Winner of the 2017 NAGC Curriculum Studies Award

Space, Structure, and Story integrates Earth and space science with science fiction and nonfiction texts, poetry, and art. This unit, developed by Vanderbilt University's Programs for Talented Youth, is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Students explore advanced science and ELA content through the lens of structure—its parts, purpose, and function.

Mobius strips, the hero's journey, dystopian fiction, black holes, Einstein's relativity, stars, and moons are just a few of the captivating in-depth topics explored through accelerated content, engaging activities, and differentiated tasks.

Ideal for gifted classrooms or gifted pull-out groups, the unit features poetry from Carl Sandburg, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and C. S. Lewis; art from M. C. Escher, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Salvador Dali; a novel study featuring A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle; short stories from Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury; speeches from President John F. Kennedy and President Barack Obama; and informational texts about gravity, orbits, and black holes.

Grades 4-6


chapter |16 pages


chapter |2 pages


“Child Moon”

chapter |2 pages

Pretest Rubric

“Child Moon”

chapter Lesson 1|8 pages

The Paradox of Mobius Strips

chapter Lesson 2|16 pages

A Wrinkle in Time

chapter Lesson 3|16 pages

What Is the Gravity of Gravity?

chapter Lesson 6|10 pages

Science Fiction

chapter Lesson 7|9 pages

The Structure of Time on Earth

chapter Lesson 8|10 pages

Inspiration in Moon Art and Poems

chapter Lesson 11|7 pages

Space, Travel, and Scale

chapter Lesson 12|4 pages

Culminating Project