A nonprofit organization, The Global Space Education Foundation has created an inspiring program where astronauts share children’s books with children on earth. This program was created by Patricia Tribe who was the director of education at Space Center Houston. Her vision was to merge STEM and literacy. Astronauts video themselves reading books while in space.
At the present time, these stories are available from the directory:
(Click on the title to be directed to the story).
- The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home
- Max Goes to the International Space Station
- Max Goes to the Moon
- Max Goes to Mars
- Max Goes to Jupiter
- The Wizard Who Saved the World
- Endeavour’s Long Journey
- Rosie Revere Engineer
- I, Humanity
- Notable Notebooks Scientists and Their Writings
- The Mission to Cataria
- The Next Time You See A Sunset
There are three titles listed on the site as coming soon:
- The Moustronaut
- Mousetronaut Goes to Mars
- The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm
Running time ranges from 8-20 minutes.
Astronauts, scientists, and educators work together on this program. The team selects books which must go through a process at NASA where they are prepared, labeled, cleaned, and sent to Florida for the launch.
Another aspect of the program consists of science experiments to compliment the books. At the time of this blog post, the science experiments were not yet available.
These experiments are currently listed to be available soon:
- energy transfer
- light (spectrometer)
- buoyancy (floating and sinking)
- surface tension (meniscus)
- balance (weight and mass)
- free-fall effects on humanity
The site claims a curriculum for educators and librarians will accompany the scientific experiments.
These astronaut role models bring their passion about space to literacy and inspire students. Advocating STEM and reading, this program is a winner!
Check out these related differentiated resources available from Reading Specialty!
The first component of the International Space Station (ISS) was launched November 20, 1998. Students read about the International Space Station in the differentiated passages. Use the questions in standardized test format to check comprehension and help students prepare for high-stakes testing. Each passage contains these types of questions:
- organizational patterns
Nonfiction passages are based on an event which occurred on this day in history.
This passage is completely stand alone and appropriate for any day of the year. Mix and match by purchasing the topics you want or save with monthly bundles and give your students daily opportunities to develop background knowledge and improve their comprehension.
Passages have been evaluated using a minimum of 5 different readability formulas. The first passage is the most challenging, with an average reading level of 9th-10th grade. The second passage has an average readability of 8th grade. The third passage averages a 6th-7th grade level. With teacher introduction and background information, the passages have been used successfully with younger readers.
One subject for the class with differentiated passages allows the teacher to discuss, develop background knowledge, show a video clip or engage the full class yet provide for individual differences.
Students and teachers using multiple passages can assess student progress. Diagnostic charting shows teachers and students patterns of errors with main idea, vocabulary, organizational patterns, inference, and summarization. Compiling data is easy and motivating with student completed charts.
Included in the lesson:
➢ A nonfiction passage written at three different grade levels
➢ Questions over the passage for each level.
➢ An answer key
➢ A chart to monitor progress and collect data in the five assessed areas (main idea, vocabulary, organizational patterns, inference, and summarizing)
Differentiated passages in this bundle include:
- International Space Station
- Challenger Disaster
- Apollo 13