September 12, 2007

Flight and Airplane Unit Fun

I got up early this morning (before 7am) and baked some cinnamon streusel muffins by Homestead Gristmill for breakfast today. They were pretty good for a whole-grain muffin mix. The kids are downstairs singing "Old McDonald" while they wash their breakfast plates and pick up the kitchen. We are about to embark on our last three days of Flight and Airplanes today... and this weekend I have a women's retreat to attend while the kids head out of town with Daddy to go see his parents.

While we get our school day started and enjoy this lovely fall-ish day (the temp was really cool this morning and it made me want to go for a walk!)... I thought I would share with you a few of my links, ideas, plans, and artwork for the flight unit. Of course, if you are just tuning in, the "unit" I'm talking about is a unit study by KONOS curriculum (a character-based curriculum with a Christian viewpoint). You can read more about all of our homeschooling plans, adventures and what-not at my Homeschool Series Link. You can also search this blog in the very top left corner by key-word if you don't find what you need there.


List of Flight Museums by State/Province (includes Canada and USA)
Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, TX
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (Not in Austin? Look up the one near you!)
NASA Explanation of Banking Turns
NASA Explanation of Airplane Pitch
How do toilets work on a plane?
Nasa Flight Trivia Facts
Refueling in the air
Aviation Unit Study by Sandy Colquhoun
Airplane Parts defined
Airplane parts quiz

I'll be adding to this list for the rest of the week if I find anything else of interest. PLEASE do leave me a comment if you have a great airplane, air, or flight link!


Of course, no unit is complete without a field trip. I am a big field-trip fanatic (hence my Field Trip Foto Friday review series here on my blog). I am working on getting a post together with all my FTFF links to make it easier for you to browse them. Until then, join me on Friday (or Saturday if I'm late) for a review of all the fantastic places we have visited.
Here are the ideas we had for this unit... but we will only actually do one of them before the unit is over. I had to make a call on this one - even though they all sounded great. Sometimes money, time, or availability prevents us from taking all the great field trips we would like. This unit was no exception to the rule.

1. Fly in a hot air balloon (can't afford this right now)
2. Go see Nasa's Ballunar Liftoff in Nassau Bay (not until November 2 - 4, 2007)
3. Go to an air show (usually these are free, you can find out more by researching the internet about the air shows in your state)
4. Go to a flight museum (see the links above for a list of them in USA and Canada)
5. Go to an airport (unfortunately, they don't offer field trip tours any more)
6. Ride in a prop plane or helicopter (Do you know a pilot? We don't.)
7. Go to a hospital and meet the life-flight EMS crew (call your local hospital)
8. Go see military planes or tour an Air Force base (best if you know a service man)
9. Ride in a blimp (good luck scheduling that one!)
10. Go to a NASA space center (bonus if you can actually meet an astronaut)
11. Go see an IMAX film about outer space flight (check your local IMAX listings)
12. Go to some other space vehicle museum display


Yesterday we did a ton of Science experiments about air. We read some neat books that had science project ideas as well. What we didn't get to was the "air" painting with a straw. Maybe we can do that today. We were going to mix that KONOS idea with a GeeArt lesson assignment, but we ran out of time. Another thing that we plan to make this week besides the "air" painting is a flight mobile. I haven't researched the how-to on that one, yet. The kids have enjoyed doing some of their own art assignments that have sprung up from this unit also. Here are two of their recent masterpieces:

Kaden's "Mars Crater Base" (we have also studied space flight)


It is hard to see the detail in his picture in such a tiny image, so I have blown up a little piece of it to give you a better view. It amazes me that he can draw such tiny little things. He told me that these people are "mining power crystals - which glow green - on Mars... to power their base and machines". He even drew two little Martians on the side of the cliff overlooking the dig.


Morgan's "Airplains in Flight" (spelling isn't her strong-point)

Morgan used the free Dover Sampler to show her how to draw a simple airplane. The instructions said it was a passenger jet. Hers was a little short, but she got the basic 'hang' of it. I loved the fact that she threw in a blimp and hot air balloon, too. Morgan really wanted me to take her and her brother up in a blimp. I figure it would take a small miracle to pull off a blimp field trip. That would be "one in a million".


This weekend before we move on to Human Birth and Growth, I plan to let them watch some flight movies (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Spirit of St. Louis, or Apollo 13) and maybe use a PC flight simulator. Hopefully we'll have time for those fun things after our weekend apart. I'm two weeks behind my schedule for units this school year, but we are really making a lot of progress and sticking with our schedule. I'm so excited that we're back in Texas, doing DAY-school, and able to spend 5 days a week on focused learning again! God is good!

Hope your school year is off to a 'flying' start, too!

Quick Links
Unit Study Link
More About KONOS with a Co-op
KONOS Planning for Dummies

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"My Little Wonders" said...

I love the art work, great job. Looks like you are well on your way with the new year of school. Have a great year everyone.
Blessings Lori

Jay Cam said...

wow, cinnamon streusel muffins , sounds tasty!

Ann said...

If you get a chance to run by a Cchick-fil-a you can get some cool "flight booklets" in their kids meals. If you tell them what you are doing they might even give you a set of them. They have paper airplanes, history, etc. in them. They are cool.
Gotta love Chick-fil-a!

Anonymous said...

Try a local flight school. My moms club just had a field trip there on Tuesday (9-11, bit freaky being at an airprot if I thought about it enough) The kids had lots of fun and learned a bunch. We won't be near flight for a while.

I love your blog, you were the main reason I converted to Konos :)


Heather said...

Thanks, Lori!

Jay Cam - They were great. My next batch is going to be sweet potato muffins. ;)

Ann - I did get some of those books! It was a "God Moment". Every time He throws something into our lap that relates to our unit - I feel like he's patting me on the back. ;)

Mia - You are a KONOS mom? :) What is your link? I didn't even think of a local flight school. Our field trip was canceled, so we'll have to do it later. That NASA ballunar liftoff sounds really wonderful. I have a friend who has been before and she agrees.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. What if your one of those moms who do not have the time to research all the things for projects and unit studies and you buy books and just make your kids sit and do them. But they get bored and I just have the oomp to do anything more with a business to run and a 1 year old under foot the two oldest 10 and 7 are constantly saying I'm bored. But they haven't been in school except for the oldest was in kindegarten when I pulled her out. Any suggestions?



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