Celebrating Man’s First Moon Walk

  • Published on July 12, 2019

Celebrating man's first moon walk

This year marks the 50th anniversary of man’s first moon walk. On 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first man to place foot on the moon. Buzz Aldrin joined him shortly after and they spent just over two hours together outside the spacecraft.

Since then another ten astronauts, all of whom were American men, have walked on the moon. The six crewed moon landings took place between 1969 and 1972.

Celebrations of the first moon landing are taking place around the world. You can check out NASA events here and NASA resources for educators here.

The way you celebrate the event in your classroom can be big or small. Here are a few easy-to-implement suggestions for different subject areas:

Ideas for the classroom

Critical thinking

When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, he said, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Ask children to give their opinions about the intended message of Neil Armstrong’s words. Were his words effective? How else could it be expressed?

  • If I were an astronaut
  • If I lived on the moon
  • The littlest space rocket
  • Indigenous stories about the moon. You can find some links on the Australian Indigenous Astronomy website.
  • Picture books, both fiction and non-fiction (See the link below to Vanessa Ryan’s blog Educate Empower for a list of relevant books.)

Investigate numbers to do with the moon; for example:

  • How far away is the moon?
  • How long does it take to travel to the moon?
  • Phases of the moon
  • Why the moon sometimes looks bigger or smaller
  • Design a rocket and a way of propelling it. Whose rocket can travel further?
  • How has space travel influenced advances in technology? Here is a list to get you started.
  • Events that have occurred since humans first walked on the moon
  • History of space travel
  • Ask children to interview parents and grandparents about their lives at the time of the first moon walk and their memories of the event.

Show on a map, places associated with the Apollo 11 mission; for example:

  • Kennedy Space Centre on Merritt Island, Florida, USA
  • Mission Control Centre in Houston, Texas, USA
  • Parkes in New South Wales, Australia

Relevant readilearn resources to assist

20 quick ideas for teaching about space

20 Quick ideas for teaching and learning about space

recipe for making a moon cake

How to Make a Moon Cake

Brenda Miles and Susan Sweet, authors of Cinderstella

Author Spotlight — Brenda Miles and Susan Sweet  in which the authors discuss their book Cinderstella, A tale of Planets not Princes.

Introducing Vanessa Ryan

As Vanessa Ryan, fellow educator and blogger, agrees that the topic lends itself to many different subject areas and was already preparing a list of books related to the moon landing anniversary, I invited her to share her list with you.

If you pop over to her blog, you are sure to find a link to many topic areas such as:

  • How rockets work
  • What children thought about the Moon landing
  • What life was like 50 years ago
  • Why we wanted to go to the moon
  • How to write creatively and use your imagination!

with suggestions of books you can find at your local library, online and in bookshops!

Visit Vanessa and her post Exploring the Moon and beyond on her lovely blog Educate Empower.

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