Teaching Earth Science With Children’s Literature: Extreme Planets!

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Extreme Planets written by Mary Kay Carson and is illustrated through NASA photos and several artists. The format is question and answer and covers a wide variety of questions such as: “How do planets move?”, “How fast is Earth moving? and Why don’t you feel it?” and “Are there earthlike planets beyond our solar system?” The easy to read format and answers to the questions makes it an enjoyable way for students to learn interesting facts about the planets and moons that make up our solar system.

Extreme Planets also includes an interview with Christine Pulliam, an astronomer with the Smithsonian about how she became a scientist and what her work is like.

Curriculum Connections
Extreme Planets is suitable for students in 3rd through 6th grades. It compliments lessons teaching the causes for the Earth’s seasons, motions of the Earth, moon, and sun in revolution and rotation, and the relative size, position, age and makeup of the planets (VA SOL 4.7)

Additional Resources

  • There are links on several of the pages that offer additional information for students.
  • Glossary provided is a great explanation of some of the more difficult terms
  • A Great resource page offers additional websites and suggested reading to accompany this book and topic
  • 25 hands-on activities
  • Introductory lesson on the planets
  • Interactive solar system. Students can see how the planets rotate around the sun, how fast they move compared to others and facts about each planet.

Book: Extreme Planets
Author:
Mary Kay Carson
Illustrator: NASA Photos
Publisher: Collins
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 48
Grade Range: 3-6
ISBN:0060899751