Friday, October 20, 2017

"Off For the Moon" SRA Reading Laboratory Brown 15 (1958)

Here is an interesting piece of space education ephemera. "Off For The Moon" adapted from Tom Corbett's Wonder Book of Space (Wonder Books, NY, 1953). Written by Marcia Martin and illustrated by Frank Vaughn.

Back in the years I was in school, SRA (Science Research Associates) Reading Library was a standard way to teach English and reading skills.

It has a fascinating history, described here:

I found one of the early reading cards in this series "SRA Elementary Edition 15 Brown." Here is the letter from the SRA publisher's office to the publisher of the original book at Rockhill Productions:

I really enjoy this early space story since much of the content (book was 1953) was becoming more likely with the rise of the Space Race.  It now does not read as fiction any more.

Each of these "cards" also had questions about the story the student had just read, including references to the "line number" where the answer might be found.

Just a delightful memory to me of reading through these cards in the 1960s and working my way through the "colors." Although I do agree with the final statement of the author I linked to above:

"The behavior I learned: burn through the cards as quickly as possible and once you finish the last color – was it purple? – the teacher shrugs and lets you choose your own reading."


  1. In the early 1960s I quickly worked my way up to Purple.
    As a reward, I got some training on a Tachistoscope.

  2. I think it was in 3rd or 4th grade when at the beginning of the school year our teacher began reading novels to the class. I absolutely loved that time of the day. My listening comprehension and imagination expanded exponentially during that period. Then later on SRA came along and launched me on a life long love of reading on my own. I read through the system quickly and was thrilled when I discovered I would then be allowed to read whatever I wanted. Fifty years later I still love to read and I even dabble in writing. I have often wondered if there were others back then who had received the gift of reading and understanding which I learned from the SRA system. There were other things to read in class but SRA is the one that sticks in my memory. I am so glad someone way back in the stone age of education came up with the SRA system because I shudder to think where I would be now had it not came along when it did.