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Portia Conaway Farren Fine Arts School
5055 S. State St
Chicago IL 60609
This mini-tech is designed for the primary grades but can be modified for
middle school grade levels. The main objective for this mini-teach is for
students to understand that objects are launched in different ways and fly
through the air in different ways. Additionally, students are to understand how
to adjust paper airplanes and helicopters to fly better.
The following list is every item you will needed to complete this lesson in
1. plastic helicopter dart available at American Science and Surplus $5
2. white piece of paper for each student
4. stomp rocket available at American Science and Surplus $25
5. 10 paper plates
Intro: 10-15 min.
Demonstrate the helicopter dart and ask students to watch how it takes off
and how it flies in the air. Then allow students the opportunity to play with
the dart. Next, have a class discussion asking the students how it was launched and
how it flew in the air.
Journal Writing: 10-15 min
Have each student write in their journal how they think the plastic
helicopter dart was launched and how it flew.
Group Activities: 10-15 min
Divide the students into four groups. Group 1 will put together a kite and
practice flying it outside. Each person in Group 2 to will make flying disk.
Students take two paper plates and cut a small hole in the center of them.
Next, face the tops of the paper plates together and staple together around the
edges. Group 3 will make paper helicopter. Students will cut a 2 inch wide
strip of paper 12 inches long and tear it in the middle at the top of the strip
as far down as they would like without tearing the paper strip in half. Next,
students will fold the bottom of the paper strip to add weight. Students then
fold the torn part of the helicopter down in opposite directions. Group 4 will
make paper airplanes in any design of their choice.
Group Discussion: 15-20 min
Have one or two students from each group demonstrate how their flying
object works. Ask presenters of the flying objects to verbally state how they
were able to get the object to fly and how it reacted in the air.
Measuring flight: 15-20 min
Have one student fly their object and then measure the distance in no
standard unit of measure (foot to foot). Then have 3 to 4 students fly their
object from the same place and compare and contrast the distance the objects
flew. Ask questions like, "Who's flew the furthest and who's flew the
Following the above have each student make the paper helicopters and
measure the time it takes to fly a distance of your choice by clap timing. The
class will clap the same beat and count the number of claps it take the paper
helicopters to hit the ground when launched from a specific spot.
Show the students a stomp rocket and ask how they think it will be launched
and how it will fly through the air. Next, demonstrate how the rocket works and
then allow the students time to play with it.
Have the students bring in an object from home that flies or a picture of
of something that flies and explain to the class how it is launched and how it