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?