Volunteers needed in March!   Click here to sign up.
 Site Areas: 
Printer-friendly version   

There's No Place Like Space: All About Our Solar System

Last updated Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Author: Tish Rabe
Illustrator: Aristides Ruiz
Date of Publication: 1999
ISBN: 0679891153
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2016

Synopsis: Au revoir, Pluto! In this newly revised, bestselling backlist title, beginning readers and budding astronomers are launched on a wild trip to visit the now eight planets in our solar system (per the International Astronomical Union’s 2006 decision to downgrade Pluto from a planet to a dwarf planet), along with the Cat in the Hat, Thing One, Thing Two, Dick, and Sally. It’s a reading adventure that’s out of this world!

Note to readers:
•  Pluto was demoted from planet status some years ago, so there are only 8 planets in our solar system.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What are some things that are in the solar system?
•  If you could travel into space, what would you want to see or where would you go?


•  satellite (as in a moon) - a celestial body orbiting the earth or another planet.
•  constellation - a group of stars forming a recognizable pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure.
•  reflect - (of a surface or body) throw back (heat, light, or sound) without absorbing it:
•  telescope - an optical instrument designed to make distant objects appear nearer, containing an arrangement of lenses, or of curved mirrors and lenses, by which rays of light are collected and focused and the resulting image magnified.
•  solar system - the collection of eight planets and their moons in orbit around the sun, together with smaller bodies in the form of asteroids, meteoroids, and comets.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What else do you know about this planet?
•  What shape is the sun? If the sun is a star, what shape do you think all stars are? (round or pointed)
•  What else did astronauts do on the moon?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a constellation picture. Use star stickers or draw stars on a black or dark blue piece of paper in the shape of a constellation and add a label. Draw lines connecting the stars using a light colored crayon.
•  Draw space objects on a white piece of paper or paper plate using crayons (press down hard). Then use a black crayon to color lightly over the whole paper.
•  Use a paper plate to make an astronaut helmet by cutting out the center of the plate. Students may need help making a hole in the plate. Decorate of color the plate. Attach a craft stick or make 2 holes on either side of the plate and tie yarn so that the "helmet" can be worn.
•  See ideas or examples on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/readingtokids/november-2016-science-tech/

Special activities:
•  Brainstorm a new sentence to help remember the order of the planets. Use page 26 as an example.
•  If enough students in your group, act out how the solar system works by assigning planets to each child, as well as someone to be the sun (or choose an object to be in the middle). Discuss how the planets rotate (spin) and revolve (move in a circle) around the sun.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!