How Do You Burp in Space Lesson Plans

With space tourism close to becoming a reality, Goodman and Slack offer aspiring young intergalactic travelers an entertaining and informative travel guide…details included are both revelatory and delivered in a way that maximizes engagement…breezy narrative also incorporates amusing and inspirational comments from astronauts and space scientists. -Kirkus Reviews

●Junior Library Guild Selection

Speculations pack in the fun, but the science is serious. -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books


Lesson Plans to Explore Space Travel and CCSS in Susan E. Goodman’s

How Do You Burp in Space?: And Other Tips Every Space Tourist Needs to Know


This guide, developed by Dr. Rose Reissman and Susan E. Goodman, offers activities to use with elementary (grades three to five) and middle school students (grades six to eight) with additional suggestions for enrichment, ESL/ELL, newcomer, and visual learners.

It includes 2 pre- and post-reading assessments, then a variety of 7 activities that range from creating a space travel alphabet book and having “cosmic conversations” with special domain vocabulary to designing an ad campaign for future space tourism companies.  The activities directly address a variety of standards across the curriculum in English Language Arts, (especially Reading Informational Text) and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. The description of each activity includes a list of standards addressed.

Sample Activity 

Activity #1: Pack up and Blast Off

  1. After the students have finished reading Chapter 1: Planning Your Trip, remind them it’s truly possible that as adults they could go into space as employees of a space tourist company, another kind of business or as private citizens.  What would they bring with them?
  2. Have students summarize and record/display suggested items along with other packing tips provided in the first chapter.
  3. Then ask them to list the things they usually pack for a sleepover or a trip to camp.
  4. Now have them compare and contrast packing tips for space with how they’ve packed for trips on Earth.  Ask which listed Earth-trip items could not go into space and why. If a student mentions something that contradicts space packing criteria, encourage other students to refute the item by referring to the text.
  5. Are there other things students would like to bring with them? List their suggestions, then have the class decide if these items do or do not meet the criteria by referencing the text.
  6. For some multimedia fun, have students create an audio file with packing instructions or a short video (with props) explaining how to pack for space. Share the results on a school website and send them to the author to post on her site’s  student projects page (
  7. For ESL, Newcomer or Visual Learners, suggest a three to six panel storyboard with a traveler packing and discarding items for a space trip.  ESL learners can add packaging instructions in their native language.
  8. For 5-8 graders, ask students to suggest, justify, and sketch new products for the developing space market, such as a light pack or Velcro straps or tabs for eyeglasses.

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (CCSS ELA):
Reading Informational Text #1, 2, and 3: Identifying Key Ideas and Details
Reading Informational Text #4: Craft and Structure
Writing # 3*: Text Types and Purposes
Writing # 6: Production and Distribution of Writing
Writing # 9: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Speaking and Listening #1 and 2: Comprehension and Collaboration
Speaking and Listening  #4 and 5*: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Language #1: Conventions of Standard English
Language #4 and 6: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
Common Core State Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects (RST):
RST #1 and 2: Key Ideas and Details
RST #4: Craft and Structure
RST #8: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

*Starred standards apply to Steps 6-8.