Curiosity: the Story of a Mars Rover

CuriosityCuriosity: the Story of a Mars Rover
Written and Illustrated by Markus Motum

Publisher’s Summary:
On August 6, 2012, the rover Curiosity touched down on the rocky surface of Mars and now she’s ready to guide you through her journey firsthand. From idea to creation and beyond, this fact-filled, stylish book introduces readers to Curiosity and her mission: to discover more about the red planet and search for evidence of life.

Primary Source Pairing:
Creator Markus Motum writes in his bio on the back flap of the jacket (an important part of the book to teach students!) that he “rediscovered his love of picture books” while in art school studying illustration. The gem of a book Curiosity: the Story of a Mars Rover is an ode to how wonderful a picture book can be for readers of all ages and wonderings. Curiosity: the Story of a Mars Rover is a must have and a must read. For this primary source pairing, use a video from NASA that provides an overview of the new Mars 2020 Rover: The Perseverance. Students will be excited to hear comparisons made to Curiosity (see 1:26 in the video). As the learning environment allows, create an EdPuzzle activity and pose discussion questions throughout the video.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see and hear.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What special effects do you see?
  • What in the video is similar to what you read and saw in Curiosity: the Story of a Mars Rover?
  • Stop the video at 1:26 and consider the differences in the two rovers: The Perseverance and Curiosity. 
  • What do you notice about the scientists working on this space technology? Make comparisons between the book and the video from NASA.
  • What can you learn from examining this?
  • What do you still wonder?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Mission Overview: NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover:

Related Primary Source Pairing:
The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal, Written and Illustrated by Nick Seluk