Reading, Writing, and Rings! by: Pamela Aschbacher, Erika Li, and Art Hammon

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Reading, Writing, and Rings! was created by a team of elementary teachers, literacy experts, and scientists in order to integrate science and literacy. These free units bring students inside NASA’s Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn. The authors—a science teacher and education outreach specialist and two evaluators of educational programs—have been studying how these materials are being used by teachers, science specialists, and after-school teachers, and share their findings with you in this article.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:12 PM

Reading is essential at all grade levels but incorporating it with astronomy makes it even better. This article provides a source for free science-and-literacy units bring students inside the NASA’s Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn. There are units for grades 1-2 and 3-4 and each unit has a teacher’s manual with 10–12 lessons, graphics and photos, and a set of four reading booklets. The article provides way to integrate the materials as well as student sample work. Assessment is also discussed. NASA always provides great free materials.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:52 PM

Do students realize that the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft is orbiting Saturn at this very instant in time? Have they had an opportunity to peek inside a real space mission? This article provides teachers with excellent techniques to integrate reading and writing with learning about the Solar System while motivating students to do the same “…kinds of reading, writing and speaking that scientists and engineers do”. It is geared for K – 4th graders, but free website materials are provided for middle school grades as well. Students discover how Cassini’s findings have increased our knowledge about Saturn. Besides learning about Saturn in depth, students learn much about the solar system including information about space weather patterns, and geological features to solar object paths. Another plus to the activities presented is the STEM connection that introduces our younger students to astronomy and engineering careers.

Carolyn Mohr  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn Mohr (Buffalo Grove, IL)

  • on Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:42 PM

This is a great resource for teachers looking to create cross-curriuclar times in Science and Language Arts. The Reading, Writing and Rings program is a FREE curricular unit that includes a teacher's guide and lesson plans. The lessons are written for K-4, but can be easily adapted for higher grade levels. The article includes examples of student work and ties to the standards. The website that is listed in the article is no longer live, however, all of the resources can be accessed at:

Maureen Stover  (Seaside, CA)
Maureen Stover (Seaside, CA)

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