Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
An Uplifting Experience
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

Procedures for Teachers is divided into four sections:
Prep -- Preparing for the lesson
Steps -- Conducting the lesson
Extensions -- Additional activities
Tips -- Managing resources and student activities


  • A copy of the Internet Research Worksheet
  • Two identical sheets of paper
  • A copy of the airfoil (wing) diagram
  • A hair dryer and a Ping-Pong ball
  • A flexible straw and a Styrofoam ball
  • A copy of the paper airplane design
  • Paper clips and tape

Computer Resources:

You will need at least one computer with Internet access to complete this lesson. While many configurations will work, we recommend:

  • Modem: 28.8 Kbps or faster.
    • Browser: Netscape Navigator 3.0 or above or Internet Explorer 3.0 or above.
    • Macintosh computer: System 7.0 or above and at least 16 MBs of RAM.
    • IBM-compatible computer: 386 or higher processor with at least 16 MBs of RAM, running Windows 3.1. Or, a 486/66 or Pentium with at least 16 MBs of RAM, running Windows 95 or higher.

    For more information, visit What You Need to Get Connected in wNetSchool's Internet Primer.


  • Any word processing program (i.e., MS Word, Corel WordPerfect, AppleWorks)
  • MS PowerPoint or HyperStudio for students to add multimedia presentations to their final projects. For more information on how to use these programs, see wNetSchool's HyperStudio and PowerPoint Tutorials.


    Before you begin, bookmark the following sites:

  • Aviation and Flying

    Various links that show you how to build paper airplanes, an aero design team (building the planes of the future)and even answers the question of how planes actually fly.

  • Learn2 Make Paper Airplanes

    A site showing how to make two paper airplanes.

  • Artie the Airplane Coloring Book

    A site with printable color pictures of different characters from the Artie the Airplane book series.

  • What's in a Wing?

    Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport's Kid's Section. Learn how to make cool paper airplanes, read about a kid's first flight, pack an interactive suitcase, check out neat science experiments, and more.

  • Boeing Kids Page

    Cool activities such as mazes, word games, cutouts, and more from Boeing.

  • What Makes an Airplane Fly?

    A site describing the forces of flight.

  • K-8 Aeronautics Internet Textbook

    Learn about how things fly, myths about flying, and the history of flight, as well as how aeronautics relates to sports and more!

  • Off to a Flying Start

    View an aviation time line, learn about air, airports, and the parts of a plane, and learn exactly how planes fly.

  • Science Fun with Airplanes

    Learn about the principles of flight and how pilots control airplanes with this Ohio State University program. You can even build your own experimental glider!


    Time Allotment:

    A minimum of two class periods of approximately 50 minutes each for the Internet search. A minimum of one class period of approximately 50 minutes for each of the experimental activities.

  • The worksheet in Organizers for Students is an introduction to this lesson on the forces affecting the flight of an airplane. Give a copy to each student and have them use the bookmarks provided on the worksheet to complete their Web search.

  • After students have had a chance to complete the Web search and have learned more about the forces affecting the flight of an airplane, they can do several experiments on the force of "lift."

    For the first experiment, take two sheets of paper of the same size. Crumple up one sheet and leave the other flat. Predict which one will reach the ground first. Drop them from the same height at the same time and watch them fall to the ground. The flat sheet will fall more slowly because it has more surface area and therefore more air resistance. Objects that have more surface area generate more lift. But there are other factors that also affect lift.

    The second experiment uses the airfoil to illustrate the Bernoulli Principle. Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782), a Swiss mathematician, found that fast-moving air causes less pressure than slow-moving air. Notice on the airplane wing that air flowing over the upper surface of the wing must travel farther than the air along the bottom of the wing in the same amount of time. This difference in speed creates a region of low pressure above the wing and a region of high pressure below the wing. Since there is more pressure on the underside of the wing, the plane is lifted into the region of low pressure. Take a hair dryer and turn it on high speed. Point the hair dryer straight up and place a Ping-Pong ball in the airstream from the dryer. The ball will appear to float there. This is a result of the Bernoulli Principle. The airstream flows faster around the curved sides of the ball. The air pressure here is lowered, and the higher air pressure outside the airstream pushes the ball into the middle of the airstream. The push of the air against the ball (lift) and the weight of the ball (gravity) combine to make it hover in midair.

    What happens to the ball if you tilt the hair dryer no more than 45 degrees? Why?
    (The ball will stay in the stream until at 45 degrees the force of gravity overcomes lift and causes the ball to fall)

    For the third experiment give the students a flexible straw and a small Styrofoam ball. See if the students can replicate the experiment done with the hair dryer. The principles that apply are the same.

  • Obtain a copy of the paper airplane design. Create a paper airplane according to these directions. Fold one way along the black lines and the other way along the gray lines. The black lines should be on the outside of the folds and the gray lines should be on the inside of the folds. Make the folds in order from 1 to 4. Keep your creases crisp. Bend up the two triangular wings so that they are horizontal and the model looks like an airplane. Send your airplane on a test flight. A small piece of tape on the top of the paper airplane will hold the wings together and make it fly better. Try paper clips at various points on the airplane and see how this affects its flight. Challenge each other on how far your airplanes will fly or how fast they will fly.


    Physical Education
    Students could try to fly their paper airplanes through hoops that someone holds up or that are suspended somewhere. These hoops could be made from coat hangers. Another contest might be to try to make a basket like in basketball, using the hair dryer and Ping-Pong ball. Tilt the dryer and try to make a basket.

    Students could go to the Web site Airport to research the history of flight and write a report.

    Students could go to the Web site Artie the Airplane Coloring Book to print and color pictures.

    Language Arts
    Students could go the Web site Boeing Kids Page to play word games and other activities.

    Students could go to the following Web sites for experimentation with other paper airplane designs. Airport, Learn2 Make Paper Airplanes, and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport's Kid's Section


    Students often work most effectively in small groups to develop projects. Encourage them to share what they are learning with each other, as often explaining things to another person helps clarify one's own understanding of a concept.

    Give students time to discuss what they are learning. The lesson activities will be most beneficial when the students have some background exposure to the topics.

    Encourage students to support their views with evidence from the sources they are researching.

    The use of different symbolic representations such as art and music is extremely helpful in integrating knowledge. Encourage students to think across disciplines.

    One Computer in the Classroom
    If you have access to one computer in your classroom, you can organize your class in several ways. Divide your class into two groups. Instruct one group to do paper research while the second group is working on the computer. Bring in books, encyclopedias, and other materials from the library for the group doing paper research. Lead the group working at the computer through an Internet search or allow the students in the class to take turns. (Always have a set of bookmarks ready for the students before they start working on the computer, in order to show them examples of what to look for.) When the groups have finished working, have them switch places.

    If you have a big monitor or projection facilities, you can do Internet research together as a class. Make sure that every student in your class can see the screen, go to the relevant Web site(s), and review the information presented there. You can also select a search engine page and allow your students to suggest the search criteria. Again, bookmark and/or print the pages that you think are helpful for reference later.

    Several Computers in the Classroom
    Divide your class into small groups. They can do Internet research using pages you have bookmarked. Group members should take turns navigating the bookmarked sites.

    You can also arrange the computers so that each is dedicated to certain sites. Students will then move around the classroom, getting different information from each station.

    Using a Computer Lab
    A computer center or lab space, with a computer-to-student ratio of one to three, is ideal for doing Web-based projects. Generally, when doing Web-based research, it is helpful to put students in groups of three so they can help each other if problems or questions arise. It is often beneficial to bookmark sites for students ahead of time.

    Submit a Comment: We invite your comments and suggestions based on how you used the lesson in your classroom.

    Overview | Procedures for Teachers | Organizers for Students