The animated short film One Small Step follows a young Chinese American girl from age six when she first witnesses a rocket launching to her success of finally walking on the moon.
One Small Step
- Video Links
A page with links for finding the film
- Two Activities
- The first is an organizer for students to show how Luna changes over the course of the film.
- On the next organizer, students tell the mood of 5 scenes from the film and then give proof of each of the selected moods.
- Answer Keys
- Google Slides Version
You will also find a link to the Google Slides version of the organizers.
One Small Step
The video tells the story of a girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut. [7:40]
The Fascination with Space
From the moment she sees the launching of a rocket, Luna dreams of becoming an astronaut. Shortly after she watches the event, on Luna’s 6th birthday, her father gives Luna a special pair of space boots.
When Luna opens her birthday gift, her eyes are wide with delight. She puts them on and goes on an imaginary mission to the moon. Although the film has no words, Luna’s giggles are dubbed over the playful music. During Luna’s imaginary trip to the moon, the background changes from realistic to decorative. For example, the stars hang from strings and look like the ones in Luna’s bedroom. Luna flies through a cardboard Saturn-looking planet.
A Life-Changing Event
Luna grows up and goes to college. Everything seems to go wrong for Luna. She breaks her flip-flops. Luna makes an F on her test. During track practice, Luna falls and the others race past her. Luna applies to the Astronaut Candidate Program and is turned down. The weather is dark and rainy when Luna finds her father not sitting in his usual spot in the kitchen. The viewer learns he has passed away when Luna places incense on his grave. Heartbroken, Luna cries herself to sleep.
Luna finds the astronaut boots her father gave her when she was six. This changes Luna’s attitude. Luna hangs up the astronaut poster in her room. She cuts her hair. Luna studies late into the night. Things change as she begins to do well in school and track. Luna graduates from school and is finally accepted into the Astronaut Candidate Program.
As Luna steps onto the moon, she has a flashback of her father. This is a sweet yet sad moment for Luna in that she has reached the goal she worked so hard to achieve, but her father is not with her to see it.
Get the printable activities plus links to the Google Slides version by clicking on this button.
More Samples from the Teaching Writing with Animated Shorts Series
- Comparing Two Shorts with the Animated Short Distracted and Dear Alice
- Literature Skills with Crow: The Legend
- Problems and Solutions + Inference with the Animated Short On the Same Page
- Setting and Comparing a Short Film to the Novel Refugee with the Short The Box
- Character Change and Mood with the Animated Short One Small Step
- Details from the Story with the Animated Short Broken: Rock, Scissors, Paper
- Problem and Solution Chain and Theme with the Animated Short The Catch
- Your Course of Action + Comparing Two Films with the Animated Short Coin Operated
- Summarizing and Comparing Two Films with Miyako and The Monster Under My Bed
Check out all six products in the Reading and Writing Series. Units are also available as bundles.