set-up:
The waterproof diary of a lieutenant stationed on Venus has recently been recovered out in the wilds of Venus. It logs the experiences of this lieutenant and his crew who had crashed their rocket and tried to make their way to safety at one of the planet’s Sun Domes. Unfortunately, the fate of the men is unknown as the author of the diary did not name himself or give more particulars of the identities of his crew.
Students imagine that they are lobbyists to Congress and advocate the US government to take one of three actions regarding the settlement on Venus.
My students enjoyed the premise and many were researching everything from budgetary restrictions, purposes of colonization, terraforming, and even genocide.
This project is a fun way to teach persuasion without writing a whole essay.