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Achievement: Dreams can come true

To consider how humanity has striven to achieve great feats and to suggest that what we wish to be able to do we might one day achieve.

by Jude Scrutton

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To consider how humanity has striven to achieve great feats and to suggest that what we wish to be able to do we might one day achieve.

Preparation and materials

  • The children’s book, Papa, please get the moon for me, by Eric Carle (available in most schools). Alternatively, download the video.
  • Model of the moon.
  • Film of the moon landing, easily accessible on the Internet. (The quality is poor, but that’s because technology was ‘primitive’ then by present standards.)

Assembly

  1. Ask: Can anyone say what the moon is? What do you think it’s like?
  2. Read the book or show the video. Ask if it’s possible to do what the father did for his daughter. Consider how long the ladder would have to be.
  3. Ask: What do you think the people who lived a long time ago thought about the moon? Why do we know a lot more about the moon than our prehistoric grandparents knew?

    Explain that inventions such as satellites and rockets have enabled us find out about the materials and atmosphere of the moon.
  4. Say that 42 years ago this month, the first human beings landed on the moon. This was a mission carried out by the United States. The flight through space to the moon was made in the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

    Ask the children if they know the names of the first people to voyage to the moon (Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin.)
  5. On 16 July the Apollo 11 lifted off from the earth. Three days after leaving the earth’s gravitational field, it went into orbit round the moon. Then Armstrong and Aldrin climbed into a small lunar landing craft called the Eagle. With a blast from its engines the Eagle separated from Apollo 11 and headed for the surface of the moon. Michael Collins was left in command of the Apollo as it continued to circle the moon.

    On 20 July, at 8.17 p.m., Armstrong and Aldrin landed the Eagle on the Sea of Tranquillity (not a real sea. It was a rocky area about the size of a football pitch).

    On 21 July, at 2.56 a.m., Neil Armstrong stepped on to the surface of the moon. He was followed, nearly twenty minutes later, by Buzz Aldrin. They were the first human beings ever to walk on the moon. Their landing craft, Eagle, spent 21 hours and 31 minutes on the lunar surface.

    The three astronauts returned to Earth with 21.5 kg of lunar rocks, and landed in the Pacific Ocean on 24 July. What had seemed absolutely impossible had been achieved.

Time for reflection

Think about what you would like to achieve.
What would you like to be able to do, which at the moment seems impossible?
Maybe one day you will see it achieved.

Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer

Song/music

‘He who would valiant be’ (Come and Praise, 44)
‘Walking on the Moon’ by the Police

Publication date: July 2011   (Vol.13 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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