Our first month of full-time homeschooling this year, I decided we should study the Apollo missions. I had heard something on NPR about a 40th anniversary (although I’m not sure of what, since the program ran from 1961-1972).
We raided the library for books on NASA and the Apollo missions. Some of the stand-out books included:
One Small Step: Celebrating the First Men On the Moon by Jerry Stone. This is a scrapbook style book with each page a collection of images, text, and lift-the-flap pages. It covers everything from why we wanted to go to the moon in the first place, the space race with Russia, the actual moon landing, and some of what we’ve done in space since. It’s a great book to sit down with and flip through.
Mission Control, This is Apollo: The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon by Andrew Chaikin and Alan Bean. There’s a bit on the Mercury and Gemini missions, and then details on each of the Apollo missions. Mr. Curiosity used this book for his project – a timeline of all the missions. He color coded the missions – orange for Mercury, yellow for Gemini, and brown for Apollo.
Each tag has the name of the mission, the astronauts on the mission, and the objective of the mission.
Miss Curiosity worked on a painting project instead. It took several different sessions to finish it. We had to do a practice version, figure out the best way to do the starts, determine the best color for the moon, etc. Once she was done, it certainly brings to mind the original photo:
One last book to recommend, for the younger crew. Try Buzz Aldrin’s picture book biography, Reaching for the Moon. He takes you from his childhood, through his studies, becoming an astronaut, and landing on the moon.
If you prefer to watch your history, we did some of that this month as well.
In the Shadow of the Moon is a documentary that provides actual footage of the launches and interviews with many of the Apollo astronauts that are still alive, reminiscing on their monumental achievements with the Apollo missions. We were all fascinated.
Apollo 13 is a fictionalized version of the Apollo 13 mission, which never landed on the moon because of equipment failure.
There are lots of great resources out there. Hope you enjoy some of the ones we used.
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