Andy Bowers from Bristol, TN, created the Man in the Moon paper plate activity for his very young students. He describes below how to make it and offers applications in the classroom. See my Paper Plate Education page for more activities that use paper plates, ranging from simple crafts to technical astronomy dials.
Andy Bowers writes:
I work as an aide in a preschool class with 4 and 5 year olds. We were learning about the letter M that week, and some of the kids saw me working on my project so I told them about Neil Armstrong, about being the first man on the moon and they recognized the "M" sound. But it caught their interest and I needed something to add to my project so I came up with the paper plate man on the moon.
I let a couple help me out (it was rest time) but we painted 1 side of each paper plate gray (could also color with markers or crayons) then I printed off pictures of an American flag and an astronaut. I had the idea of letting them draw them but to save time I just printed them. Then we just glued each to a Popsicle stick (the astronaut being a longer stick or two put together) and we glued the flag to one plate. Next we stapled the plates together but I left a little slot where I could slide the astronaut stick through while being able to move him up and down as they were walking on the moon.
As for education aspects for the little kids like I work with it's good for color recognition, the grey moon, colors on the flag. Painting and coloring works fine motor skills. Also could be used when learning the letter "M". Of course when it gets to older children you could explain more about the first man on the moon.