K-12 Resources

Becoming a Spacewalker

Becoming a Spacewalker

Becoming a Spacewalker: My Journey to the Stars, by Astronaut Jerry L. Ross with Susan G. Gunderson, is a chronicle of Jerry Ross’s lifelong journey from 1950s rural northern Indiana to outer space as a record-setting spacewalking Shuttle astronaut.

The structure and features of this informational, science-related picture book offer unique opportunities to:

  • engage children in developing strategies for reading comprehension, decoding, and fluency
  • extend vocabulary and word study
  • write to explore deeper-level meaning
  • navigate a map and a compare/contrast timeline
  • investigate subjects related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)

  • To access thematically integrated literacy- and STEM-related educational resources developed in collaboration with the College of Education at Purdue University, visit:

    Becoming a Spacewalker: My Journey to the Stars Teacher Resources

    Theme A (Literacy focus with integrated STEM-related content)
    Prepared by Susan G. Gunderson

  • Click on the Introduction to access a ten-day plan overview and list of compatible literacy standards
  • Click on Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 to access three chronologically constructed interactive read aloud plans (reading to children) for use with the entire book, with coinciding graphic organizers/examples
  • Click on Days 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 to access shared reading plans (reading with children) for rereading/rethinking individual stories, with coinciding word work/vocabulary activities/ examples

  • Theme B (STEM extensions integrated with Theme A interactive read alouds and shared reading lessons)
    Prepared by Andra L. Zoller

  • Click on the Introduction to access a ten-day plan overview of STEM-integrated extension activities, list of compatible STEM standards, and Mission Schedule
  • Click on Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 to access three chronologically constructed STEM extensions thematically integrated with Theme A interactive read aloud plans
  • Click on Days 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 to access STEM extensions thematically integrated with Theme A shared reading plans