StoryBots: Outer Space Playlist

Lyrics: Erik Weiner, Music: Mark Weiner
Type Category
Instructional Materials
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be "fully aligned," the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.


Description is an online program to build stories about different topics with children. In addition, the company creates original content such as the 5 "outer space" songs found on this link. The songs are very catchy, and include facts and animation of some of the key concept ideas. These songs can be used as a "hook" into a lesson or unit, or after an inquiry about the concept.

Intended Audience

Educational Level
  • Early Elementary
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

1-ESS1-1 Use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted.

Clarification Statement: Examples of patterns could include that the sun and moon appear to rise in one part of the sky, move across the sky, and set; and stars other than our sun are visible at night but not during the day.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment of star patterns is limited to stars being seen at night and not during the day.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
To ensure that the full Performance Expectation is met, these songs should be used alongside lessons about the concept. For example, when keeping a moon journal to look for lunar patterns at home, the teacher could play "Time to Shine" to get student excited about looking at the moon.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The Practice is not addressed, however this resource could be used to launch use of this Practice. For example, the teacher could use these videos to help students form questions about the phenomena.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource was not designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
These songs can be used as a hook for students to ask questions and think about how there might be patterns of motion of the sun, moon and stars. It would be important for the teacher to ensure that there are authentic chances for students to make and describe these observations and use them to predict future patterns, but the songs can act as a launching point.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
In each of the songs, there are sections that explicitly address the patterns that one can observe. The students could be asked to watch the videos with patterns in mind, looking for when these are pointed out ( moon phases, day and night etc), or use the songs as a way to draw out questions about what patterns might be observable in real life.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: While the alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS is limited, these still provide a way for teachers to introduce or support NGSS aligned units.

  • Instructional Supports: Lyrics to the songs are free and available to all and included on the main page. Teachers could use these lyrics to motivates students to engage in further explorations that include true three-dimensional learning. Students could use the lyrics to form questions and the teacher could use portions to launch future lessons on the phenomena.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: - none -

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: Interested teachers can sign up on the Storybots page. By doing so, they could create original content with student faces about the concepts. For example, they could make a movie about the moon using the faces of their students. StoryBots songs are available for free on YouTube and can also be downloaded onto devices as an app. In and of itself, this resource does not address three-dimensional learning,however it can be used within a unit that does. It can be a "hook" or launch for a unit.