Neil Armstrong

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11577

Have you ever heard of the man in the moon — the pretend face you can see when the moon is full? There actually have been men on the moon, and Neil Armstrong was first.


Earth Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Who was the first person to walk on the moon?

Portrait of Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing mission in his space suit, with his helmet on the table in front of him. Behind him is a large photograph of the lunar surface.

Space exploration is considered the new frontier.

Scientists began sending objects into space in the early 1900s, but it was not until 1969 that the first man stepped onto the moon, ushering in a new era of space exploration. By being the first human to walk in space, Neil Armstrong has become a lasting symbol of man's ability to accomplish incredible goals.

Neil Armstrong and the American flag on the moon in July 1969

Neil Armstrong was born in Ohio in 1930. From an early age, he was interested in flight and even received his pilot's license when he was only a teenager. In college, he studied aeronautical engineering and served as a pilot in the U.S. Navy.

In the early 1960s, Armstrong joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He performed many roles at NASA, including test pilot and engineer.

In 1966, Armstrong was the command pilot on his first mission into space. During the mission, known as Gemini VIII, Armstrong and another astronaut orbited the earth and docked with another vehicle in space. This was the first time two space vehicles docked in space.

A few years later, in 1969, Armstrong had his life-defining mission, Apollo 11. During the mission, Armstrong and his team successfully landed a vehicle on the moon. Armstrong was the first to step out on the moon, followed by Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin.

Buzz Aldrin footprint on the moon in July 1969

Through television, millions witnessed Armstrong take his first steps on the moon and utter the famous words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Armstrong and Aldrin spent more than two hours on the moon, taking pictures and collecting samples that NASA later used for research.

Watch the video below to see footage of Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon.

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After his famous walk on the moon, Armstrong continued to serve in many other roles. He held various positions at NASA, worked as a college professor, and served on the board of an aviation company.

To learn more about the life and legacy of Neil Armstrong, explore the resources below. As you read and watch, list what you think are Neil Armstrong's five greatest accomplishments.

Who Was Neil Armstrong? (Grades 5-8)

Neil Armstrong

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  • What do they think are Neil Armstrong's greatest accomplishments?

When you are ready, move on to the Got It? section to reflect on Armstrong's famous words.

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