Teaching Earth Science with Children’s Literature: Discover the Planets

Discover the Planets

Discover the Planets, a Kids Can book written by Cynthia Pratt Nicolson and illustrated by Bill Slavin, introduces kids to the planets in our solar system.  This book is written at a level for kids to be able to read on their own.  Therefore, it is not as in depth as other books but it is a great resource for introduce students to the basic facts about our solar system and the planets.  The beginning answers questions like “What is a planet?” and “How can we compare the sizes of the planets?”  Then the book spotlights each planet giving facts like how long it takes to orbit around the sun and information about any moons.  A mix of photos and illustrations keeps the pages visually interesting and informative.

Curriculum Connections

Discover the planets can be used to teach students about the organization of the solar system (4.7) including details about the planets (4.7a), their order from the sun (4.7b), and their relative sizes (4.7c).  This book also covers information about Earth in relation to the the sun and moon (4.8).

Additional Resource

Go to the Head of the Solar System – a fun trivia game sponsored by NASA.

Make a mobile as a model of the Solar System.

Make your own Planet at KidsAstronomy.

Listen to kids’ interviews with NASA scientists to find out more about space and working for NASA.

General Information

Book: Discover the Planets
Author: Cynthia Pratt Nicolson
Illustrator: Bill Slavin
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication date: 2005
Pages: 32
Grade Range: K-5
ISBN: 1553378261