When I heard that Neil Armstrong died, I remembered the story my mom told of holding me up in front of the tv to watch the Armstrong walk on the moon – I was six months old. I immediately went to the public library and checked out several books about Armstrong and the Apollo 11 flight in 1969. Last night Anna and I spent close to an hour pouring through these books. I read aloud to her from Who is Neil Armstrong? (R. Edwards, 2008). We looked at pictures and captions in Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon (Thimmesh, 2006). She desperately tried to stay awake as I continued exploring by reading aloud Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 (Floca, 2009). It was amazing how these three books supported each other – similar content was shared, but in different ways. As a result, Anna and I had a much better understanding of Armstrong’s influence on the mission and the mission itself. The power of text sets for kids is undeniable and essential for our instruction.
BTW – My favorite page of the Common Core Standards supports the notion of thematic teaching and the use of well-designed text sets – page 33.
I’ve started a text set for space exploration (grades 2-5) at Goodreads.