Monday, April 28, 2014

The Glorious Flight and Paper Airplane Experiments

It's the last Monday of the month, which means it is time for another Poppins Book Nook!  You know my affinity for children's books, so this is such a good fit for me.  This month's theme is Trains, Planes and Automobiles.  I had grand plans for a hot hair balloon theme, but with Easter and everything else, I decided we had to simplify.  We chose a lovely classic, The Glorious Flight:  Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot by Alice and Martin Provensen.

The Glorious Flight

This story is all about trial and error and perseverance.  We talked about how Bleriot continually improved his design and we studied the changes in the airplanes.  These were simply delightful illustrations, by the way!  I love Alice and Martin Provensen's works.

Since the boys like making paper airplanes, we decided we needed to have some fun experimenting with our own paper airplanes!  We were inspired to build several different designs and determine which style would fly the farthest. 

We used the simple designs from Amazing Paper Airplanes.  There's information on the paper designs, and some information and videos on a few of the planes.  The boys found the videos exciting!  After exploring the website, we then built the five simple models.

We created The Basic Dart (Elliott informed me that this is the style he and Daddy make together), Sailplane, Ballybutton Glider, Delta Fighter and the American Lung Association Delta Fighter.  We just used regular copy paper for our planes, but you can also download printed paper from their website.

Which planes flew the distance?

Unfortunately it was pouring the rain when we started this project, so we had to fly inside.  Elliott lined the contestants up at the "airport" and then flew each one in the order that they were built.  We flew several runs, and the Delta Fighters were generally neck and neck, flying roughly twice the distance over the other three models!  The American Lung Association Delta Fighter was our frontrunner though!  We talked about the bodies of the planes and why different styles might fly farther than others.

The Glorious Flight

This was so simple, but it was engaging.  I don't think it's necessary that every lesson and activity be detailed or fancy.  Simple is fun too!


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1 comment:

  1. My son is crazy about airplanes and paper ones too, but I had no idea there were different styles of paper planes.

    Thank you for helping to bring a spoonful of reading fun to the Poppins Book Nook this month!