Blast Off with National Simultaneous Storytime 2021

  • Published on May 7, 2021

Get children reading with National Simultaneous Storytime 2021

In just over a week, on Wednesday 19 May at 11:00am AEST, we will be celebrating the 21st National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS). Are you ready?

The event

National Simultaneous Storytime from space 2021

National Simultaneous Storytime is an annual event held in Library and Information Week in Australia and New Zealand. The event is organised by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) with the aim of promoting the value of reading and literacy.

Each year an Australian picture book is chosen to be read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the nations on either side of the Tasman Sea. Selected books explore age-appropriate themes and address key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Foundation to Year 6.

It is free to register for the event. If you do, you will receive various free downloadable material to support your own event on Monday 17 May. You can register right up until the event begins.

The book

Give Me Some Space by Philip Bunting, NSS selection 2021

The book selected for this year’s simultaneous story time is Give Me Some Space! written and illustrated by Philip Bunting and published by Scholastic Australia. It is fiction but also includes some interesting facts about space.

“Una dreams of a life in Space. Life on Earth is just so so-so. But how will she get there? And will she complete her mission to discover life in Space? And did she remember to feed Neil the goldfish?”

You can find out more about Philip Bunting, author and illustrator of Give Me Some Space on his website.

Visit Scholastic Australia’s website to purchase your copy of the book.

What is really exciting about story time this year, is that the book is going to be read by astronaut Dr Shannon Walker from the International Space Station. Isn’t that just out of this world?

Meet the astronaut

Find out more about the International Space Station here.

Science and NSS — be involved

In conjunction with NSS, scientists on the international space station will be conducting an experiment designed to show the effects of climate change on Earth.

Students around Australia are asked to measure the outside temperature where they are on the morning of 12 May. This data, along with data collected from satellites, will be used to map the temperature of Australia. Astronauts will conduct a similar experiment on the Space Station. The experiment will be shared with NSS participants via video to give more meaning to the data collected by students. You must be registered for NSS to view these videos. Find out more about the experiments and how you can be involved here.

Other activities

Many informative and fun activities are listed on the NSS website.  They include things such as:

links to
  • a NASA video showing the launch when Give Me Some Space blasted off for the International Space Station in preparation for the NSS reading
  • information about viewing the ISS from your location
  • Earth Live Webcam
  • a time lapse of the sun over 10 years
  • take a NASA selfie to see how you’d look as an astronaut
  • astronaut tests
  • experiments
  • and many other resources, including teacher notes, merchandise, and even a competition.

Please visit the website for further details.

I hope you and your children enjoy this exciting event. I’d love to know how you celebrate. I’ll be tuning in to listen to Dr Shannon Walker read and watch the experiments.

readilearn resources

For some readilearn ideas for celebrating space, check out these resources:

20 quick ideas for teaching about space

recipe for making a moon cake

science teaching ideas for making a moon cake

While you are here, remember to check out the complete readilearn collection of

over 470 teaching resources for the first three years of school
Resources beyond worksheets – lessons for teachers made by teachers.
Let readilearn lighten your workload.


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    They are very fortunate. I was happy with hours on my bed reading on my own as a child though. 🙂

    what a great way to promote a sense of community and togetherness, as well as to encourage reading. And that is cool that an astronaut from the Space Station will be doing the reading.

    I’m really looking forward to hearing a book read from space. The idea would have been only that, if, when I was a child.

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