Stars Beneath Your Bed and Science Standards

Stars Beneath Your Bed: The Surprising Story of Dust is a natural for fulfilling the new science standards. That’s one of the things I learned when I attended NSTA and spoke on a panel of authors organized by Carrie Launius and hosted by Wendy Saul. Each of the educators at the conference gave activities to go with various books. Carrie worked with teacher to get them to consider how the book deals with cross-cutting concepts:


Cause and Effect: Mechanism and Explanation

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

Systems and System Models

Energy and Matter: Flows, Cycles, and Conservation

Structure and Function

Stability and Change


I can’t speak to all the teachers’ comments on how the book fits in. But here are some of the ways that popped into my mind, as I learned of these cross-cutting concepts.


Patterns.  (Questions about relationships and the factors that influence them certainly applies to SBYB.)

Cause and Effect (Dust and sunsets…all the things that create dust…waves that splash salt, and so on. Lots of way to go with this one!)

Scale (Going from the scale of dust to the scale of sunsets certainly gets kids thinking about that. Dust being pieces of so many things mentioned in the book certainly works here.)

System and Models (I’m a tad fuzzy on how this applies but I’m sure an experienced teacher would have some ideas. I get the systems but not the models)

Energy/Matter/Flows/Cycles/Conservation (SBYB certainly goes for this one. Even conservation if you consider the lines about dust from long ago still being around.)

Structure and function  ( I don’t think this is a major one illustrated by SBYB. Other books probably do this beter.)

Stability and change (Although no rates of change are mentioned, certainly the cycles of dust/sunsets/and change are well illustrated by the book.)

This older title of mine has just been reprinted, along with Dig, Wait, Listen: a Desert Toad’s Tale. So it looks like these will be around for a while.  Stars Beneath Your Bed seems to be growing in popularity, year-by-year.

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