Next, I set up an area where they could investigate try to find out some of these answers themselves.
When they first started, they had trouble drawing the diamonds and triangles, but as time went on, his skill, which is in our common core standards, started greatly improving!
They also noticed that kites do not have to be flat! They can also be 3 dimentional. This started our conversation on the difference between 2-D and 3 D shapes, also which is in our standards.
They started noticing that kites had sticks to keep them sturdy and that the string was connected in the middle rather than the bottom. After a thorough investigation at our kite station and through reading books and watching videos about kites, we were ready to try kite making again!
Our challenge: How can we make a kite that will catch the wind and fly without us running?
I set up a station with materials. Another teacher , Mrs. Vogal, was in our room when we were having a class discussion about materials we needed and brought us a bunch of her dead lilly stems! They were perfect because they were light weight and easy to cut to size!
Before we could create our kites, we needed to come up with a plan. We worked together to come up with a plan for a collaborative kite and I modeled how to draw and write a plan. The kids then got some planning paper and got to work!
After getting their plans approved, the kite making began!
We tried them out...
But they didn't work as well as we hoped! I was actually very glad about this because I was hoping to help them with a very important life skill that they will need to be successful in everything they do for the rest of their lives! We brought our kites back in and I read them this story.
We learned from this book the life skill of perseverance! We learned that the only way for us to fail is if we quit! If we make something, or try something and it doesn't work, we only fail if we quit. We learned that if something we make or try doesn't work, it is an opportunity! Instead of quitting and failing, it gives us a chance to become problem solvers and learn! I will often (very often) run into provblems as I am teaching them. I sometimes cross my arms, stomp my feet and tell them I'm going to throw a fit or sit and pretend to cry. They laugh and tell me no! I need to be a problem solver! We have learned quickly that throwing fits, crying, and quitting never, ever, ever solves our problems! I have noticed they actually really like being challenged to solve problems! It also teaches us that the more we try, the better we get!
So we tried again! Can you see a difference? Some started all over, some took the same kite they made previously and made improvements to it.
They did a much better job this time and were much more successful! The goal was to get it to catch the wind without us running.
Check out these two videos showing a first try and a second try! What a difference! In the 2nd video you can see that this friend was even able to get his kite to do stunts like my delta kite! Unfortunately, I turned my camera off right as it started doing tricks! You can see it starting to do loops at the end!
We also made a kite as a collaborative class project. Look at how seriously they take this project! They are really taking pride in their work!
It also had a successful flight! It didn't go high, but it met our goal of catching the wind and floating without us running! This was such a fun little inquiry about something so simple! Usually my projects are so large scale (simple machines, sound exploration area, musical instruments). It was wonderful to see how so much learning could take place with something as simple as wondering how to make a kite that will fly!
Here are some photos of other things going on around our room the past couple weeks!
Getting to know a special friend every day!
Self portraits using many art mediums.
Friends were helping each other mix the perfect shades for heir skin.
Exploring our names and our friends names.