Flight lesson

What kid doesn’t like to learn about planes and how they work? My son loves this, and since we are headed to the Smithsonian’s Air and Space museum in a few weeks, we are doing a lesson on flight.

First, we reviewed the important words. Physics4kids.com has a great section on motion and those are the words you need for flight. I wrote the words (motion, force, acceleration, velocity, mass) on index cards and their definitions on other cards. Nicholas had to match them all up. He did just fine using the regular, scientific definitions for things. There was no need to make it simpler or less complex.

Then we moved onto how things fly. We read the poster the Smithsonian puts out. Then we went onto this website and clicked through their “how things fly” section. It simply reiterated the original points of the Smithsonian poster, but it was a different media and he got to click around and do some stuff online. After that, we went to explore more about Bernoulli’s principle.

Then we made some paper airplanes and flew them around the house. While we were flying them we used the appropriate words (lift, velocity, mass, air, etc) to describe what was happening. We made paper airplanes out of different types of paper (scrapbook paper, construction paper, tissue paper, tin foil, wax paper, and brown paper bags) and talk about why each plane flew the way it did – or in the case of the tissue paper plane, didn’t fly.

We also wrote the words airplane, helicopter, lift, and velocity. He won’t use these words often, but he does better with writing and practicing letters if they are related to lessons.

It was fun, and next time we will do the history of flight instead of simply flight.

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  1. Thanks for your post. We’re doing a spontaneous trip to the Air and Space Museum tomorrow (we’re locals) and I wanted to make the trip effective. Your link to the poster was perfect, better than any info could find directly at the A&S site itself. (??!!) Now I know to hit the How Things Fly room first!

    • I’m glad you like it. I’m glad I could help too. Let me know if you need help finding lesson plans on anything else.

  2. I’m also loving your quotes. Gonna have to steal some for my own blog. Mother Robin’s Notes from the Nest


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