We have been taking it easy during the summer and not really doing much in the way of formal learning. We have all needed a break and the way that holidays and other things fell, we have been picking up things here and there as we find ourselves with an ‘at home day’.
I have wanted to do a flight unit for a little while with the children, and, rather fortuitously a number of things aligned during August which meant we could finally get round to this fascinating subject.
I wanted this to be a hands on unit of study so I had a look at a number of different things we might be able to use, and found a good, well priced unit study online that included a range of hands on activities that we could work through. I also earmarked a visit to a museum and some other bits and pieces.
I wanted this study to be a good mix of reading and talking as well as hands-on practical work.
Resources I used
We used two main resources for this project. The first was the month’s Post from the Past letter which was all about the Wright Brothers and the second was an aviation unit from Wild Feather Education. Both of these resources were superb in setting the scene for the study.
We really enjoy the Post from the Past Letters and this Wright Brothers one was my absolute favourite to date. It was like reading a letter from Orville Wright himself and the children got a great sense of how momentous things were and how they set upon their path to flight. We watched some YouTube videos that talked about the brothers as well as another that talked about that incredible photograph that capture that first moment of flight. The children completed a short factfile and wordsearch before we started to look at flight and aviation itself.
Using the Wild Feather Education unit we worked through the different sections looking at forces and experimenting with them. We had a lot of fun with this section! The children made different types of paper airplanes and we watched some more YouTube videos to help to understand the different parts of the planes as well as how they move in the air. They had a lot of fun with this section and we talked about how the Wright Brothers might have felt as they built and tested their planes – would it have been the same fun or perhaps tinged with some nervousness too?
Days Out / Field Visits
We had some time away during August and were close enough to visit the National Flight Museum in Scotland. This was a superb day out and we even got to see a replica model of the Wright Flyer. We were able to board Concorde as well as see lots of different types of planes. There is an excellent hands-on area where you can feel the effects of different wing shapes, have a go on some flight simulators, and launch your own paper planes. It was a truly superb day out.
At home, we are on the flight path for Manchester Airport so we often spot the planes overhead but I intend to visit the runway visitor park with the children soon as well as heading to Barton AirField with them again to get a closer look at the smaller planes.
This was such a fun study to do and we are going to continue the theme by learning a little more about Amelia Earhart.