If you’re thinking about doing a unit of work on ‘Flight’ and ‘Energy’, I have the perfect accompaniment for your unit.
I used the ‘Flight’ booklet (linked below) as a culminating activity for an integrated program on Flight and Energy. The program was integrated with English focusing on constructing flowcharts to identify the important elements involved in a procedure. Finally, students were involved in writing procedures.
Some of the key ideas and objectives I wished to achieve included students being able to:
- Discuss and write about the concept of energy and the different forms of energy;
- Explain energy transfer: potential energy to kinetic energy;
- Orally explain something they have made;
- Construct flowcharts to identify the important elements in a procedure; and
- Write a procedure to explain how they made a toy.
We completed a number of activities in the program including:
1. People bingo
This was used to gather information about students’ prior knowledge of the topic flight and energy. Students used the bingo card to approach other students to find out information about them. If that student knew the answer to one of the questions, they signed their name in the box. The activity stopped when a student yelled “bingo” when all boxes were signed. Time was given afterwards for students to share what they found with the remainder of the class. I used these discussions to elaborate on some of the ideas in the bingo card. Click the link to download the bingo card: flight and energy people bingo.
2. Rocket writing
I used rocket writing following on from the above activity. Students were given 3 minutes to write all they knew on flight and energy. At the conclusion of the 3 minutes I allowed time for students to read over their work and edit. Students were then placed in small groups to share the writing. Again, this activity was used to gather information about students’ knowledge of the topic flight and energy.
This activity involved students making some paper helicopters from different materials to determine the various rates of descent. Students worked in pairs to make helicopters from the different materials. They dropped their helicopters from a height and timed the rate of descent. Students recorded their observations between each helicopter. In pairs students completed a flowchart for the experiment. As a whole class (with the aid of the flowcharts) we wrote a procedure for the task.
4. Procedure reconstruction
Students worked in groups of 3 to piece back together different procedures. Some parts of the procedure were missing (such as the headings: aim, materials, steps, results, evaluation). Students were required to glue the parts in the correct order to a large sheet of paper and include any missing parts. Students presented their procedure to the remainder of the class.
5. Pass the ball
I used this as a closure to the lessons to have students think on their feet about something they had learned. Students stand in a circle for this activity. Using a ball I said the name of a student and then threw the ball to them. That student was required to tell us something they had learned from the lesson. When they were finished, they did the same and passed to another student.
Students were provided with a scenario for the culminating activity:
You work for a toy company and have been informed that the company would like a new toy that flies. You need to use the technology process (investigating, devising, producing, evaluating) to design your toy and then test your toy (according to your goals), finally completing a procedure for the making of your toy.
The flying toy activity involved the following:
Investigate: Use resources to research information about different flying machines. What do you want your toy to do? Who is your toy for? What age group? Boys or girls?
Devise: Design a flying toy that meets the needs of your target audience. What will your toy look like? What will it do? What materials will you need to make your toy? How will you make it?
Produce: Use your plan and materials to produce a flying toy. Did you select appropriate materials? Did you need to adjust your design at all?
Evaluate: Test your flying toy to see if it matches your original intentions. How successful was your flying toy? If you made alterations during production did it make a difference? Were you happy with your design? What would you do differently next time? What were some of the things you accomplished or were happy with?
Present: Select either a flowchart or procedure to explain how to make your flying toy.
To download the Flying Toy Booklet, click the link below. This will open as a PDF.
I hope you enjoy my suggestions for teaching flight and energy in your class.