TeachersFirst's Man Soars Into Flight - Resources
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.
Grades5 to 10
In the ClassroomFor your blended or flipped classroom, share webinars on your class website for students to view at home. Replace pen and paper writing journals by writeing a blog entry that shares their learning and understanding. Use a tool like Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using Edublog, reviewed here. 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 enhance their learning by creating a multimedia presentation using Slidestory, reviewed here. This site allows you 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.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomWhat 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. Enhance learning by having 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.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomThis 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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomExplore 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. Modify learning by challenging students to create timelines about aircraft history (it can include text, images and collaboration) using Sutori, reviewed here. Extend learnong by having students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the Wright Brothers.
GradesK to 9
In the ClassroomIncorporate 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 MapHub, reviewed here. Students can add icons, URLs, 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.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomHave 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 the 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.
Grades5 to 12
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In the ClassroomBring 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.
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 learning path using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, 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.
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.
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. Modify student learning by challenging them to use a site such as History in Motion, 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. Extend student learning and 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. Exchange paper and pen notes by having students to take notes with an online tool like Simplenote, reviewed here. Have them share the info they learned with their small group. Tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions. Simplenote allows you to access and update across all devices. Challenge students to modify their technology use and create a multimedia presentation using a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Students could use Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, to transform technology use by creating an interactive poster for their presentation.
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.
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.
Grades8 to 12
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