Teaching Earth Science with Children’s Literature: Moonshot – The Flight of Apollo 11


On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong made the first human appearance on the moon.  Landing on the moon was not as easy as it had seemed to those who watched the event from their televisions at home.  There was much hard work and effort that went into the mission of Apollo 11.  The book, Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, by Brian Floca describes the detailed voyage in a way that children can enjoy and understand.  With intense and eye-catching illustrations, the book starts by introducing the launch and take off system of Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Micheal Collins, and Lunar Module Edwin Aldin.  After one week, the three men went on to create history.  Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 defines the job and skill level for children, showing that flying a space craft is not for everyone.  However, the also shows that with hard work and effort, anything is possible.  As millions watched on national television, Armstrong calmly said, “Houston, Tranquility Base is here.  The Eagle has landed” (pg. 30).  Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 remembers one of the most significant stories in history and captures the excitement for the younger audience.

Curriculum Connections

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 helps children to understand the wonderful story of the first human on the moon.  Throughout the book, the reader is captured by the intrinsic illustrations of space.  Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 may be used in a classroom setting to introduce a lesson pertaining to space.  Though in story form, children are also able to learn about the moon and the mysterious outer space.  They are also able to discover the relative size of the earth and moon and the distance between the two (3.8 and 4.7).

Additional Resources 

  • The Mission of Apollo 11– This link includes a summary of Moonshot: The flight of Apollo 11.  The website features additional resources and materials, such as other voyages to the moon.  It also, contains five reviews from other readers.
  • Away in Space– Features coloring pages, spaceships, astronauts, and more.  The activities are perfect for children of younger ages.
  • Brian Floca– This website includes a library of books written by Brian Floca and the entire book of Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 can be read online.

Book: Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11

Author:  Brian Floca

Publisher: Antheneum/Richard Jackson Books

Publication Date: April 7, 2009

Pages: 48 pages

Grade Range: 2-4

ISBN: 141695046X

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