WITH AIR POWER
TIME ALLOTMENT:One 1 hour lesson and 1 field trip
SUBJECT MATTER: Physical Science; Flight
From the National
Science Education Standards, Content Standards: K-4
PREP FOR TEACHER
Preview the video, know where your pause points are located. Know how to make the glider.
Copy the FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION page (Glider Worksheet) , the copy of the glider design, the distance investigation worksheet sand the 4 forces diagram.
Make an overhead of the vocabulary that you will use as you discuss the terms and one of a diagram of the 4 forces acting on a glider.
Step 1: To introduce the topic, read Jack Prelutsky’s poem, “ I am Flying!” Ask if they can predict what the lesson will be about. Discuss the answers. Ask, “Can you see the air or the wind? How do you know it’s there?” Discuss.
Ask how students think a bird flies and how the wings help. Students will write their ideas on the glider worksheet then they will discuss them. Explain the purpose for the lesson, “Today we are going to learn about gliders and flight mechanics. We’ll watch a Newton’s Apple show about gliders.”
Ask what they know about gliders or if anyone has had any experience with them? Gliders are the perfect tools to study flight mechanics because they have no engines.
Ask what characteristics they think might affect glider flight? Let them roll a piece of paper into a ball and Let it drop and watch how it falls. Smooth the paper out and watch how it falls.
Ask the following questions: Based on your observations: Why did the flat paper float? Does the weight of the paper have any effect on whether the paper falls or floats? How about surface area? Explain surface area. They will answer these questions on the glider worksheet. Explain that the greater the amount of air hitting the bottom of the paper, the more "lift" the air can give it. The wings of birds are similar to those of gliders. Not only do they have a large surface area, but they also have a special shape that helps keep them afloat.
Step 2: Tell your students that at the end of this lesson they will become design engineers for their own gliders. They will explore and perhaps adjust a few properties that must be considered to make the perfect glider.
Step 3: Preview the rest of the glider worksheet so the students will know what to look for as they watch the video.
The Secrets of Animal Flight, by Nic Bishop, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. 1997.
A site that
explores how different insects fly. http://hannover.park.org/Canada
This site has
many designs and instructions for paper planes with downloadable templates.
Inspiration – First Flight. A guide to the Wright Brothers’ first flight.
Step 1: Have the class preview the glider worksheet and explain that you will pause the video in several places in order for them to complete their worksheet. This sheet and your pauses will be their FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION. The video is 9 minutes long.
START the video at the beginning of Newton’s Apple Glider show #1506. PAUSE shortly after the introduction and the questions, “How can a glider fly?” and “What will it take to make the perfect glider? Discuss and predict the possibilities. PLAY until you see the winner of the kids’ contest. PAUSE Discuss the four forces and answer the worksheet questions together. PLAY until after the words “A glider uses only gravity and moving to power flight. PAUSE Define drag on the worksheet. Answer the next questions. PLAY until the discussion of the wing shape is complete. PAUSE Check for comprehension. Explain how the shape of the wing affects the force “lift”. (It has a flat bottom and a large curve on the front. As air moves over the top it picks up speed and makes a lower pressure behind. This change in air pressure makes lift.) PLAY until the two men climb into the glider. STOP
Review the two things that they have seen that affect a glider’s flight. (wing shape and glider weight) PLAY through the discussion about thermal updrafts. STOP Add the definition about thermal updrafts to the worksheet. Point out that you often see birds such as hawks, eagles and crows circling over a thermal updraft to gain altitude without using any energy.
Step 2: Complete the glider worksheet. Vocabulary definitions:
Step 3: Complete the 4 forces diagram.
POST VIEWING ACTIVITIES
Step 2: Assessment:
Show the students the scoring guide that they will use to assess their
performance. Students will evaluate their own glider by using the scoring
Step 3: Display the gliders.
Step 4: Arrange
a field trip to a wind tunnel. (check your local airport). Ask if the
students may fly their gliders in the tunnel. Have the students write
a summary of the events of the day.
Make different gliders, change variables in the same one or continue the investigation in other ways.
For additional lesson plans and ideas relating to this topic and many others try TeacherSource at PBS Online! You will find activities, lesson plans, teacher guides and links to other great educational web sites! Search the database by keyword, grade level or subject area! Mathline and Scienceline are also great resources for teachers seeking teaching tips, lesson plans, assessment methods, professional development, and much more!
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