By: Mrs. Wallis
Second Grade Teacher
Curiosity, determination, courage, and perseverance are qualities I wish to instill in my second graders. I was thrilled to see these words used to describe the Wright Brothers on one of my second grader’s projects. When I first introduced this wonderful story of the invention of the airplane and the lives of two ordinary brothers to my students 11 years ago, it was the 100th anniversary of this invention. Each year the excitement and wonder of this science/reading unit has grown greater. The children read a biography of Orville and Wilbur as they learn about the science of flight. They chuckle at the antics of the young boys, as they make connections to themselves. Simple experiments with gravity, lift, and flying paper airplanes teach them the science of flight.
At Flightfest there is time to discover other inventions of the same time period, like the Oreo Cookie, Jell-O, paper clips, x-rays and more. We also use iPads to create a timeline of all of these inventions. Crafting a paper airplane and flying at a target is great fun as their distances and accuracies are charted. We also make an edible plane, as well as a wooden plane magnet.
Learning the facts is important; however, there is a much more relevant theme to this unit. I want my second graders to recognize the character of these brothers. I hope they will learn to take chances, be curious, determined, courageous, and to persevere through the challenging times in their lives. This is the true meaning of a “High Flyer.”