Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Book Club: Mousetronaut

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Mousetronaut is a very enjoyable book written by Astronaut Mark Kelly and illustrated by C.F. Payne. The book tells a fictionalized account of a real mouse who traveled on a mission in space in 2001. The afterword of the book contains facts and details about the real mission in which 18 mice (who all stayed in their cage) journeyed into space.

There are so many great activities one could do with your children when reading Mousetronaut. From learning new vocabulary to creating a timeline, I will share some ideas with you.


Usually when we read a book for the first time we do not stop and discuss every new word unless there is a question. I prefer to leave the vocabulary work to a second or third reading. Perhaps you like to introduce the words before you read the story. Whatever your method, check out this vocabulary worksheet I created to accompany any book about space including Mousetronaut.


A fantastic way to teach and organize information is using timelines. There are a number of approaches you can take when using timelines with your children.

One of the ways our younger children use timelines is with index cards. I write out the facts on index cards with the dates and then we put them in order on the floor as we read them. You could even tape them onto a wall if you wish to leave the timeline up for several days or weeks to study and reference.

Check out my timeline resource which contains some of the information you might want to discuss regarding space travel.

Art Project

With our children being younger, they really enjoy creating crafts with the different books we read. For this one I decided to incorporate a painting project.



1. Gather all your materials. I pre-cut the space shuttle for our children. Our children decorated their shuttles looking at photographs of some real-life ones like the Endeavor or Discovery.

Materials needed for space shuttle craft

2. Choose your background paper. We decided upon darker colors for the night sky.

3. Place the paper inside the cardboard box (a small piece or two of tape on the back of the paper will help keep it in place).

4. Choose two or three colors of paint. Drip some paint onto the paper in the box.

5. Place the marbles or balls into the box and then tip the box back and forth so that they roll through the paint and onto the paper.

6. After the paint is dry, assemble your space shuttle and glue or tape onto your painted night sky.


There were over 300 men and women who traveled into space through the space shuttle program of NASA. Research one of those individuals to learn more about their lives and their journey to becoming an astronaut.

Here are just a few of their names:

  • Neil Armstrong
  • Buzz Aldrin 
  • Mae C. Jemison
  • John Glenn
  • Sally Ride
  • Christa McAuliffe
  • Scott Kelly 
  • Ronald McNair
Image from the book Mousetronaut

If you complete or create any of these ideas, please share them with me! Be sure to tag #momsquesttoteach on Instagram so I can see your children's artwork.


NASA STEM Engagement (education site of NASA)

NASA Space Place

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  1. I like marble painting crafts - so simple but they do turn out really neat!

  2. Oh marble painting is so much fun! What a great project idea.

  3. Sounds like a fun book! And some great ideas for expansion activities. Thanks for sharing!

    1. We still need to check out the second book - it looks just as cute.