Build your own airplane.

So today’s lesson was more about synthesizing all the information we have gotten this week than anything else. In order to make all the information, and vocabulary, applicable, we played some “build your own airplane” games.

The interesting thing was, on the websites for these games, there were other videos and stuff that captured our attention. So what I thought was going to be a short time on the computer playing games turned into a 3 hours exercise of playing games and watching airplane videos.

The best design game was by GE: http://www.ge.com/thegeshow/flight/#ch2

Next was this one: http://www.nms.ac.uk/education/kids/plane_builder.aspx

Finally, we played this one: http://futureflight.arc.nasa.gov/dCenter.html. This one requires some problem solving skills too, so we got to work on more than just planes.

However, essential to this lesson was using the vocabulary and terminology we had learned over the past week. Wings were wings, the body of the aircraft was the fuselage, the tail had the tail, vertical stabilizer, and rotor. We had ailerons, landing gear, nose/tail wheels, horizontal stabilizers, aft wings, propellers, and jet engines. We used the right terms (lift) for the force the plane needed to get off the ground – it’s not simply that the plane takes off. Using the words, ideas, and concepts we had worked on over the week made these concepts solidify in Nicholas’ mind as we played our games.

We also made paper airplanes and put tape, paper clips, and other things on them to see if we could still “generate enough lift and thrust” for the planes to fly. It’s amazing how long we can go doing activities like these where he is really engaged.

Our practice words for the day were sort of random: Falcon (for his favorite fighter), design (because that is what we were doing), paper, maze (because I wanted a word with z), and flight.

We did our regular math and rhyming words practice too – but mainly we got to focus on the planes. I sure do love having the Internet to help me with homeschooling.

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