How do birds fly? How can planes carry so much cargo and still fly? What are the principles of flight? With the Flight Family Unit Study, you will learn all of this and more through hands-on fun!
Below you can see the 10 topics from our Flight Family Unit Study and the hands-on activities we enjoyed for each topic.
Wondering what our unit studies are like? Download a sample right here:
This unit study, like all of our ever-growing library of unit studies, takes one big topic—Flight—and breaks it down into 10 manageable, bite-sized, learning topics. This format gives you the freedom to dive into learning at a pace that works for your family.
Perhaps you do one topic per day, perhaps one per week. Whatever suits your fancy! You can learn about rainforests and explore a topic from start to finish in about 1-2 hours each.
Dive in and watch the sparks of wonder ignite. Watch the child-led learning take off. Watch what happens when children are engaged in what they are learning!
Each of the 10 topics included with a unit study contains everything you need for that topic, including:
- a curated YouTube video,
- suggested information to read,
- a “what’s happening” section,
- an interesting fact,
- a discussion questions
- literacy and math extension questions,
- and an ultimate-can’t-be-beat hands-on activity!
Ready to grab your copy? Get the Flight Family Unit Study right here! Need a bit more information? Keep reading!
Learn About Flight with the Whole Family!
Here are some of the hands-on learning activities you and your little ones will enjoy as you learn about rainforests with the Family Unit Study:
Topic One: History of Airplanes
The Wright brothers made history by successfully building and flying the world’s first piloted engine-powered airplane. Let’s explore…
Hands-On Activity: To start this unit study, we will learn all about the Wright Brothers and the challenges that they persevered through before ultimately succeeding in flying a plane. We will then journal about a time we were met with a big challenge and persevered.
Topic Two: Aerodynamics
How can such huge vehicles, like airplanes, stay in the air? There are many forces and principles for us to consider–and that is exactly what we will be doing throughout this unit study! Let’s explore…
Hands-On Activity: For this hands-on activity, we will make the longest flier paper airplane! We’ll also get out the tape measure to mark distances and see just how far our plane can fly.
Topic Three: How Do Airplanes Turn?
An airplane cannot simply turn like a car. Turning the steering wheel on an airplane adjusts the rudder on the tail of the airplane, but this will just turn the position of the airplane as it continues to fly straight! So how does an airplane turn? Let’s explore…
Hands-On Activity: It’s time to make another paper airplane! This time, we’ll be making a loop-de-loop airplane, learning all about the forces that cause an airplane to turn and the ailerons can make a plane turn.
Topic Four: Carrying Heavy Loads
It is not enough for airplanes to simply be able to take off and fly using the four principles of flight. Other things need to be taken into account as well, like the weight a plane is carrying. For a plane to take off and land properly, it needs to be carrying the proper amount of weight. In fact, when a plane needs to make an unexpected stop, it often needs to release some of its fuel so it is not too heavy to land! Let’s explore…
Hands-On Activity: For this hands-on activity, we will be making a cargo-carrying paper airplane. How could you modify your paper airplane to hold more cargo? How does the balance of the cargo affect the plane’s ability to fly? So much learning to be had with this activity!
Topic Five: Principles of Flight: Lift
Lift is the force that holds an airplane in the air. Wings create most of the lift used by airplanes. Let’s explore…
Hands-On Activity: Let’s demonstrate how lift works with just a piece of paper and your breath!
Topic Six: Principles of Flight: Thrust
Thrust is the force that moves an aircraft in the direction it is to go. In airplanes, it is created with propellers and an engine. Let’s explore…
Hands-On Activity: We can see thrust in action by using a household fan. Grab those paper airplanes, and let’s experiment with thrust!
Topic Seven: Principles of Flight: Drag
Drag acts opposite the direction an airplane is going and slows it down. The more drag there is, the more thrust is required for flight. You may have noticed drag when you stick your hand out of a car window and feel it pull back. Let’s explore…
Hands-On Activity: We can see drag in action by creating a plastic bag kite. After you create your bag kite, head outside and run with it. As soon as the bag catches some air and fills, you will feel the effects of drag.
Topic Eight: Principles of Flight: Weight
Weight is the force caused by gravity. The more weight, the more lift required for flight. Let’s explore…
Hands-On Activity: We can demonstrate the impact of weight on flight by adapting our cargo-carrying paper airplane. For this activity, we will measure how far our paper airplane can fly, then add coins, one at a time, seeing how the number of coins affects the distance that our plane can fly.
Topic Nine: How Do Birds Fly?
The four principles of flight affect the flight of birds as well! Wings create lift, strong muscular bodies create thrust, an aerodynamic beak and streamlined body reduce drag, and lightweight bones limit weight. Let’s explore…
Hands-On Activity: For this activity, we will take everything we have learned about the four principles of flight and apply it to birds using the included printable.
Topic Ten: Why Do Birds Fly in a V?
Birds fly in a V for a few different reasons. First of all, it conserves their energy. The birds in the back benefit from reduced wind resistance (lowering the amount of drag acting on them). When the bird in the lead gets tired, he or she goes to the back and another bird has a turn leading the way. Let’s explore…
Hands-On Activity: With a simple experiment using just a fan and some paper, we will learn a bit about wind resistance and why a V shape helps birds to fly.
And there you have it! The 10 bite-sized learning topics that make up our great big Flight Unit Study! I hope you will pop on over to check it out and consider purchasing it for you and yours—and learn the answer to How Do Birds Fly? once and for all.
Grab your Complete Flight Unit Study for Kids right here:
Thank you so much for reading!
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