TeachersFirst's Resources: Man Soars Into Flight
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.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThis 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.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThis 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.
Grades6 to 12
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In the ClassroomShare 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.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomChoose 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.)
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomThis 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.
Grades6 to 10
In the ClassroomShow 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.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomShare 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.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse 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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomStudents 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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site with students interested in learning more about various air crafts. Correlate your science, history, and government lessons with this site.
Grades6 to 12
Membership is free and has many perks. You are able to comment and/or grade the video clips or even submit your own video. Registration does require some personal information: a username, password, email address, and date of birth. ALL USERS MUST BE OVER 13-years of age! Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using fictitious names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
Warning: not all videos are suitable for the classroom. Be sure to preview what you wish to share. If you choose to allow your older students to navigate this site on their own (for research or a class project), be sure to set boundaries on which videos to watch, consequences for going elsewhere, and WATCH CAREFULLY! Some videos explain "how to" do things that are unsafe or inappropriate for school-ages audiences. Wonder How To does include unobtrusive advertisements. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomUse these fabulous "how to" videos for informative writing projects in speech, science, or even with your gifted students. The site does provide excellent research. You may want to link directly to the specific videos you want students to see in order to avoid other, less-desirable options. Share the "how to" videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a new lesson. For a final project, have students create and submit their own "how to" video using YouTube or using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
Grades3 to 6
In the ClassroomThis website could be used in a variety of capacities in science and/or social studies. The site offers excellent research information about the Wright brothers and the invention of the airplane. The site would also be useful in a science class learning about flight, steam-powered engines, gas-powered engine, wings shape, lift, and other aviation concepts.
Grades4 to 10
In the ClassroomUse this website as a resource for a research project about inventors. Share the timeline on an interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit about inventors, engineers, or aviation.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomUse the "People to Know" section as a model for a class activity on any science or history topic. Share this section of the Flight site on a projector or whiteboard during your inventions or Famous Americans unit. Then, in your next unit, have students write about an important figure without his/her name and ask others to guess who it might be. Put the writings on your class blog or wiki and have other students respond with their guesses.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomFlying has always fascinated us, and flying failures are sometimes more interesting than successes. Students will know all about the Wright Brothers; they are unlikely to have heard of Alberto Santos-Dumont. The interactives are terrific and the paper airplanes would make a good hands-on activity. The readings about Santos-Dumont would also make good selections for a reading teacher trying to find motivating readings to teach comprehension strategies.
Grades3 to 5
In the ClassroomThis website includes a lesson plan, NCTM math standards and a unique group activity. Use an interactive whiteboard to make this airplane adventure a class project.
Grades3 to 6
tag(s): flight (29)
In the ClassroomThis lesson also includes a group activity of creating an overhead map of their school using the polygon information learned during this lesson. This would be a great activity on an interactive whiteboard (and simultaneously for small groups working at their seats together).
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): wright brothers (20)