Floca, B. (2009). Moonshot: The flight of Apollo 11. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.
Information Text, can be read to ages 4+
Recommended for grades 2-4.
This book is amazing. It is beautifully crafted and filled with tons of valuable, teachable information. Brian Floca’s work is absolutely stunning. This book teaches students about the flight of Apollo 11 which is so famously known. However, it is almost unheard of for the younger generations.
Personally, I was not alive when Apollo 11 happened. However, it is a huge part of the United States history. This is also really important for everyone to have knowledge of.
The issues raised in the book are about hardships and being an overcomer. It also allows students to set a goal for themselves and accomplish it. This was a huge goal for the United States to set, yet they did and they accomplished it without ever giving up. This is a valuable lesson for children to learn.
This book follows Apollo 11 throughout its journey. The setting is obviously in space. There is a lot of information children could learn just from the pictures and instead of the text of the book. This book does have a lot of important themes such as never giving up, setting goals for yourself, believing in yourself, doing what you love, and always trying your best.
Before teaching this book to the class, I would give background knowledge to the students on Apollo 11. I would explain to them that Apollo 11 was when the first man, Neil Armstrong, walked on the moon. From Apollo 11 came the famous line, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The goal and mission of Apollo 11 was set by John F. Kennedy in 1961 where he wanted a crewed lunar landing and return to Earth. This was the objective and Apollo 11 and they accomplished it.
After reading this book to children, we would do a lesson on the moon and how far it is from Earth, and about what is like to be an astronaut. As a class, we would discuss the moon. We would discuss how the moon is Earth’s only natural satellite. It contributes to the tides we have on Earth, it influences Earth’s cycles, and climate. We discuss that the Earth is 238,900 miles from Earth. Then, we would go into what it is like to be an astronaut. I would visit this website to show them what it is like to be an astronaut: Astronaut Website. Then, we would create a little flip book on Apollo 11 including facts of the mission.
3 Discussion Questions:
Why is Apollo 11 important?
Who was the first man to walk on the Moon?
What does the moon influence (on Earth)?