Theme: Our Sky
Let’s Go Fly a Kite
Objective: Children will investigate things that fly in the sky and explore how kites fly.‹ Return to Theme
What You Will Need
- Paper bags – 1 per child
- Paper strips or streamers – several per child
- Hole punch
- Glue – 1 bottle per table
- Lightweight string – two 3-foot lengths per child
- Watercolor paint/crayons/markers (to decorate the kites)
What To Do
- Discuss the things we see flying in the sky (see Guiding Student Inquiry and Did You Know?).
- Encourage the children to think about what is in the sky that allows things to fly (air and wind).
- Tell the children they are going to make kites and try to fly them.
- Distribute paper bags, paint, crayons, or markers, and have the children decorate their bags.
- Help the children to glue streamers on the end of the paper bag that is closed.
- Place a piece of tape on each corner of the open end of the bag, and punch a hole through the tape.
- Tie two pieces of string between the holes to create handles.
- Take the children outside to try flying their kites.
- Upon returning to the classroom, discuss trying to fly the kites (see Guiding Student Inquiry).
Guiding Student Inquiry
- Talk about some things that fly.
- Explain what things birds and insects have that help them to fly.
- Explain what things are on planes and jets that allow them to fly.
- Tell me what you think happened with the kites that would not fly.
- Tell me what you think it is about the other kites that allow them to fly.
- Describe the parts of kites that help them fly.
Explore, Extend & Integrate
- Make kites out of other materials with different designs. You could use fabric, an inexpensive plastic table cover, or a plastic bag. Experiment with different shapes, sizes, and materials to create kites, and compare which ones are the easiest to fly.
- Next time you are on the playground with the children, look for birds, planes, and helicopters. Talk about how they are similar and different in the ways that they fly.
- Turn your dramatic play area into an airport. Put travel brochures in the area. You could make a cockpit out of a cardboard box, with jar lids for dials and a larger lid for a steering wheel. Line up chairs in two rows of two chairs each. Provide shirts, ties, and hats for pilots and flight attendants. Have paper available to make tickets.
Check for Children’s Understanding
- Did each child make a kite?
- Was each child able to attempt flying their kite?
- Could children explain what parts of the kite help it to fly?
Did You Know?
Birds, insects, airplanes, jets, helicopters, and kites are some of the things that we can see flying in the sky. Birds and insects are naturally designed for flight, but airplanes, jets, and helicopters need special equipment in order to fly. Airplanes and jets fly by moving through the air. Wings on airplanes and jets create lift that overcomes gravity and helps them fly. The wings are curved on the top and flat on the bottom. This special shape allows the air to flow faster over the top of the wing than the bottom. The difference in the airflow creates pressure that lifts the plane up into the air. The engine on a plane moves it faster on the ground and gives it more momentum to lift off the ground, but planes also have engines that push them into the air and keep them moving. Kites fly because they are lightweight and are held at an angle to the wind.
Kites need to be lightweight in order to fly. If the kite is too heavy, it would fall to the ground. It is important for the kite to hold its shape so the wind will not blow through it. When the wind meets a kite, the wind has nowhere to go but downward. This causes the kite to get pushed upward. Holding on to the string of the kite is important; it anchors the kite so it does not blow away. The string is also important for getting the kite to lift into the air. If there is not much wind, pulling the kite with the string against still air has the same effect as the wind. The air gets pushed down, and the kite goes up, up, and away!
- sky – the air or space above the Earth.
- fly – to move through the air.
- wind – the air as it moves over the surface of the Earth.
- lift – to move something upward; raise.
- upward – to move toward a higher position or place.
- downward – to move toward a lower position or place.
- Try placing tape on both sides of the bag corners to reinforce the paper bag before using the hole punch.
- Make the handles on the kites long enough for the kites to catch some air; the wind will then pull the kite into the oncoming breeze. Yarn or string is safer to use than traditional kite string.
- Spot’s Windy Day and Other Stories by Eric Hill
- The Kite Festival by Leyla Torres
- Kite Flying by Grace Lin
- Flying by Donald Crews
- Amazing Airplanes by Tony Mitton
Common Core State
These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.
Important Legal Disclosures & Information
While we believe that the books and resources recommended may be of value to you, keep in mind that these are suggestions only and you must do your own due diligence to determine whether the materials are appropriate and suitable for your use. PNC has no sponsorship or endorsement agreement with the authors or publishers of the materials listed.
There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.