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  • Suggested Age Range: 4 – 5 years; 5 – 6 years; 6 – 7 years
  • UK Curriculum: KS1
  • Suggested UK Year Group: Year 1
  • UK Primary Curriculum Link: Everyday materials
  • Science Subject: The Sky, Sun, Moon and Earth
  • Science Question: What do we see in the Sky? What are the Sun, Moon and Earth made of?
  • Suggested Science Activity: Solar System Touch Boxes
  • Children with SEND: Use to boost comprehension of science vocabulary
  • EAL children: Beginners level
  • Country of Origin: Papua New Guinea
  • Source: The Man in the Moon by Alta Jablow and Carl Withers

Long ago in the part of the island that is now called Papua New Guinea…  
At the edge of the island there was a village.
And in that village there was a house.
And in that house there lived two brothers, twins, identical twins.
They looked alike, they talked alike and whatever they did, they did alike. 
And whatever they did, they always did together! 
They were fishermen, so they slept throughout the day. 

But, when the Sun began to set and the Moon began to rise …

They would wake up, yawn, stretch, put on their clothes, walk out of their house and climb into their canoes. 
And they would paddle and paddle and paddle and paddle out into the sea. 
And then they would take their nets and lower them into the water.
And then they would wait and wait and wait and wait for the fish to swim into the nets.
Now sometimes it took a LONG time to catch any fish. 
So they would look around them for something to talk about. 

One night, one of the brothers looked up at the sky and though for a while.
He asked his brother. “Have you noticed that as the Sun begins to fall, the Moon begins to rise?”“We never see them in the sky together! I think that they must be the same thing!”

“Nonsense” said his brother. “Of course they are different! One is orange, the other is silver!”
“No, they are not!” argued his brother “I think that as soon as the Sun disappears from the sky,  it changes colour and comes back up again as the Moon!” They are the same thing!

“No – they are different!”said his brother.

“They are the same!”“They are different!”“They are the same!”“They are different!”
“Same!” “Different!” “Same!” “Different!” “Same!” “Different!” “Same!” “Different!” 

And they began to argue and argue and argue and argue!

Until the second brother said: “Right I will prove that they are different! I will go to the Moon and find out!”

“You can’t go to the Moon!” 
“Oh yes I can!”  “Oh no you can’t!” “Oh yes I can!”  “Oh no you can’t!”

And they argued and argued and argued some more!

The next night,  the second brother didn’t wait for his first brother. 

He got up first, yawned, stretched, put on his clothes and walked out of his house and down to the sea-shore. He climbed into his boat and looked out to sea.

And there he saw a silver path that stretched across the water and up and up and up towards the Moon. So he followed it.

He paddled and he paddled and he paddled and he paddled.
Until he noticed that the boat was leaving the sea and floating in the air!
He paddled and he paddled and he paddled and he paddled, closer and closer and closer and closer to the Moon. 
And then the canoe landed on the Moon! 

The brother climbed out of his boat. Brrr, it was cold up on the Moon!
He looked and he saw a little house. 
The door opened and a man with silver hair walked out.
The brother asked “Are you the Man in the Moon?”
And the Man in the Moon said “Yes!” 
And the brother asked him; “Please can you help solve an argument?”
“I say that the Sun and and the Moon are different.” 
“But my bother says you are the same. Which is true? Which of us is right?”
And the Man in the Moon smiled and said: 
“Wait, and you will see for yourself which of you is right!”

The brother looked and saw that the Moon was moving through the sky! Wow! 
And when he looked down, he saw the Earth below! Wow! 
And his view of the Earth below changed as they moved through the sky! Wow! 

The brother couldn’t believe his eyes! 
All night long they sailed slowly through the sky around the Planet Earth. 

“Now look carefully” said the Man in the Moon. “We are passing by your island. Night is ending, Dawn is coming. Watch!
And so he watched. And in the distance he saw the faint glimmer of orange, that got bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger!

“It’s the Sun!” shouted the brother! 
“That’s right.” said the Man in the Moon. “It’s where my brother lives! And if you look very carefully you can see his house.”

And the brother looked and saw in amongst the flames of the Sun, the shape of a tiny house. And there was someone at the window waving to him!

“I see him, I see him!” yelled the Brother excitedly! 
“I cant wait to tell my brother what I have seen! “

The Man in the Moon smiled.“Then you must follow the silver path home.” 
“Quick now whilst the Moon is still overhead.” 
“And here is something to prove to your brother that the Sun and Moon are different” 

And the Man on the Moon gave him a present, wrapped up in a handkerchief to take home with him, as proof of where he had been and what he had seen..

And so waving goodbye, the brother climbed into his canoe 
And he paddled and he paddled and he paddled and he paddled all the way home.
He jumped out of his canoe, ran up to his house and hammered on the door!

The door opened and his brother stood there, frowning, he was very cross!
“Where have you been!” he asked.
I have been to the Moon! his brother said.
“No!” said his brother “ You go the Moon! I don’t believe you!”  

“Ahah brother – I can prove it! Look! Here is a present that Man in the Moon gave to me!”
And the brother opened the handkerchief and inside were a pile of berries. 
Half of the berries were silver, like the Moon, and other half were orange-red like the Sun.
“The Man on the Moon gave me these berries to prove to you that the Sun and Moon are different!” “He gave me these white berries – that grow on the Moon”.
“And these red berries – that grow on the Sun!” 
“The Sun and Moon are different! See brother, I was right!”

His brother didn’t believe him at first, but once he had tasted the berries, he realised that his brother was telling the truth! 
And so they planted the seeds from the berries in the garden. 
And every year when the fruit had grown, they would share them with the children of their village and tell the story of where they came from. 

And from that day on they never ever argued again!
And so they lived happily ever after!

But is this story true? Are the Sun and Moon the same or different?
Scientists say that that they are very different. 
The Sun is made of gas and is very hot.
The Moon is made of rock and is very cold.
Nothing can live on the Sun or the Moon.
But, what do you think is true?

Copyright Cassandra Wye May 2019