Thursday, October 8, 2015

Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet

Title: Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet
Author: Buzz Aldrin and Marianne J Dyson
Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books 
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015 
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction/Expository 
GoodReads Summary: Space is still the final frontier and Mars continues to make news and attract generations of young people. In this fascinating book, hero-astronaut Buzz Aldrin challenges curious kids to think about Mars as not just a faraway red planet but as a possible future home for Earthlings! 

What will your new home be like? How will you get there? What will you eat for breakfast? Find out what life might be like far, far from Earth as you navigate your way through this fun and fascinating book. What kid wouldn't want to blast off with him on this (literary) journey!  
What I Think: I was amazing by how much Buzz Aldrin has really thought about moving people to Mars! I knew it was possible and that people were working on it but I've never read about it so thoroughly and that it's definitely possible. There are so many pictures throughout the book that really brought it to life but the text supports and explains everything in simple detail so young readers will be able to access the information.
     As a mentor text, it would be awesome to look at how Buzz's excitement for moving to Mars shines through even though it is a non-fiction text. You can also look at the layout of the book and how he goes through all the different elements and explains each one. He gives specific details so the reader can actually imagine what it would be like to live on Mars. He shares information about how you'll be able to breathe there but also how you'll be able to have fun there as well.
     I'm completely fascinated now, especially after seeing how soon he believes we can do this. Welcome to Mars would be a great discussion starter and then a great text to use to ask kids questions about what it might be like to live on mars. I can see student writers easily going from reading non-fiction to writing their own science fiction stories as they imagine what it really would be like to live on Mars. 
More About the Authors: Buzz Aldrin, one of the first people to walk on the moon, is a pioneering astronaut and member of the historic Apollo 11 crew. A renowned rocket scientist, he developed the orbital rendezvous technique critical to America's moon landings and the Aldrin Mars Cycler, a futuristic space transportation system to reach MarsAldrin also chairs his own educational organization, ShareSpace Foundation.
     Marianne J. Dyson is an award-winning author and former NASA flight controller. She has a degree in physics and became one of NASA's first women flight controllers during the early Space Shuttle program. She has won the Golden Kite Award and the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award for her children's books. 
Read Together: Grades 5 - 8
Read Alone: Grades 5 - 6 
Read With: Moonshot by Brian Floca; other books about space 
Snatch of Text:   
"What do you need to pack for our trip? We need a lot more than clothes, toothpaste, and snacks for our trip to Mars. There will be some things already there waiting for us, though. The first fe crews will have set up temporary houses or habitats ('habs' for short) for us to live in. We'll have air and water from local Martian sources. The electrical power station will have come from Earth. Most of our food will come from greenhouses and underground mushroom farms. And I hope you like potatoes! We'll be eating lots of those!" (p. 12)
Writing Prompts: Write about how you would feel if you were one of the first people going to Mars. Would you feel excited,  nervous, scared? Explain why. 
Topics Covered: Integration - Science, Integration - History, Adventure, Courage 
I *heart* It:

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