Students study examples of paper airplanes and then create their own paper airplane models.
define the word aeronautics
learn a few basic principals of aeronautics
study examples of model airplanes
create model or paper airplane designs
work together in cooperative groups.
aviation, airplane, aeronautics, model airplane, paper airplane, transportation, aerodynamics
teacher-selected library sources on aviation, aeronautics, and model airplanes or printouts from the sites listed in the lesson; construction paper or writing paper
Discuss the meaning of the word aeronautics. Discuss some general principals of aeronautics from teacher-selected library sources or from this NASA educator's guide.
Organize students into small groups. Tell students that each group will design and create a paper airplane.
Distribute printouts for making paper airplanes from teacher-selected resources or from one or more of these suggested sites:
Have each group study the examples from the printouts. Have students in each group work together to design and build a paper airplane.
Distribute printouts from Paper Airplane Safety and discuss the safety steps students should take when throwing paper airplanes. Have students review the tips before testing their airplanes. Let groups present their airplane models to the class. Extension: Let students decorate their model airplanes.
Variations for older students:
Idea 1: Have students research library or online sources on aviation, aeronautics, or model airplanes.
Idea 2: Have groups build their models after studying examples from print sources only.
Idea 3: Let students work individually to build paper airplanes.
Evaluate students' paper airplane designs.
Lesson Plan Source