Highlights of our Flight Topic

Earlier in our topic this term, we spent some time learning about early attempts at flight. We looked briefly at kites, birds and watched some very funny video clips of people  attempting to copy these ideas.

We then moved on to look at the Mongolfier Brothers’ first manned balloon flight in 1783 and set off a sky lantern on the school playground.

Moving our attention to airships, we used the iPod touches to design our own flying machines in the Field of Dreams on the Bad Piggies app. The children took great delight in trying to fly their machines through the level, popping balloons and dropping sandbags from their creations to control the height of their creation.

We followed this up with a whole class session using 3 helium balloons attached to a box, which we filled with plastic coins until we managed to get the forces to balance and our balloons to hover around the room. Children took turns to blow the balloons to try to get them to different areas of the room. At the end of the lesson we took out a couple of pennies and left the balloons on the ceiling. The children made some predictions, based on previous experience, as to what would happen by morning. They were delighted to find to balloon box back on the floor in the morning. Great theories and discussions ensued!

Of course, as we turned our attention to gliders, we had to make and test paper aeroplanes, and this led naturally to learning all about the Wright Brothers and their first flights.

After a quick flick through pictures of how aeroplanes developed over the next 100 years and discussions about how the wars sparked this rapid development, we turned our attention to the early space explorations.

Obviously, the 1969 moon landing became our focus next and, inspired by this, some fantastic literature and our own building and launching of rockets on the school field, the children wrote entries into a Space Blog of their own adventures in Space.

The children and I have really enjoyed the topic and have pondered and explored some really good questions about our solar system and our galaxy.

We’re off to the playground now with our inflatable planets and the sun… I think the children will enjoy trying to recreate the movements of the planets and their moons around our sun. 🙂

What was your favourite part of our topic Year 2?

Blast Off: Year 2 Launch Their Rockets

It was with great excitement that Year 2 decorated their rockets this week. Monday afternoon, we took half of our rockets out to the field with our launching platform to see if we could make our rockets fly!
The children stood inside the tennis court area, while Mrs Brooke and I set up each rocket in turn and passed the ignition switch through the netting to the children. As you will see in the videos below, the children were extremely excited as the rockets launched. During the countdown, one child had to turn off the safety switch on the count of 4 and another child pushed the ignition switch as the children shouted ‘blast off!’ We only had one pair of children that were super keen, releasing their rocket on 8! Luckily Mrs Brooke and I were far enough away, but it did make us all jump.
We launched the rest of our rockets before lunch on Tuesday and we invited Year 1 to watch the final few launches (as they had heard the bangs and were very interested in what was going on).
As our flight topic has turned to space exploration, the children have been writing excerpts for their space blog. I thought I would include an example of the high quality of written work that the children have created as a result of their learning about launching rockets into space.