The First Men in the Moon

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The novel tells the story of a journey to the moon by the impecunious businessman Mr Bedford and the brilliant but eccentric scientist Dr Cavor. On arrival, Bedford and Cavor find the moon inhabited by a race of moon-folk the two call "Selenites." The novel can also be read as a critique of prevailing political opinions from the turn of the century, particularly of imperialism. (From
Curriculet Details
39 Questions
42 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in 9th and 10th grades, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining science fiction, the Victorian attitudes about social class and war, and the significance of allusions made in the text. It also contains interactive videos that support comprehension, such as videos about structure, point of view, conflict, and the use of imagery. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of human motivations, what happens when humans interact with aliens, and the impact of individual personalities on the impression humans would beings from other planets. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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Chapter 1 - Mr. Bedford Meets Mr. Cavor at Lympne

"The First Men in the Moon" is a science fiction novel published in 1901 by English author H. G. Wells.  (This annotation contains an image)
Kent is a county in South East England. (This annotation contains an image)
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently. Is there a word on this page you need to look up?  
The point of view is the perspective from which a narrative is told. The video will help you understand point of view. (This annotation contains a video)
This point of view of the narrative is  
Why is the narrator interested in Cavor's invention? 
The narrator is referring to the Fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, commonly known as the Royal Society. It is a learned society for science and is possibly the oldest such society still in existence.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 2 - The First Making of Cavorite

Mr. Cavor's "zuzzoo" is an example of  
What causes the explosion? 
Why does Mr. Cavor want people to believe a cyclone is the cause of the great winds and destruction? 

Chapter 3 - The Building of the Sphere

“A Trip to the Moon” is a 1902 French silent film inspired in part by Jules Verne’s novels “From the Earth to the Moon” and “Around the Moon” in which a group of astronomers travel to the moon in a cannon-propelled capsule. (This annotation contains an image)
Where does Cavor suggest they travel? 
The narrator has misgivings about going to the moon. What causes him to change his mind? 

Chapter 4 - Inside the Sphere

A writer often uses figures of speech to create a vivid mental pictures. Two such figures of speech are similes and metaphors. (This annotation contains a video)
Cavor uses a(n) ______________ to compare their flight. 

Chapter 5 - The Journey to the Moon

What amazes the narrator when Cavor opens the windows? 
How long are the days and nights on the moon? 

Chapter 6 - The Landing on the Moon

Cavor and Mr. Bedford may have seen an image similar to the one below. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 7 - Sunrise on the Moon

Which literary device does Bedford use to describe the breaking of day? 
The rising of the sun creates a tense situation for Bedford and Cavor. Watch the video to gain an understanding of how tension is used in a work of literature. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 8 - A Lunar Morning

What happens with the rising of the sun? 

Chapter 9 - Prospecting Begins

The video shows the 1969 first moon landing by Neil Armstrong. (This annotation contains a video)
How does Bedford's description of their moon landing compare with what you see in Armstrong's landing? 
Why does Cavor tell Bedford to be careful? 
Quiz One 
What does Bedford's tone reveal? 

Chapter 10 - Lost Men in the Moon

Why do Bedford and Cavor have difficulty finding the sphere?  
What images does the narrator paint in this sentence? 
Bedford describes what he sees on the moon. He paints a mental picture by using imagery. Can you picture what he sees? (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 11 - The Mooncalf Pastures

Bedford and Cavor see a mooncalf. (This annotation contains an image)
Bedford compares the Selenite's appearance to that of  
What effect does the fungus have on Bedford and Cavor? 

Chapter 12 - The Selenite's Face

In what condition do Cavor and Bedford find themselves when they awaken? 
What figure of speech does Bedford use to describe the Selenite? 

Chapter 13 - Mr. Cavor Makes Some Suggestions

Cavor blames their predicament on Bedford because he suggested they eat the fungus. The two men disagree or have conflict about what they should do. (This annotation contains a video)
Bedford and Cavor quarrel about their situation. How do they differ in their views? 
Cavor refers to the article "Intelligible Signals Between Neighboring Stars" published by Professor Francis Galton in 1896.  (This annotation contains an image)
The following is an excerpt from Professor Walton's article. Signals have to be devised that are intrinsically intelligible, so that the messages may be deciphered by any intelligent man, or other creature, who has made nearly as much advance in pure and applied science as ourselves. It may seem at first almost impossible to do this, but it is quite otherwise, and the reader will probably feel surprised at the unexpected simplicity of the curious problem. According to Professor Galton's article, how should Cavor try to communicate with the Selenites? 

Chapter 14 - Experiments in Intercourse

In his use of "antropomorphism" Bedford refers to  
The Selenites communicate with Cavor and Bedford through gestures. (This annotation contains an image)
What conflict is emerging? 

Chapter 15 - The Giddy Bridge

Cavor hopes that the Selenites will eventually understand that he and Bedford are intelligent beings. 
Why does Bedford think explaining their predicament to the Selenites is impossible? 
How does Cavor escape from the Selenites? 
What does Cavor mean when he says Bedford has spoilt everything? 

Chapter 16 - Points of View

Bedford is struck with the reality of what he has done. How does Cavor respond to Bedford's ravings? 
What does Cavor suggest about the Selenite society? 
What does Cavor's interest in the gold chains suggest about him? 

Chapter 17 - The Fight in the Cave of the Moon Butchers

What does Cavor suggest they do? 
What does Bedford's comment reveal about his view of the Selenites? 
The trailer for the 1964 movie "First Men in the Moon" helps you picture what Cavor and Bedford face on the moon. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 18 - In the Sunlight

What might the Selenites think of Bedford and Cavor? 
Why does Cavor think they have behaved foolishly? 
What plan do Cavor and Bedford devise to find the sphere? 
Quiz Two 

Chapter 19 - Mr. Bedford Alone

As he searches for the sphere, Bedford questions 
What attempts does Bedford make to signal Cavor? 
What does Bedford fear? 

Chapter 20 - Mr. Bedford in Infinite Space

What effect does the old copy of "Lloyd's News" have on Bedford? 
What does Bedford come to realize as the sphere returns to Earth? 

Chapter 21 - Mr. Bedford at Littlestone

What physical effects does Bedford experience when he returns to Earth? 
What do Bedford's thoughts reveal about him? 
How does Bedford explain the gold bars and chain to the men at the hotel? 
What plans does Bedford make for his future? 
Amalfi is a town in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno. (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 22 - The Astonishing Communication of Mr. Julius Wendigee

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system. (This annotation contains an image)
What is the significance of Marconi's invention? 
This video shares the contributions of Guglielmo Marconi. (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 23 - An Abstract of the Six Messages First Received from Mr. Cavor

What attitude towards the Selenites do Cavor's messages suggest? 
Cavor shares what he has learned about the Selenite culture and life on the moon. According to Bedford, astronomers and physicists support Cavor's findings. 

Chapter 24 - The Natural History of the Selenites

What do Cavor's messages reveal about the Selenite society? 
How well does the image below fit Cavor's description of Phi-oo? (This annotation contains an image)
How does each Selenite "know his place"? 
Cavor compares the Selenites' treatment of workers to the treatment of workers in Victorian England. 

Chapter 25 - The Grand Lunar

The focus of the narrative changes when Bedford returns to Earth. This shift has to do with structure which is explained in the video. (This annotation contains a video)
What gives Cavor the "horrors"? 
Cavo refers to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Altar of Heaven, a church assigned to one of the cardinal priests in Rome. Located in the highest summit of the Campidoglio, it is the designated Church of the city council of Rome. (This annotation contains an image)
A grand procession carries Cavor into the presence of the Grand Lunar. (This annotation contains an image)
Cavor compares the Grand Lunar's appearance to a  
Cavor attempts to explain the Earth's system of government to the Grand Lunar. 
What is the Grand Lunar's reaction to Cavor's explanation of war? 

Chapter 26 - The Last Message Cavor sent to Earth

How does Cavor's lack of common sense betray him? 
Quiz Three 
What does Bedford think happens to Cavor?