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Here students “Go Fly A Kite,” and learn about drag, thrust, lift, and gravity

Subject:

Science  

Grades:

K, 1, 2  

Title – Let’s Go Fly a Kite
By – Meryl Wolf
Primary Subject – Science
Grade Level – K-2

CONCEPT TO BE TAUGHT: There are four forces that affect flight: drag, thrust, lift, gravity. Objects only fly when the upward force of air (lift) is greater than the downward force (gravity). Moving air is called wind.

MATERIALS NEEDED:

      1. a variety of types of paper to make kites – newspaper, bulletin board paper, tissue paper

      2. crepe paper for kite tails

      3. string to attach to the kite (to hold it)

      4. paper clip (used to attach the holding string to the string on the kite body itself

    5. hole puncher

Questions to be Discussed in Class:

      1. What is needed for the kite fly well? (Wind)

      2. What other forces affect its flight? (Gravity pulls it down; drag pulls it back; thrust makes it go forward; and lift keeps it in the air.)

      3. What are the advantages/disadvantages of the different types of paper? (heavier paper may weigh it down, but it may not rip as easily)

      4. What are the advantages/disadvantages of a tail? (makes it weigh more but keeps it on a straighter path)

      5. What affect does running faster have? (increases the thrust)

      6. Watch your kite and other kites. Do you think that there was one type of paper that flew better? Worse?

      7. Did having a tail make the kite fly better? Worse?

    8. What, if anything, would you change about your kite if you could make it again?

Student Tasks: Students will use a sled pattern to trace a kite body on the paper they have chosen. Then they will cut out the kite. An adult will help them attach a 45 cm string to the kite for the bridle through holes made on the two sides with the hole puncher and then a clip will be placed on this string. A 1 meter long string will be attached to the clip. This is what the student will hold when he/she flies the kite. Student will also choose whether or not to have a tail. They may use one or two strips of crepe paper for the tail and may make the pieces any length they would like. Weather permitting, students will fly the kite that day; if the weather is not good, a different day will be scheduled. All students will complete a Kite Flying Journal analyzing what they did. (What the kite is made of, if it had a tail, how he/she might change it after having flown it, and make a picture of the new kite they would make)

Conclusions: Objects only fly when the upward force (lift) is greater than the downward force (gravity). Wind is a force that keeps things in the air. Thrust and drag also affect flight.

Enrichment: Fly the kite another day and compare the results. Make the changes you suggested in your kite journal. Listen to and learn the song ” Let’s go fly a kite .” Discuss how different types of weather would affect kite flying: hot, rainy, snowy. Do a logic activity about kites.

State and/or National Science Standards this experiment fulfilled.

      NJ 5.1A STANDARD 5.1 (SCIENTIFIC PROCESSES) ALL STUDENTS WILL DEVELOP PROBLEM-SOLVING, DECISION-MAKING AND INQUIRY SKILLS CONDUCTING SYSTEMATIC OBSERVATIONS, INTERPRETING AND ANALYZING DATA, DRAWING CONCLUSIONS, AND COMMUNICATING

        A. Habits of Mind Raise questions about the world around them and be willing to seek answers through making careful observations and experimentation.

      NJ 5.7A STANDARD 5.7 (PHYSICS) ALL STUDENTS WILL GAIN AN UNDERSTANDING OF NATURAL LAWS AS THEY APPLY TO MOTION, FORCES, AND ENERGY TRANSFORMATIONS.

        A. Motion and Forces

          1. Distinguish among the different ways objects can move such as:          fast and slow, in a straight path. Recognize that changes in the speed or direction of a moving object are caused by force and that the greater the force, the greater the change in motion will be.

          2. Show that the position and motion of an object can be changed by pushing or pulling the object. Recognize that some forces like gravity can act at a distance.

    NJ 5.8B STANDARD 5.8 (EARTH SCIENCE) ALL STUDENTS WILL GAIN AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE STRUCTURE, DYNAMICS, AND GEOPHYSICAL SYSTEMS OF THE EARTH

      B. Atmosphere and Water

        1. Recognize that air is a substance that surrounds us, takes up space, and moves around us as wind.

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