"I had a drug problem.
My teacher drug me to reading 'till I got addicted.
Now I'm a drug free reader!"

here for lyrics and chords to Drug Free Reading Theme Song.
Click here to print (legal size paper) a descriptive flyer for Kids Drug Free Reading Resources.

Reading Comprehension Tools for Kids*

*(Much of the content of the adult resources works equally well for Kids.)

Most educators and psychologists agree that a person's enjoyment and proficiency in reading and writing are cast at an early age. Exposure to newspapers, books, periodicals, and even comics in a child's life sets a course toward drug free reading. NASA performed a study decades ago about factors leading children into the pursuit of science, mathematics and engineering. Early exposure to a pair of topics proved most beneficial, space exploration and dinosaurs. There is something mystic and winsome about those themes. Things existing in antiquity and the distant future excite the curiosity of young minds. The purpose of Drug Free Reading for Kids is to channel that excitement into a want to read and write.

The author Jerry Woodfill has created numerous space education resources designed to capture a young person's interest. All, like the adult drug free reading resources, are in the public domain, either authored for NASA or by Jerry and donated to the project, website, and DVD. They may be freely used, downloaded or printed for classroom or other use deemed worthy by instructors or parents. Many are resident in Woodfill's creation for NASA known as THE SPACE EDUCATORS' HANDBOOK. Included are space comics, text narrated space coloring books, and science fiction content made appealing through descriptive prose, images and videos. All are offered as classroom and home study products accessible through the Drug Free Reading Web Site or DVD. Perhaps, their use will preclude many children from becoming developmental education adults needing the content of the DRUG FREE READING One Nation Under God stories, audios, and exercises. Such would be enormously encouraging to the author.

Below are listed links of helpful resouces, along with descriptive prose describing how the content was used to promote reading comprehension as well as suggestions for added use. All are resident at the Drug Free Reading Web Site or contained on the Drug Free Reading DATA DVD for computers.

A Seuss-like Poem as a Developmental Reading Resource

Click here for a poster featuring the Animal Astronaut Space Agency (A.A.S.A.) Reading Program.
Click here for the story of the Animal Astronaut Space Agency (A.A.S.A.).
Click here for a power point show of the Animal Astronaut Space Agency (A.A.S.A.) story.
Click here for a printable .pdf version. the Animal Astronaut Space Agency (A.A.S.A.) story.

Discussion: In conjunction with the 2007 educational emphasis "Read Around the World" based on the annual celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday, NASA speakers were invited to read Seuss books at elementary schools throughout the Houston area. The author composed a Seuss-like booklet akin to Theodore Geisel's "If I Ran the Zoo." The main character was fashioned after a junior astronaut. He was named Kerner VonBuzzenship and was designated as an Animal Astronaut Trainer of the Animal Astronaut Space Agency, the AASA for short. A NASA-like logo was designed by the author along with an official AASA membership card. Those who read along with Mr. Woodfill's presentation of the story as well a pair of other activities, NAME THE PLANETS IN ORDER and the story of IVAN IVANOVICH, the FIRST MANIKIN IN SPACE, received the AASA membership card as an official animal astronaut trainer.

The various books, activities, videos, song, and resources are accessed above by clicking on the respective links. Reading is enhanced by singing the lyrics of the song, "Did Ivan Ever Return" as well as reading along with the power-point slides telling the three stories: If I RAN NASA, NAME THE PLANETS IN ORDER, and IVAN IVANOVICH, FIRST MANIKIN IN SPACE. The program was well received at four elementary schools as depicted by clicking here .

Song and Poem based on the movie "The Music Man" hit song "Seventy-six Trombones"

Click here for a delightful children's song about "Seventy-six Creatures Led the Parade to Space." (The melody is based on the theme song from the movie THE MUSIC MAN, "76 Trombones.")

Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon as a Developmental Reading Resource

Click here to access the story FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON>
Click here to access the story AROUND THE MOON.

Ask those who enjoy reading, "What do you recall first led to your liking for reading?" My answer would be, "I liked building Revell model plane kits. While the sketches helped most, I had to read the instructions as well." Others might respond, "I enjoyed Sunday school and wanted to read Bible stories in my class workbook." Still others may recall those Sears toy catalogs which appeared in mailboxes after Thanksgiving each year. The photos of bikes, games, dolls, and sports things did entice youngsters, but the accompanying text was essential for the dreamed of Christmas presents. If Santa Clause can read a Christmas letter, the child ought to know how to write his wishes.

Nearly a century and a half in the past, a popular French Author named Jules Verne wished to excite youth about the wonders of geography. Like the authors of DRUG FREE READING, he chose a fictional story about a manned journey to the Moon. What could be more appealing to children than a voyage beyond Earth? Into the story, for French kids, he wove "far away places with strange sounding names" like FLORIDA and TEXAS. While his extra-terrestrial tale partially served his purposes, it was AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS which fully accomplished his desire to acquaint youth with the Earth's geography.

The content of DRUG FREE READING has the entire text with the original lithograph images of both FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON and Verne's sequel AROUND THE MOON. Both are in the public domain, though the translated French to English text is a bit dated based on 21st century prose.

Apollo 13 as a Developmental Reading Resource

Where Jules Verne succeeded in exciting youth about georgraphy over a century past, Hollywood did likewise capturing youth's interest in space exploration with the movie APOLLO 13. The movie explains in non-fiction screen play fashion how NASA space technology accomplished lunar landings, a century after Verne treated the topic in his fiction novel FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON. Likewise does the DRUG FREE READING program employ the tale for developmental reading purposes among adults and youth. To that end, three versions of the account are resident on the website and the DVD. The first and least difficult word-wise is the comic. Click here to access it as an .htm file. Now click here to display the .pdf version for printing out the panels of the comic.

While the text of Astronaut Jim Lovell's book is not in the public domain, there is a very excellent NASA version with ample text and images to use as a developmental reading tool for both adults and elementary students. The .pdf version is accessed by clicking here. For an .html version click here. Though the publication is long out-of-print, Mr. Woodfill recreated the document in electronic format so that it can be freely used as a developmental reading resource. Because the text is fashioned as an air-to-ground exchange, the story can be utilized in class as sort of a docu-drama, assigning different students the readings of the crew members, capcom, and NASA narrator.

Science Fiction \ Space Technology : Tools for Learning
as a Developmental Reading Resource

ANIMATED IMAGE of an astronaut holding 
a model rocket which launches over and over again

Betty and I joined another couple for a Valentine's dinner at a Houston restaurant. The wife of the couple had taught reading for a number of years. She had attended seminars dealing with instilling a love for reading in students. She commented, "One of the most successful situations I recall was when I gave a student a book on astronomy. He became so fascinated with the subject that he became a gifted reader of all things related to space, the planets, NASA, etc."

In 1989, I was asked to participate in a join meeting with local science and math teachers to suggest ways that NASA technology and programs might serve to encourage pursuit of science and engineering. My contribution was using comic book and science fiction magazine cover as well as sci-fi art, television programs, and Hollywood movies as a technology teaching tool. The operative concept was to examine artwork, movies, etc. in light of how NASA launch systems and spacecraft obeyed Newton's laws and other physical/chemical practices.

What evolved was this NASA science fiction website which is featured here, on the Kids Drug Free Reading Internet homepage as well as on the DVD. Both adults and youth find these exercises provocative and mysterious. In order to benefit from the content, the narratives must be read. THis is the value added for the developmental reading educator. For that reason, the entire project is listed below as a resource to involve challenged readers in a way that our friend experienced success with her astonomy loving student:


Using the following HTML program familiarize the student with the design of manned spacecraft systems. Next, have the students sketch and analyze science fiction rockets, robots, etc. found in movies, comics, and novels. (SCIENCE FICTION / SPACE TECHNOLOGY : TOOLS FOR LEARNING features numerous examples of this process.)

Ask the students to find:

(1) What technology exhibited by these sci-fi devices is currently possible? (Study existing technology - space shuttles, space stations, lasers, robots - similar to the selected items.)

(2) What is probably not possible with today's technology?

(3) What new technology is needed to make the science fiction devices work?

(4) Finally, for extra credit, design (add to the original sketch) items overlooked by the science fiction author or artist that should have been included to make the science fiction device work.


Spacecraft, like automobiles, require certain basic systems to function properly. Among these systems are: PROPULSION (engines), GUIDANCE (steering), LIFE SUPPORT (air to breathe, food and water), CABIN QUARTERS (manned operations and living area), COMMUNICATIONS (radio transmission and reception), THERMAL PROTECTION (isolation from the extreme temperatures of space as well as the heat of reentry), DISPLAYS AND CONTROLS (a means of flying/controlling and monitoring the status of the spacecraft's performance - switches and gauges).


Science fiction authors, artists, and illustrators generally portray the same basic systems as listed above in their literature and art. This document discusses the fictitious scientific substitutes for the above systems. Additionally, the science fiction spacecraft technology study reviews historic sci-fi artwork for scientific feasibility in light of current knowledge of spacecraft technology. Obviously, much art is drawn simply to represent the appearance of space technology. The illustrator ignores technical details achieving the desired effect through "artistic license." For this reason, no criticism of the reviewed artwork is intended. Some of the most impressive illustrations exhibit the greatest number of scientific incompatibilites.

The above twentieth century space systems have counterparts in the world of sci-fi technology: PROPULSION: (FTL - faster than light propulsion, Cavorite-antigravity material, warp drive - a means of exceeding the speed of light), GUIDANCE (steering without thrusters, spherical thrusters), LIFE SUPPORT (generation ships, hibernation biology, suspended animation, cryonics), CABIN STRUCTURE (space arks, world spaceships), COMMUNICATIONS (mental telepathy, molecular transporters),THERMAL PROTECTION (often ignored), DISPLAYS AND CONTROLS (standard video viewers as well as telepathy techniques).

For more information about the above science fiction technologies click on SCIENCE FICTION TECHNOLOGY TERMS here.


1. Newton's Third Law: Every action requires an equal and opposite reaction.

2. Einstein's (law) Theory: Energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared which is sometimes stated as the speed of light in a vacuum is the fastest speed possible and equal to approximately 186,000 miles per second.

3. THE EXISTENCE OF CENTRIPETAL FORCE: Centripetal force is the force that causes a mass to travel in an arc or circular orbit. It is equal to the object's mass times its tangential velocity squared divided by the radius of the arc or circular path. The "pulling away of the mass from the radius of curvature of the arc (the orbit)" is due to the inertia of the object causing it to try to move in a straight line. The pulling away is a result of Newton's First Law. (Newton's First Law: An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.)

4. The UNIVERSAL LAW OF GRAVITATION: The force of gravity is equal to the universal gravitation constant (G) times the product of the masses of two bodies which attract one another divided by the square of the distance between the two bodies.

5. THE GAS LAW: The pressure of a gas on the walls of a closed container times the volume of the container equals a constant times the temperature of the gas.



Familiarize yourself with the science of space and the technology of spacecraft prior to examining science fiction space systems. After using the following sites for space orientation, examine the pictures included in SCIENCE FICTION / SPACE TECHNOLOGY : TOOLS FOR LEARNING. Before reading the discussion following each picture, try to find errors or oversights the artists may have made in their ideas of what space rockets and spacecraft look like.

Space Shuttle Reference Manual is a complete discussion of all Space Shuttle systems with numerous diagrams and sketches prepared by NASA for the news media.

Now that you are familiar with the technology of rocketry and spacecraft, begin examining the feasibility of sci-fi space art by selecting EARLY SCIENCE FICTION TYPES below.

Click here to continue with: EARLY SCI-FI SPACECRAFT.


Click here to continue with: Using Science Fiction to Teach Space Technology.

Click here to continue with: Early Sci-Fi Spacecraft.

Click here to continue with: Spacecraft in Sci-Fi.

Click here to continue with: Space Stations in Sci-Fi.

Click here to continue with: Space Shuttle Type Craft in Science Fiction.

Click here to continue with: Using Science Fiction Space Technology in the classroom.

Click here to continue with: Science Fiction Spacecraft Art.

as a Developmental Reading/Audio Comprehenstion Resource

Clicking here opens an .html copy of a narrative booklet with accompanying audio files for sight reading along with the audio heard content. These are a compilation of an excellent space explorations series (Apollo moon race) by the VOICE OF AMERICA News staff. They are especially good for classroom application of both hearing and reading developmental stories for enhanced reading and listening skills. Additionally, they recount an exciting period in American history for students. Below are the links to both the narratives and their corresponding audio files, listed in historic chronological order.

Text of Voice of America Race to the Moon Programs
.pdf printable version of Voice of America Space Race text

Chapter 1- Project Mercury. Audio

Chapter 2 - Mercury: Alan Shepherd is Launched into Space Audio

Chapter 3 - “Ed White and America's First Space Walk

Chapter 4 - 1965: Two Gemini Capsules Meet in Space (15.5 minutes .mp3 file)

Chapter 5 - Spaceflight History: Excitement and Tragedy in Preparing for Moon

Chapter 6 – The Rescue of Apollo 13 (15.5 minutes .wav file)

Chapter 7 -Days of Apollo (15.3 minutes mp3 file)

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