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Monday Morning Ready11.15.2019
Jumpstart Your Week!

Fifty years ago, Americans crowded around grainy televisions to witness Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touching ground on the moon. That moment was extraordinary for all who watched it, but with the launch of the "Apollo's Moon Shot" augmented reality app...... < read more >
Grade 3-4

Would you like to travel to the moon? Why or why not?

Grade 5-6

In what ways do you think an augmented reality app can authentically replicate the feeling and the scale of something like the moon landing? What, if anything, do you think it would never be able to replicate?

Grade 7-8

What do you think it was about the moon landing fifty years ago that had everyone glued to their televisions? What do you think could happen today that would garner this much interest?

Grade 9-10

According to the article, more than 400,000 people worked together to make the first moon landing possible, but nearly all of the attention in the past 50 years has been on the astronauts. What is one detail about the program that you would like to learn more about? Why?

Write About an Augmented Reality Experience


  1. As a class, discuss what augmented reality is and how it is different from virtual reality. (Virtual reality places users in computer-generated environments. Augmented reality enhances what users see, hear, feel and smell. This creates a more real-world experience.) Encourage students to describe any virtual reality or augmented reality experiences they've had.
  2. Download the "Apollo's Moon Shot" augmented reality app or have students do it on their own. Give them time to explore the app and all it has to offer.
  3. Once all students have had a chance to explore the app, instruct them to discuss their experience with classmates. Encourage them to share details about what they saw and heard, what they learned and what surprised them the most.
  4. Give students time to write a story about their experience. Remind them to include detailed descriptions of everything they saw, heard, felt and smelled so that readers can feel like they landed on the moon, too.


Invite students to share their stories with the class. Then have the class debate whether or not they think augmented reality apps really do make the user feel closer to the experience of something like the moon landing than television footage ever could.


Grades 3-4:
View the app as a class. Then divide the class into pairs. Encourage partners to work together to write a brief story about their AR moon landing experience.
Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into pairs. As partners explore the app, instruct them to take notes describing what they felt, thought and saw. Then have them analyze their notes. Give partners time to write a short story about their AR moon landing experience.
Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Have partners explore the app together. As a team, have them make a detailed record of what they felt, thought and saw on the app. Encourage them to also make a list of important historic or technical details they noticed. Have each partner analyze the notes and write a short story expressing his or her own AR moon landing experience.
Grades 9-10:
Have students conduct research to learn more about the Apollo 11 moon landing. Then have them complete the activity on their own. As they explore app, encourage them to write specific descriptions detailing what they felt or thought when viewing different parts of the app. Then give them time to write a short story about their experience. Challenge them to incorporate accurate historic details obtained from their earlier research.
"Apollo 50" Anniversary Page from the National Air and Space Museum
The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions. Explore their site for resources including videos, artifacts events and more on the Apollo 11 anniversary.

Apollo 11 Article Collection on Smithsonian Magazine
Smithsonian magazine has curated a collection of articles, videos and resources centered around the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Explore the collection for more on the history of the mission.

"Apollo's Moon Shot" on Smithsonian Channel
In 1961, President Kennedy issued a grand challenge: to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth by the end of the decade. What followed was a series of daring missions against an almost impossible timeline on the most complicated spacecraft ever built. Smithsonian Channel invites you to revisit an era when NASA's team of engineers and astronauts gambled everything to embark on humankind's most ambitious journey, brought to life through archival interviews, rarely seen footage and artifacts from the vaults of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

"Destination Moon": On Tour
"Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission" commemorates the first lunar landing in 1969, and the pioneering flights that came before, in a state-of-the-art traveling exhibition. It will bring the iconic Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia to Seattle and Cincinnati this summer and fall—its first national tour since 1970/71.

Apollo 11 Moon Landing: Share Your Story
Apollo 11 was a global event. What does that historic mission mean to you? Share your story and read what others have to say.

Voyage to the Moon: 50 Years Ago and Today
Humans first stepped onto the moon 50 years ago, and NASA has plans to head back! Watch this episode of NASA’s STEM in 30 series to hear from those involved with the Apollo program, learn about the science behind getting to the moon and explore the plans to head back to the moon in the near future.

What You Didn’t Know About the Apollo 11 Mission
From JFK’s real motives to the Soviets’ secret plot to land on the moon at the same time, read this Smithsonian magazine article to get a new behind-the-scenes view of an unlikely triumph 50 years ago.

How Neil Armstrong Trained to Land the Lunar Module
To prepare him for landing the lunar module, Neil Armstrong practiced on a training vehicle right here on Earth. It was designed to replicate flying within a gravitational pull that was 1/6 that of Earth. Watch this Smithsonian Channel video to see Armstrong in action.

Apollo 11 Command Module
The Apollo 11 Command Module, “Columbia,” was the living quarters for the three-person crew during most of the first manned lunar landing mission in July 1969. If you’d like to experience the Columbia for yourself, explore this 3D model from the Smithsonian’s Digitization Program Office to go on a guided tour.