Are your kids interested in space? I know that my kindergartener loves reading anything about space and is fascinated with space travel stories. And, I’m sure that many of you have kids who love space stories too. I think that an interest in space is such a great interest to cultivate as it can help motivate kids to learn more about science, math, and technology.
Today, I’m sharing 5 Great Resources for Teaching Kids about Mars, but that’s not all.
Scholastic is offering to give four of you advance copies of a new (and awesome) book Mission: Mars by Space Scientist Pascal Lee. MISSION: MARS was launched in the Scholastic Reading Club this month. It will be available at bookstores nationwide on Nov. 1. Be sure to enter this giveaway today as it will only be open until midnight on October 24, 2013. (Terms and conditions apply, see below for more details).
I’ve never been much of a space nut, but I have to admit after watching all these videos and reading portions of Mars: Mission, I’m totally hooked. This stuff is like a real-life version of Dr. Who, well, without the aliens, sonic screw driver, and blue police box.
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5 Great Resources to Teach Kids about Mars
1. Mission: Mars
Book details: 4th – 6th grade reader, targeting a 5th grade reading level; 48 pages and fully illustrated.
Summary: What will it take to undertake the first human mission to Mars? What would it be like to participate in that mission? Mission: Mars takes kids on a extraterrestrial journey with photos, facts, and a 6-phase training manual, to this red, mysterious planet that scientists hope might harbor life.
Look through sample pages and/or purchase on Amazon
While I have not had time to read through this entire book, this limitation is only due to time restraints not lack of interest. My intention to just scan the book soon turned into an inability to stop reading the book as the pages are crammed with interesting information. While the book is designed as a reader for 4th – 6th graders, I think that Mission: Mars would be enjoyed by all ages of kids. I read several pages to my kindergartener and he was fascinated by the topic and even spent the rest of the day pretending to be a “space man”.
Dr. Pascal Lee is not only an intelligent scientist but he also is a talented writer. The book is engaging, interesting, and keeps the reader turning pages. The photos are brilliant and really capture the amazing nature of the possibility of a human mission to Mars in 2035.
I think that Mars: Mission would be a perfect choice for a reluctant reader. The book is easy to pick up and read in portions and the lists and bracketed sections of the book mimic a magazine layout in ease of reading. This book also could be used in conjunction with the scheduled launching of the MAVEN, making this book a great way expand on current events.
Scholastic also offers a learning module with videos and resources for teachers.
I really enjoyed watching these videos which show Dr. Pascal Lee demonstrating some of the actual equipment that is being developed for the future Mars Mission. These videos would be great as an extension activity or as another way to help engage a reluctant reader.
See below for your chance to enter for a chance to win one of four copies of MISSION: MARS!
2. NASA’s Fun Zone: Mars for Kids
Download free printables, play free games, and read all about the Mars Mission on this fun hub of the NASA website.
NASA also offers this massive free PDF packed full of activities and learning extensions for kids wanting to learn more about Mars.
3. Online Videos about Mars Exploration.
While this video came out before the Mars Curiousity Rover landed, the video is timeless in how it portrays the extremely difficult maneuvers involved in safely getting even just a Rover to Mars. Definitely, a must-watch for any kid fascinated in space travel: Curiosity’s 7 Minutes of Terror.
Then, watch the footage of the scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the Curiosity actually lands. It’s a fascinating and thrilling video to watch after seeing the plan laid out in Curiosity’s 7 Minutes of Terror: Curiosity Has Landed.
You may also enjoy this interesting computer animation of the Curiosity Rover’s landing and exploration: Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Animation.
4. Mars Quest Online
Drive a Rover or complete a space mission on this interactive website: Mars Quest Online. While this website is a little older, the activities are fun and for the most part worked on my computer. I especially enjoyed the module that let’s you drop objects on Mars surface to get a perspective on how large Mars really is.
Also, Mars Quest Online has a free PDF Family Guide to Mars and other resources in the resource and links section.
5. Mars Mission Module
Phoenix Mars Mission has a complete set of lesson plans about Mars including hands on activities and free PDFs.
MISSION: MARS Giveaway
This giveaway will run from the time of posting until 12 pm, October 24, 2013.
Please note my giveaway rules:
- You must be 18 or older and live in the USA to enter this giveaway.
- You must use a valid email address to enter this giveaway.
- We will contact the winner via the email address provided on Friday, October 25, 2013. The winner will have three  days to respond with a valid name and US mailing address via email. If the winner does not respond within the three  days, the prize will be forfeited and another winner chosen. Scholastic will mail the prize to the winner using the address given.
- For a complete list of No Twiddle Twaddle’s giveaway policies and terms and conditions, see the No Twiddle Twaddle policy page. By entering this giveaway, you agree to comply with No Twiddle Twaddle’s terms and conditions.
If the Rafflecopter widget isn’t working, you are always welcome to leave me a comment describing the problem so that I can manually enter your entry. Please include your email address in the comment.
Hi! I’m Bethany. I’m a mom, weekly Greenville News columnist, and blogger at Kidding Around Greenville SC. Welcome to my parenting blog No Twiddle Twaddle, all about adding a little magic to kids’ lives through play and reading. If you are new, don’t miss these popular posts: Eye’m Lookin’ At You Cookies, Sticky Blocks, 10 Tips for Reading to Babies. You can join me on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest (I’m a BHG.com Pinner Pro!). Subscribe via email to get my updates straight in your inbox.