Sunday, September 30, 2012

Art Activities: Paper Airplanes

The Open Studio held in my artroom before school has a smaller crowd these days - weather is getting nicer so more students head straight for the playground nowadays. (The true measure of Fall in Phoenix is driving to work without the AC on.) That's okay - gives the rest of us a quiet space to do artmaking and gets our creative juices flowing.

A small group of boys that visit most days are enthralled with paper airplanes.

Last year, I used a rather grown-up paper airplane book that had fancy decorated papers included. Unfortunately, it was written on an adult level and the designs required more dexterity than little hands could manage. So I ended up making the planes during Open Studio & they ended up flying them. Not exactly what I had in mind...

This year, I started looking for more kid-friendly designs. Books are great but I knew I'd have several wanting to do the work at the same time so I turned to Pinterest for websites or blogs that could help me out. Bingo!

This site
has well-written directions (functional/instructional text) and easy to follow diagrams showing the step-by-step process. My third graders occasionally stumble over a word (orient - to align or position) but for the most part are able to work completely independently.

They have mastered all the basic designs and are moving on to intermediate constructions. I make copies of the printed instructions which go in a binder on the activity counter. Basic plane directions are printed on white paper and placed in a page protector. Intermediate and advanced plans are printed on colored paper to distinguish the different levels. Copies of the airplane templates are kept in folders on my desk. I provide one at a time so there's very little waste.

I was thinking this would be a great whole class project for a sub but for now we'll develop our skills in small groups...

1 comment:

  1. Great idea - You can bring in all sort of other learning with paper planes - measurement (how far they fly), graphing (track and compare to find most efficient design) etc etc. And the kids LOVE it!


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