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BLAST Elementary
Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars

Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars

Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars
Written and Illustrated by Douglas Florian

Twenty whimsical poems about space


Open-Ended Questions

These questions can be used during an interactive read aloud to engage student interest.

  • How is a book of poetry similar to an informational book? (contents page)
  • What is the rhyme pattern of this poem? (page 7)
  • What shape is this poem?  How does the shape add to the poem’s meaning? (page 10)
  • Personification:  How does the author describe Mercury as something with human qualities? (page 17)
  • What type of information do you learn from this poem? (page 22)
  • Personification:  How does the author describe Pluto as something with human qualities? (page 37)

Vocabulary Words

  • Orbit
  • Debris


Stellar Stanzas

Hold a poetry contest in your classroom.  Provide students with poetry prompts and encourage them to use their creativity and imagination to write a poem about topics that interest them.

Solar System Model

A model of the solar system is a powerful tool to help students understand the position of the planets and their relative sizes and distances from each other and from the sun as well as teaching them about rotation, revolution, and orbit.  Assist students in creating their own models of the solar system through use of clay, construction paper, or printable planets. 


Journal Questions

  • Why did Douglas Florian choose to write his poem, "A Galaxy" in the shape of a spiral? Try writing your own shape poem.
  • Which was your favorite poem? Why?

Extending Books

Beyond Pluto: The Final Frontier in Space

Beyond Pluto: The Final Frontier in Space
Written by Elaine Landau

Find out what is out in space, way beyond Pluto.



First Space Encyclopedia

First Space Encyclopedia
Written by Caroline Bigham

Introduces the universe, visiting all the planets of our solar system and their moons, as well as the sun and other stars, black holes, asteroids, comets, and other galaxies.


Women in Space
Written by Carole S. Briggs

Profiles some of the women, including two Russians, who have had important roles in space exploration and provides a brief history of the U.S. space program.


Zathura: A Space Adventure

Zathura: A Space Adventure
Written by Chris Van Allsburg

Left on their own for an evening, two boisterous brothers find more excitement than they bargained for in a mysterious and mystical space adventure board game.


Destination: Space

Destination: Space
Written by Seymour Simon

Explains new discoveries about the universe made possible by the Hubble Telescope.



Killer Rocks from Outer Space

Killer Rocks from Outer Space: Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites
Written by Steven N. Koppes

Describes the role that collisions between meteors, comets, and asteroids have played in the history of Earth and other planets in the solar system and examines what is being done to protect Earth from future collisions.