TeachersFirst's Resources: Man Soars Into Flight

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On December 17, 1903, Wilbur Wright stretched out across the lower wing of the flying machine that he and his brother, Orville, had built and gently eased the machine into the world's first successful powered flight. The craft flew about 120 feet before settling back down into the sand of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Later that day, the Wrights made three additional flights; the last and longest covered more than 850 feet in just under one minute.

The Wrights may have succeeded where others had failed because they brought a unique combination of talents to their task. They were meticulous in their work, and they did not hesitate to develop their own theories and solutions, especially when commonly held assumptions about the physics of flight got in their way.

Since the Centennial of the Wrights' first flight in 2003, a bumper crop of web sites has appeared, devoted to the history of these creative inventors and to flight and aviation in general. These reviewed resources provide a great introduction to the Wright Brothers' achievements and to the principles and major figures involved with flight.

Include manned flight within a unit on inventors and inventions or with study of the late 19th and early 20th century in American History at any level. The Wright Brothers and other figures in flight can be part of a unit on famous scientists and their discoveries. Inspire inventiveness in your own students by having them create their own projects telling the story of flight using one of the reviewed digital storytelling tools from the TeachersFirst Edge:  something as simple as a comic strip or as elaborate as a multimedia presentation. 

Happy flying!

 

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Stem in 30 - Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Grades
5 to 10
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Stem in 30 is an interactive classroom offering 30-minute webcasts for middle school students. Interact with scientists by asking questions, participate in polls, and receive resources...more
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Stem in 30 is an interactive classroom offering 30-minute webcasts for middle school students. Interact with scientists by asking questions, participate in polls, and receive resources for follow-up activities. Don't worry if you can't attend, view the archives of all past presentations to enjoy at your convenience. Previous topics include Moon Rocks!, Time and Navigation, and WW1: How History Shaped Technology. Most archived recordings include correlation to Next Generation Science Standards. If your district blocks YouTube, then the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (112), ecology (135), ecosystems (88), flight (36), mars (41), molecules (43), space (206), STEM (123), world war 1 (53)

In the Classroom

Share webinars on your class website for students to view at home. Check the site's homepage for upcoming webinars, then participate with your class. Check Twitter to see if your class can follow any of the presenting scientists. If you are lucky enough to live in the Washington, DC area, contact the museum to attend a live taping. After viewing a webinar, have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread, reviewed here. Voicethread allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. STEM in 30 is also a great resource for gifted students to get involved with their own challenges and pursuits.

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The Wright Brothers - Who Were Wilbur & Orville? - Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum

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K to 12
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Learn how two ordinary bicycle mechanics changed the world with this in-depth look at the life of Orville & Wilbur Wright. Follow the timeline beginning in 1630 to learn about ...more
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Learn how two ordinary bicycle mechanics changed the world with this in-depth look at the life of Orville & Wilbur Wright. Follow the timeline beginning in 1630 to learn about the first American Wright, Samuel, as he arrived in Massachusetts with the Puritans. Continue learning about the Wright family's settlement in Ohio and their work with bicycles leading on up to their famous flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Be sure to check out the interactive experiments, classroom activities, and lesson plans linked near the bottom of the page.

tag(s): aviation (40), flight (36), wright brothers (26)

In the Classroom

What a perfect addition to a lesson about the Wright brothers or a science unit about aviation (physics and more)! Have students work in cooperative learning groups and research a specific topic found at this site. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the Wright brothers or as a spectator viewing one of the first flying machines. Be sure to take advantage of the free experiments and activities available on the site.

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Primary Source Sets - Library of Congress

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4 to 12
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln...more
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln through Women's Suffrage. Choose any topic to view Teacher's Guides and analysis tools including graphic organizers for students. Sort information to find materials meeting Common Core, State Standards, or national organization standards.

tag(s): 20th century (50), authors (118), black history (59), civil war (145), commoncore (92), constitution (79), hispanic (18), jefferson (19), lincoln (85), new deal (6), primary sources (84), segregation (15), thanksgiving (37), veterans (19), washington (36), westward expansion (29), womens suffrage (25), wright brothers (26)

In the Classroom

When introducing a new unit, show students photos from the era and have them describe what they see and what period they think it is. Find plenty of questions and activities (including a blank analysis organizer for students) in the Teacher's Guides. Also look at Library of Congress: for Teachers, reviewed here. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted for reproduction), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread, reviewed here. This tool allows users to narrate a picture. Include this site on your class webpage for students and parents to access as a reference.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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America By Air - Smithsonian Institution

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1 to 12
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Learn about the early years of air transportation through the jet age using this site from the Smithsonian. Click the interactive map to see what it was like to fly ...more
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Learn about the early years of air transportation through the jet age using this site from the Smithsonian. Click the interactive map to see what it was like to fly across America (from New York to San Francisco) in the early 1920s through to the present. Click Objects and Images to read an explanation of the earliest to newest planes, mail carrier uniforms, and documents. Find thirteen interactive activities that range from appropriately dressing pilots to purchasing airline tickets based on particular criteria. Use your math skills and the airline price meter activity to learn about the costs of a ticket.

tag(s): 1920s (16), 20th century (50), aircraft (24), aviation (40), flight (36)

In the Classroom

This site will work well in any social studies or math class. Have groups of students use the airline price meter activity to try and buy a ticket for $300. Then have students use computers and visit a travel site and see if they can replicate the activity for real. Using the "At Your Service Section" have your students create 1950s style airline ad posters. Use the baggage claim activity to talk about scales and weight. Bring in some empty suitcases and let students fill them up and try to guess the weight. In language arts or social studies classes use a projector or interactive whiteboard and read a few entries from the Stories section with your students. Ask students to write about a flight they remember (or any mode of transportation for a trip) in the same manner as the examples. In addition, language arts or social studies teachers can use this site's nonfiction reading to help satisfy student's reading goals for the Common Core Standards.
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Flight - The Franklin Institute

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6 to 12
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Explore the history of flight through three presentations offered by The Franklin Institute. Use the left menu to navigate, and begin with the Airfoil Collection to look at the evolution...more
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Explore the history of flight through three presentations offered by The Franklin Institute. Use the left menu to navigate, and begin with the Airfoil Collection to look at the evolution of airfoil design in aircraft. Next, read about wind tunnels and their contribution to the Wright Brothers investigations into flight. Last, travel back in time to take a look at the Wright Brothers notebooks. Photos of the notebooks document the gathering of scientific data in the study of achieving flight.

tag(s): aircraft (24), flight (36), wright brothers (26)

In the Classroom

Explore this site with your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the images of the Wright Brother's notebooks to demonstrate the importance of gathering and recording scientific evidence. Allow students to explore this site on their own. Have students create timelines about aircraft history (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the Wright Brothers.

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Flying Classroom - Flying Classroom

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K to 9
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Join a journey to eleven countries and three continents as part of a global STEM learning adventure aligned to Next Gen and Common Core Reading standards. The site navigation itself...more
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Join a journey to eleven countries and three continents as part of a global STEM learning adventure aligned to Next Gen and Common Core Reading standards. The site navigation itself takes a little "exploration," but the time is well worth it. Learn about locations around the world as you explore science and technology at each stop along the way. Learn about the captain and crew under Flight Briefing. Follow the clickable flight route under Flight Tracker. Take a flight tutorial at Fly with Us (under Flight Briefings). Explore videos on the Blog and under Flight Briefings. Watch the intro video on the home page. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): aircraft (24), animals (277), architecture (83), ecosystems (88), endangered species (38), flight (36), oceans (147), STEM (123), volcanoes (61), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Incorporate this expedition into your units on continents, exploration and explorers (to compare modern exploration with historic expeditions), or science units on flight, energy and more. See the Blog for specific scientific explorations your students can read in groups or as a class. Include this resource in a unit on scientists and what they do. Include some of the readings as informational texts that will generate high student interest. This is a great resource for your gifted students in a regular classroom to extend curriculum and share what they have learned with classmates. For more background for teachers, see the Executive Summary under "About." Have students use a class account to create maps using Animaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Middle school students can use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any of the people on Captain Barrington's journey.
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CurriConnects Book List - Flight and Things that Fly - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Read about the many ways that people have used flying machines and the many creatures that fly with books from this leveled booklist. Learn how things fly--either by nature or ...more
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Read about the many ways that people have used flying machines and the many creatures that fly with books from this leveled booklist. Learn how things fly--either by nature or human engineering! Read about birds, aircraft, and the people who have pioneered human flight. The Wright Brothers were not the only ones who took to the sky! How does flight work? Some fiction, and some non-fiction, all these books will inspire young aviators, animal scientists, designers, and engineers. This list is particularly rich in offerings for elementary and middle school, with some offerings for high school level readers, as well.

tag(s): aeronautics (13), animals (277), aviation (40), book lists (124), flight (36), STEM (123), wright brothers (26)

In the Classroom

Have students choose a book they can connect to concepts you are studying in science class or have them choose a book of interest and generate a list of questions they would like to investigate further. Share this list with students during your study of physics of flight and aerodynamics. Include it during study of sophisticated engineering design or of basic concepts such as gravity and air flow. As you study animal adaptations and the differences among species, look closely at how birds fly and how man-made flying machines mimic some of their capabilities. The non-fiction selections offer possible informational texts to practice Common Core science literacy skills.

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The Wright Brothers - The Franklin Institute

Grades
3 to 12
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Imagine flying with the 1911 Model B Flyer. This "plain vanilla" site offers some GREAT sprinkles (video clips. photos of artifacts, and classroom activities). The historic videos demonstrate...more
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Imagine flying with the 1911 Model B Flyer. This "plain vanilla" site offers some GREAT sprinkles (video clips. photos of artifacts, and classroom activities). The historic videos demonstrate Liftoff, Pre-Flight Inspection, Meet the Pilot, Hollywood Ending, and several other topics. Historic Artifacts show the Wright 1911 Model B Flyer. Along with the documentation of the restoration, view the accompanying videos. An interactive diagram shows the parts of the Model B Flyer. Detailed images clearly document the assembly and take down process. Find directions for creating and launching a Magnus Flyer.

tag(s): aviation (40), inventors and inventions (103), wright brothers (26)

In the Classroom

Fly into the spirit of aviation and the Wright brothers while watching historical videos of the 1911 Model B Flyer. Watch the sequence of events and diagram them on a timeline. Examine the step by step instructions for assembly. Use these as an example for a "How to" tutorial or project. Study the steps of invention and creation. Your unit on Inventors has the wings for the Wright brothers.

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The Wright Experience - The Wright Experience

Grades
5 to 12
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The Wright Experience lets you rediscover the innovation and designs of the Wright brothers. Follow the steps in analyzing photographs, making designs, and running tests to make an...more
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The Wright Experience lets you rediscover the innovation and designs of the Wright brothers. Follow the steps in analyzing photographs, making designs, and running tests to make an actual life sized reproduction of the Wright kites, airplanes, and gliders. In every model, find the design, assembly, control, and flight tests. Follow wind tunnel testing to analyze flight performance and see the reinvention of the Wright Brother's works. Explore the different parts of Orville and Wilbur's planes. The education area features videos showing testing or flights. Find links to many other useful sites. Find the latest news about any flight re-creations. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): flight (36), inventors and inventions (103), wright brothers (26)

In the Classroom

Bring the spirit of invention alive in your classroom. Follow the process, from the earlier designs through each later design, each building upon its predecessor. Discover the many types of testing done to determine limits for each problem. The videos of flight will bring your class on board with Wilbur or Orville! Share the videos on your projector (or interactive whiteboard). Discover the steps to the scientific method or design process to apply in other projects. Include this project in a study of leadership or as a lesson in the perseverance of innovation! Use it as an introduction to your Discovery Fair or Science Night.
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Old Pictures - old-picture.com

Grades
5 to 12
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View and explore an extensive collection of vintage and historic photographs from 1850 through 1940. The photos come from American and worldwide sources. Browse through photos sorted...more
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View and explore an extensive collection of vintage and historic photographs from 1850 through 1940. The photos come from American and worldwide sources. Browse through photos sorted into three categories: Defining Moments, Picture Collections, and Themed Collections. Click on thumbnails to view full size versions along with information on each picture. In addition to photographs, be sure to check out a very large collection of old maps sorted by date, state, and nation. Note: Our review team found it exceedingly difficult to locate the actual source information for the images. There is no citation information included with images except for general information on the Contact page saying they are "in large part from Government archives and our personal collections" and a general bibliography for the Maps section. The site suggests that you contact their email with questions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1800s (44), 1900s (33), 1910s (9), 1930s (15), 1940s (13), agriculture (54), civil war (145), flight (36), great depression (24), images (261), immigrants (20), immigration (58), lincoln (85), native americans (81), photography (160), slavery (72), states (163)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have the students open the site and use the whiteboard tools to view and discuss photographs. Take your students on a trip back in time through these photographs. After sharing a portrait of an era or a defining moment, have students create their own projects to explain it in their own creative way. For example, they could do a project about life during the Civil War. Use urls for these images in projects that can "pull" images by url. (Right click to get the image url.) Alternatively, find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook after researching people and events found on Old Pictures. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference.

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Wright Brothers - Vocabulary University

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3 to 12
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Learn about the Wright Brothers while you also learn some pivotal aviation vocabulary words. Explore the various vocabulary puzzles offered at this site. At the time of this review,...more
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Learn about the Wright Brothers while you also learn some pivotal aviation vocabulary words. Explore the various vocabulary puzzles offered at this site. At the time of this review, you could complete interactive puzzles, fill in the blank activities, and a definition match. Learn over 205 new vocabulary terms all related to airplanes and aviation.

tag(s): aviation (40), flight (36), wright brothers (26)

In the Classroom

This is a perfect addition to a lesson about the Wright brothers or a science unit about aviation (physics and more). Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide the link on your class website for students to explore at home.

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Re-Living the Wright Way - Tom Benson - NASA

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3 to 12
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This site provides information and resources about the Wright Brothers, their flights, and the science behind their work. The site was created to celebrate the centennial anniversary...more
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This site provides information and resources about the Wright Brothers, their flights, and the science behind their work. The site was created to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Wright Brothers historic flight. Although the site may appear simple in design, it has many nooks and crannies to explore.

tag(s): aviation (40), flight (36), gravity (45), inventors and inventions (103), motion (58), scientists (68), wright brothers (26)

In the Classroom

This site provides teachers with resources on the topics of Newton's Laws of Motion, The Four Forces of Flight, Lift, Drag, Thrust, Weight, Center of Gravity, Roll, and Pitch. View the videos using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Download the simulations to your classroom computers and have students work in groups to solve them. Have students work cooperatively to complete one of the many activities found on the site like building a model airplane. Students can then conduct an investigation to see whose plane can fly the farthest.
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Amelia Earhart - The Official Website - Family of Amelia Earhart

Grades
6 to 12
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The Official website of Amelia Earhart is an informational website intended to honor the life, the legend, and the career of Amelia Earhart. It contains a vast amount of information...more
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The Official website of Amelia Earhart is an informational website intended to honor the life, the legend, and the career of Amelia Earhart. It contains a vast amount of information about her life and career. The most extensive part of the site is the "About" portion that contains her biography, achievements, quotes, photos, videos, and fast facts each in their own section. Another interesting portion of the site is the News section which contains links to recent stories and news articles about Amelia Earhart. There is a preview on this website pertaining to the movie Amelia, you may want to share this with your class - or not. Preview beforehand.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): aviation (40), careers (129), famous people (19), flight (36), women (101)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students when researching famous Americans, women, flight, or careers. Have students use a mapping tool such as Google Earth (reviewed here) to create an audio (and visual) tour of Amelia Earhart's journeys. Her story could also offer a powerful writing prompt for an essay about people who take on formidable challenges/adventures.
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How Things Fly - National Air and Space Museum

Grades
4 to 12
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How Things Fly offers a self guided, interactive resource to understand how space and air flight happen. This site delivers information clearly and effectively about lift, drag, thrust,...more
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How Things Fly offers a self guided, interactive resource to understand how space and air flight happen. This site delivers information clearly and effectively about lift, drag, thrust, and weight. It is very easy to navigate and there is a ton of information to gained! This answers a lot of questions that students tend to ask when talking about space and some physics.

tag(s): aircraft (24), aviation (40), flight (36), space (206)

In the Classroom

Choose a type of flight to have students study and assign that part of the website as a web search with a question sheet. Or have students create their own journey by picking a path and then explain what they learn as they go through the activity in writing. Before writing, have students organize their thoughts about what they learn with a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here.)
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For Kids Only - Earth Science - NASA Science

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers several activities for students to learn about earth science. When the page first loads there is an interesting science fact offered, reload the page to see another...more
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This site offers several activities for students to learn about earth science. When the page first loads there is an interesting science fact offered, reload the page to see another new fact. Links on the main page take you to different sections of the site such as people, land, water, air, and natural hazards. Within each section is information about NASA and their current activities related to the topic, these sections are fairly short and geared toward providing information at the elementary age level. This is also where activities will be found, for example, in the land portion there is an interactive coloring book to learn about data collected from the earth, a multimedia presentation with Amanda the Pigeon teaching about flight, and Echo the Bat teaches about how satellites are used. Within some sections of the site are links for teachers containing lesson plans including printable worksheets. Secondary level teachers may find the teacher's guides useful to download and use, they contain in-depth information and activities about planet earth and space.

tag(s): air (163), data (149), earth (228), flight (36), water (130)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Display activities on the board as you explore different earth science concepts. Create a link on classroom computers for older students to explore the site on their own. Use the lesson plans on the site to complement your existing lessons on earth science.
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What is Lift? - NASA

Grades
6 to 10
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This easy to navigate site about airplane lift is brought to you by the people at NASA. It has interactive reading with links to more detailed information. There is a ...more
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This easy to navigate site about airplane lift is brought to you by the people at NASA. It has interactive reading with links to more detailed information. There is a great diagram and an accompanying video on lift. There are non-flash versions to view, too. This link is for middle school through college age students, but there is a link at the top of the page for younger students.

tag(s): aeronautics (13), aircraft (24), flight (36), gravity (45), nasa (40), newton (25), vectors (24), wright brothers (26)

In the Classroom

Show students the video about the Wright brothers. Then have them work independently on computers to read and explore more information about lift. Have small groups of students choose a project to complete using some of the blue links provided in the reading. For example one group could explore "vector quantity" and present it to the class as if they were explaining it to a fifth grader, making it easier for everyone to understand the concept, and definitely ensuring that this small group will internalize what "vector quantity" is. Have students use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share concept maps of their assigned topics. The main bubble could be part of the concept in scientific language and the bubbles joining it could be the concept in kid language. Have groups present their project to the class as an assessment, and you could also embed it on your webpage or wiki for parents to view and students to use as a review.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Activity TV - activitytv.com

Grades
K to 8
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This site contains how-to videos and printables for kids. Topics include science, paper airplanes, cooking, origami, cartooning, puppets, music, dance, math, and holidays. A summary...more
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This site contains how-to videos and printables for kids. Topics include science, paper airplanes, cooking, origami, cartooning, puppets, music, dance, math, and holidays. A summary next to the activity title gives the appropriate level, the number of views, and a starred evaluation of the demonstration. Holiday craft ideas and demos finish up the educational portion of the offerings.

tag(s): air (163), christmas (64), comics and cartoons (74), cooking (34), dance (28), easter (21), halloween (40), origami (17), preK (275), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector to accompany curriculum topics in science, art, physical education, language arts, health, or family/consumer science. Or show the videos to a class as examples for writing how-to (demonstration) speeches and/or videos done in language arts classes. Challenge students to create their own videos using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here). Look here also for ideas of holiday craft projects. Share the link on your class web page for students to try activities at home during breaks.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NASA flickr pictures - NASA

Grades
4 to 12
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Find great pictures of NASA projects and missions with this Flickr group. View descriptions of the photos that are arranged in specific mission groupings. Read the notes that have been...more
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Find great pictures of NASA projects and missions with this Flickr group. View descriptions of the photos that are arranged in specific mission groupings. Read the notes that have been included that talk about the missions, people involved, and other facts. View the source material by following the given links. Hover over the pictures with your mouse to look for squares that pop up with additional information. Note that these images have no copyright restrictions since they are in the public domain!

tag(s): flight (36), images (261), nasa (40), space (206)

In the Classroom

Use the information in the pictures to create a timeline of missions. Research how technology of spacecraft and launch controls have changed over time. Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here to create and share interactive timelines. Use the links provided to find out more about specific missions and people involved. Assign a writing assignment to go with the pictures. Have students pick a particular picture that is of interest to them and explain why it captures their attention. Challenge students to create a talking avatar using the photo. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). Create poems, newscasts, or other forms to showcase information and thoughts.

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The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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The Library of Congress offers this collection of photographs, letters, and other documents related to the lives of aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright. Images and documents...more
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The Library of Congress offers this collection of photographs, letters, and other documents related to the lives of aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright. Images and documents in the archive provide primary sources on the history of flight. The archive is easy to navigate and includes a timeline of the brothers' lives, a family tree hyperlinked to relevant documents, and the expected photographs of Wilbur and Orville and their flying machines. Of special interest to many would be the story of the brothers' early failed enterprises, demonstrating that even famous inventors fail before finding success, as well as the many letters between the Wrights and other well known people of the time such as Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh.

tag(s): aviation (40), flight (36), inventors and inventions (103), wright brothers (26)

In the Classroom

Students doing research on the Wright brothers will find this site invaluable. Have students work in cooperative learning groups and research a specific topic found at this site. Challenge students to create a multimedia presentation. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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