Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pluto Visits Earth by Steve Metzger


Pluto Visits Earth
Metzger, Steve.  New York: Orchard Books, 2012.  9780545249348

Quantitative Reading Level:  Reading Level 3.1  Lexile 380

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
I would rate this as Middle Low on the “Text Complexity: Qualitative Measures Rubric”.  The story is obviously fantasy because Pluto is personified and visits Earth but contained in this silly story are a lot of science facts about planets and dwarf planets.  Because the book is set up a picture book the text is very accessible.  Due to the scientific language and definitions of planets the knowledge demands are a little higher.  The author includes information at the end for students interested in more details about Pluto’s discovery and the decision to change its status.

Pluto has just received the news that he is no longer a planet.  Upset, Pluto decides to visit Earth and demand his planetary status back.  Along the way he consults with planets but no one can help him out.  When he arrives he hears the reason that his status was changed but also learns that he is still special.  Written as a picture book, the author does a great job of sneaking in scientific facts and providing additional information at the end.  

Content Area: Science-space

Content area standard:
MCCL SCI.01.ESU.01.02  Understands the locations of the sun, earth, moon, and planets and their orbits.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2 Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.9 Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

Curriculum Suggestions:
This book would make a great introduction to a study of space and planets specifically.  In its humorous approach the book actually packs a good amount of information.  Students could compare the information presented in the book with other informational text, textbooks, and articles.

Personal Thoughts:
It is surprising how much information the author can sneak into this fun picture book.  This book is a great introduction to the study of planets and specifically Pluto.

Subjects/Themes:  Science - space

High Interest Annotation:  Poor Pluto has been demoted from a planet to a dwarf planet.  Can his visit to Earth turns things back around?

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