22" x 14" or 22" x 28" white poster board paper * Crayons and/or markers * Duct tape
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Begin folding the paper
1. Hot dog bun: fold paper lengthwise
2. House: fold 2 corners to the center line
3. Rocket: fold both sides to the center line
4. Unicorn: fold both wing sides together
5. Jet: fold wings down from tip to tail so the edge of the wing lines up with the bottom edge
6. Wrap duct tape on the tip to add weight and protect during crash landings.
7. Begin decorating your plane.
8. Put your name on it
9. Use crayons and markers to make it look as cool as you want it to be. Go outside and fly!
HOW TO PRESENT IT TO YOUR GROUP:
1. Folding large sheets of rigid paper can be challenging for small hands. I will often make the first fold (hot dog bun) on each sheet before we begin. This way the paper does not crowd the tables and desks and it insures a straight fold in the beginning that makes the entire process smoother. You will need to help those with smaller hands on every fold.
2. Once the paper is folded, I urge the children to decorate the plane in any way they like. I remind them that many commercial airlines decorate the outside of their planes completely. Some students make military insignia while others draw windows with people looking out. Some of my favorite designs are just abstract and beautiful patterns and colors. The only requirement is that they put their name on their plane somewhere.
3. As the students are decorating their plane, I will come around and wrap the tip in duct tape. This gives it extra weight for longer flights and protects the tip during landings. I use about 6 inches of duct tape to double wrap the first 3" of the tip.
4. Safety: Before we begin flying I explain that they are the pilots responsible for where the plane goes. The plane can hurt someone if it hits them in the wrong place. It is the duty of the pilot to make sure that nobody is in the flight path of the plane. No flying your plane at other people!
5. Aerodynamics: Demonstrate to the students that the direction their plane will fly is determined by the angle of the plane at launch. If the tip of the plane is angled way up, it will go straight up and then fall. If it is angled down, it will simply go into the ground. If the plane is kept straight, it will fly straight. It is also worth talking about which direction the wind is coming from and urge them to experiment to see what happens when they fly into the wind, with the wind and sideways to the wind.
6. Go outside and have fun!
7. We will often set-up flying games where students attempt to fly their planes through hoops or the openings in our desk chairs.
The folding and creating of a flying paper jet is a bit of creative engineering, as is the addition of duct tape for durability and enhanced flight. Decorating the plane with crayons, markers, stickers, ribbon and anything else makes a wonderful art project. The actual flying of the planes gets the children thinking about the physics of flight; direction, angle, wind, thrust, etc. This project incorporates science, art and engineering and culminates in a fun outdoor activity and a cool project to take home.
Use 8.5" × 11" letter size card stock to make the gliders. The smaller plane is easier for preschoolers to color and to fly. Make the first fold (hot dog bun) yourself so that everything starts out straight. Most of the children will need help with folds and will have a sense of humor about the fold names.
Once the planes are made, decorated and taped it is time to have outside flying time. Many of the children will have never flown a paper airplane so take time to demonstrate and provide plenty of flight training.
Thrust, angle, wind direction, trajectory