Postcards From Pluto - Mentor Text - Ideas By Jivey: For the Classroom

Postcards From Pluto - Mentor Text

Joining the party a little later in the day than usual today, but I'm here!!! I'm linking up with Collaboration Cuties to share about one of my favorite Science Mentor Texts!

I am here to tell you about the book, Postcards From Pluto: A Tour of the Solar System by Loreen Leedy.
This is a quick and easy read- it is advertised as being a book for grades 1-3, but my 4th graders LOVED it! (And yes, we had to have the conversation about how Pluto is no longer considered a planet- we talked about the year the book was written... the one I have was from 1993. I visited Loreen Leedy's site though, and apparently there is a revised book!)
I'm borrowing Scholastic's description of the book, because it's a great one:
Six lucky kids are off on a guided tour of the solar system — and readers get to tag along! Led by the robot guide, Dr. Quasar, the group journeys to the sun and then from Mercury down to Pluto. Dialogue balloons highlight some of the facts to be learned about each planet, but the real fun — and information — comes in the postcards the kids send to friends and family back home. Each postcard is presented "as written" and shines with the individuality of the sender in style, handwriting, and content. The addresses themselves are designed to provide laughs to those older readers (and adults) who are paying attention: a postcard about Neptune goes to Mr. Trident in Ocean City; one from Mars goes to Martin Greenman in Venice, FL. 

I read this book towards the end of our Solar System unit, then my students write their own letters on postcards to describe the planet they choose. We work on voice in this lesson in particular- the kids in the book did a great job using voice so I point that out- I don't just want a bunch of facts listed. BORING. Make it interesting and fun!! :)

I do have a TPT unit I created to go along with the book... the students use context clues to complete sentences about the planets with facts from the book. It can be differentiated, too! The words are included at the bottom for them, but you can cut the words off before you copy it and have them come up with the words to fill in!
The first two people to comment will receive the unit in their inbox! :) Just don't forget to leave your email if you are a no-reply blogger!!

But if you miss out on the giveaway, you can grab this postcard freebie!

It's time for me to get geared up for the last week of school!! Oh my. I can't believe it, honestly. What is your favorite thing to do in the last few days with your students (besides memory books......)?

Oops! I almost forgot! Thanks Ms. Foreman for reminding me! :) 

This week's Workshop Wednesday topic is back to reading! How do you have students respond to their reading? Let's share our ideas for reading responses! 


  1. I have this book! I used it in first grade to help them learn about space. They loved it! My firsties made cute postcards too! I bet the fourth graders are very creative!


  2. I enjoy walking to our local park and enjoying a picnic in the park with my students. They blow bubbles and enjoying playing on the field and basketball court.

    Foreman Teaches

  3. Darn it!!! Missed it!! Well this looks awesome! Thanks for sharing! I'm adding the book and the unit to my appropriate wish lists!

    And thanks for becoming a follower! :) That made my day!!


    1. Here's my e-mail just in the off chance someone crazy above me doesn't need it :)

  4. I love that you incorporate teaching voice into this lesson- what a great idea! The book looks very cute and I would love to read the responses students give in the postcards activity!
    Learning to the Core

  5. Great book for writing. We don't teach solar system in 3rd, only the sun and stars. I still like to bring in the planets if we have time. :-)
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  6. It's amazing how many books I have forgotten I own like this one.

    As far as end of the year fun, I do a scavenger hunt for prizes. I make sure I have at least one for each kid. I plan to blog about this soon.


  7. I have never heard of that book. It sounds like a lot of fun! My students really enjoy reading about space. I have to admit, I miss Pluto being a planet - just a little bit! :)I am excited for this week's linky theme! Great topic!

    Eclectic Educating

  8. I still need to get this book! I love all of your ideas! I'll definitely be using it next year!

    Thanks for linking up friend!
    Collaboration Cuties

  9. What a neat book! I've never see it before. :) Thanks for sharing. :) I'm looking forward to Workshop Wednesday this week. I am certain there will be lots of great posts. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  10. A new book I'll need for my collection! (Why didn't you tell me about this before I went to the Scholstic Book Fair!) :O) Just kidding, I didn't see it anyway. I love your postcard idea!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  11. We do think alike! I will have to add this to my collection! I love the postcard idea!

    Rosie's Rambles

  12. This is a new book to me. I'll certainly check it out. I love Leedy. Thanks also for the freebie.
    Have a great week.

    School Is a Happy Place

  13. I wish I taught the Solar System - so many great books and ideas. I love the idea of having students write postcards for the other planets. Thanks for the postcard freebie, I love having the students write postcards and mailing them off! Enjoy your last week of school - I am trying very hard to be happy for all of you finishing this week - it isn't easy!!

  14. I found you from Classroom Freebies! What a great freebie!

  15. This looks like a good book. I really like to teach with story books that are full of good information. That way the kids don't realize how much they are learning because they are so engrossed in the story. I also like the way you combined it with a writing activity. Thanks


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