Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mail from...North Carolina (Part 2: Flying Machines)

See that cardinal in there?
 Apparently 7 states claim the cardinal as their state bird.
Did you know only the males are bright red?
We haven't received a postcard from the official postcard swap participant living in North Carolina, so it was perfect timing for Beck's friend to mail us this one as soon as he arrived there.  We used it to spend two days studying Orville and Wilbur Wright and their flying machines.

There are a couple things I had no idea about when I started preparing for this lesson.  First, the Wright brothers did not live in North Carolina.  They grew up and lived in Ohio.  They had their bicycle shop there and that's where they created their flying machines.  So how did they end up on the beaches of Kitty Hawk?  Three reasons:  
  1. They needed wind and Kitty Hawk was the sixth windiest place they could find
  2. They wanted to be away from the public until they knew what they were doing
  3. The sand made for a little bit softer way to land
It makes me wonder if Ohioans hold a grudge about all the recognition North Carolina gets when 5+ years of the work was done up north and 12 seconds of flying happened when they travelled down south.

Picture of Wright Glider
Wright Glider  Source
Notice above that I said "flying machines"? That's the other thing I didn't know.  There wasn't just one airplane that miraculously took flight.  Coming up with one rendition a year for 5 years, the brothers tested different body styles, power options, and turning mechanisms.  The first machine was merely a kite that they controlled from ropes on the ground. 

There is an undending amount of information online to put together a lesson on the Wright Brothers, the history of flight, and the evolution of aviation.  These are the resources I drew from to intrigue my kindergartner and keep it interesting.  Click the images to be taken directly to the credited website.

The 1899 Kite
U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission Sights and Sounds
8 short videos explaining each year/machine and the progress that was made
Downloadable Power Point directed towards 1st graders.  Great!!
The Wright Brothers Poster
My favorite!
Link is to a PDF of worksheets that accompanied the video series.
We chose out 6 that were on Beck's level, could easily be used for a range of grade levels.
The end of the Power Point listed above leads your child to create their own flying machine.  Here's a look at the new way Beck has for Santa to deliver his toys...


New to Eating the Nibbly Bibs? 
 Check out the story behind "Mail from..." here

A few other links I liked but didn't use in my lesson:


  1. Thanks for sharing the power point and links. I hopped over from TGIF.

  2. This is great. Please consider adding to the Look! What We Did website, a resource for home schooling families.

  3. Very cool! I'm only a transplanted Ohioan. But, we are called "Birthplace of flight", so Ohio does actually make some claim to it! And our state bird is the Cardinal here.

  4. They definitely should claim it! I just NEVER remember hearing anything about Ohio growing up and learning about the whole ordeal. Maybe a little extra educational marketing is in order...


It's so nice to hear your ideas! Thanks for taking the time to share.


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