Famous People Notebook: Astronauts
People have been curious about space since practically the beginning of time. It’s hard not to look up at the sky, see the moon and stars, and wonder what is out there. What are stars like? How many planets could there be? What amazing scientific discoveries are waiting to be made?
Despite wanting to see the stars for ourselves for thousands of years, we’ve been able to reach them for less than 100 years. This unit will look at 10 history-making U.S. space missions. It only scratches the surface in telling the whole story of space travel. Famous People Notebook: Astronauts is a great addition to and science education.
The race to put a person in space was won by Yuri Gagarin from the Soviet Union, who orbited the Earth April 12, 1961. This unit ends with the SpaceX Demo-2 mission that ended on August 2, 2020. Just before this unit was published, it was announced that the Artemis program, which hopes to land people on the moon by 2024, will carry the first woman to walk on the moon. The story of space exploration is still only just beginning!
Exploring Space Missions
Explore space missions and space exploration through 10 self-contained lessons which feature 10 historic space missions and the astronauts who were part of them. The lessons are constructed in a simple format: short and informative text followed by comprehension questions and a space for written narration.
List of Famous Astronauts Covered:
- Alan Shepard, Jr. (Freedom 7)
- John Glenn (Friendship 7)
- Edward H. White, II, and James A. McDivitt (Gemini 4)
- Roger B. Chaffee, Virgil (Gus) Grissom, and Edward H. White, II (Apollo 1)
- Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11)
- Fred W. Haise, Jr.; James A. Lovell, Jr.; and John L. Swigert, Jr. (Apollo 13)
- Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand, and Donald Slayton (Apollo–Soyuz Test Project)
- John W. Young and Robert L. Crippen (Columbia STS-1)
- Christopher Ferguson, Doug Hurley, Sandra Magnus, and Rex Walheim (Atlantis STS-135)
- Doug Hurley and Robert Behnken (SpaceX Demo-2)
How to Use Famous People Notebook: Astronauts
You are welcome to complete each lesson in any order that suits your current study or interest. However, please note that completing the lessons in order will provide your student with basic understanding of space milestones.
Each lesson begins with a short and informative text about the space missions and astronauts. Your student may read the lesson to himself or aloud then answer the comprehension questions. There is a space provided for written narration. To aid a student who struggles with reading comprehension we suggest using the comprehension questions as writing prompts for this section. A parent or teacher may read the text and/or the questions orally if that is beneficial to your student.
- Reading comprehension
- Critical thinking
Astronauts & Space Vocabulary
Suggested vocabulary words are bolded to easily prompt the student to take notice. We suggest having your student look up any unknown bolded words to encourage proper understanding of the text. You may want to have your student create a notebook with the words and definitions. The student may look up the words in another source, however, there is a glossary at the end of the study.
Research an Astronaut
Once the student completes the comprehension questions and written narration there is a section for additional information. At the end of the study, your student will select his favorite famous astronaut to study further with additional resources of his choice and then write a narration on the paper provided. Lastly, there is a final review quiz for your student to complete.
*Answer keys for comprehension questions for each lesson and final review quiz are provided.