After reading "What Would It Take to Live Here?" have students conduct their own research on what it would take to colonize Mars. Ask students to add at least two more challenges to our list on pages 18-19. Students can start their research with these sources:

Step-by-Step Lesson Plan

Close Reading, Critical Thinking, Skill Building

1. PREPARING TO READ (3 minutes)

2. READING AND DISCUSSING: “Follow the Water” (35 minutes)

3. READING AND DISCUSSING: “What Would It Take To Live Here?” (25 minutes)


Header icon Differentiated Writing Prompts
For On-Level Readers

Explain how Jennifer L. Holm draws on scientific information in her story “Follow the Water.” Include details from the story as well as from “What Would It Take to Live Here?” to support your ideas.

For Struggling Readers

Choose two of the challenges of colonizing Mars described in “What Would It Take to Live Here?” Explain how they are addressed in “Follow the Water.”

For Advanced Readers

Consider the challenges of colonizing Mars that scientists currently face. In “Follow the Water,” which of these challenges have been solved, and how? What challenges remain? Include details from both “Follow the Water” and “What Would It Take to Live Here?” in your answer.

For Storytellers

Have students write a sequel that explores what happens to Georgie after she leaves Mars. Students should maintain the voice and style of “Follow the Water.”

Literature Connection: Other texts about pioneers and explorers

Ice Story: Shackleton’s Lost Expedition 
by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

by Joseph Bruchac

Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet 
by Buzz Aldrin and Marianne J. Dyson

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