Objectives

  • To provide the students the opportunity to observe the effects of air.
  • To demonstrate that objects fly only when the upward force of air (lift) is greater than the downward force (gravity).
  • The students will construct a simple kite.
  • To enhance group discussion skills.

Materials

  • Paper bag
  • Tissue paper or crepe paper streamers
  • String
  • Glue

Background Information

Explain to the students that the Chinese invented the kite over 2000 years ago. Some people think the first kites were huge, man-carrying kites that lifted people high enough to see what their enemies were doing. Ask the students a question similar to the one following and wait for responses.

Question: "Why do you think people have been interested in flying kites for at least 2000 years?"

Possible answers:

  • "People wish they could fly kites."
  • "People were interested in how things fly."
  • "Flying kites is fun."
  • "Kites teach you how things fly."

Procedure

Decorate a paper bag.

  • Glue four tissue or crape paper streamers (one on each bottom corner) to the bag.
  • Punch holes in both sides near the open end of the bag.
  • Attach a piece of string to form a loop .
  • Attach a long piece of string to the loop, this will become the flying line.
  • Take students to an outdoor play area and allow the students to fly their pre-kite.
  • Allow the students to observe the pre-kite fill with air and float as they hold the string and run.
  • Allow ample time for student experimentation.

Extension

Ask the students questions similar to the following:

  • Why do you think some kites fly better than others?
  • Why do you think kites fly better on some days than on other days?

Have students construct and fly pre-kites made out of different size and weights of paper bags. Compare and explain the differences.