Saturday, July 25, 2009

Airplane Week

We had kind of a lazy airplane week. I feel bad because I just didn't put the effort into filling workboxes that I usually do. I did a good job on Monday but was lazy the rest of the week. I'm starting to think that a good homeschool schedule for us might be three weeks on, one week off, year round.

Thing One has been saying for a year that he wants to be a pilot when he grows up. Specifically, a fighter pilot. Monday, I researched what it takes to become a pilot, and what a pilot does in his job, and I made workboxes about each of those steps.
Overview of a pilot's training and job duties, why it's a stressful job

School-I asked a few questions of each boy like what's 2+2, sing the ABC song, etc. You could present them with a diploma and a graduation hat, if desired.

Pilot Training School-They sat in their chairs and pretended to fly a plane as I narrated what to do.

Health Check-up- I was the doctor and used the play doctor kit to certify them able to fly.
Pilot License-I printed out a photo of each child, their name, address, etc on the back, and put them together back to back and put contact paper over each one. You could also use an old badge holder. I also gave them "pilot's hats" which were just two hats out of our dress up bin.
Checking the Weather and Aircraft-We pointed to today's weather on a chart, and then pretended to check the outside of the aircraft (our chair) and fuel it up.
Planning Routes-I made a Departure/Arrival Chart on a piece of posterboard. Thing One looked at our US map and decided what city he wanted to leave from, and where he wanted to land. We wrote these on our chart, plotted the cities on a dry-erase US map and he drew lines between them. We compared which routes which were longer, shorter, etc. We also wrote times on our chart, and discussed AM and PM, noon and midnight.Seating Chart-I made a very simple plane diagram with four rows (A, B, C, D) and four columns (1, 2, 3, 4). I made up silly passenger names like Angry Alice, Bald Bart, Perky Pam, etc and wrote them on index cards cut to fit inside the boxes on the chart. On the back of each card, I wrote a letter and number (4D) and Thing One had to put these on the right place on the chart. He also had fun reading the names. I also made pilot, copilot, and flight attendant cards to put in the Cockpit and Flight Attendant sections of the chart. I think this would be fun to do with stuffed animals, too, on a large sheet of paper or a sheet or just mark the floor. Just tape the chart coordinates on the bottom of each animal. Payday-I put some play money in the workbox for their salaries

We also made some simple styrofoam prints of some of Thing One's airplane drawings. I cut cardstock to postcard size so we could mail these for our postcrossing project. These turned out really cute. The only step added to my basic directions are that I taped Thing One's drawing onto the styrofoam, and he traced over it with a dull pencil, pushing hard into the styrofoam.
Our airplane reading list this week was:
Miss Mouse Takes Off by Ormerod
Cam Jansen #12 The Mystery of Flight 54 by Adler
Airport by Barton
Eyewitness Books Flying Machine by Nahum
Strange and Wonderful Aircraft by Weiss
Feathers, Flaps and Flops by Zaunders
Moon Plane by McCarty
DK Experience Flight by Platt
Goosebumps How I Learned to Fly by Stine

We listened to:
Most Amazing Truck, Train and Plane Songs (Music for Little People)
My Green Kite CD by Peter Himmelman

We watched:
Bill Nye the Science Guy's video about Flight
Reading Rainbow Bored with Nothing to Do

We made several paper airplanes. I have to admit that none of them flew worth a darn, but Thing One had fun with them. We had fun experimenting with how to improve their flight. Paw Paw sent Thing One a neat book of paper airplanes recently called Pocket Flyers by Ken Blackburn & Jeff Lammers. They are pre-printed sheets that you fold into tiny paper planes. I love that there are multiple sheets of each plane.

We wrote a few interview questions for Paw Paw because he used to be an air traffic controller, drew him a nice picture of airplanes, and stuck it in the mail.

We learned about an early aviator from Brazil called Alberto Santos-Dumont. You can learn more about him here. There are some nice links and activities on this site. This was a nice opportunity to learn about Brazil and do a bit of geography with our globe and map.
Friday we went to the College Park Aviation Museum. We had been there several times before. I made a scavenger hunt for Thing One to do while we were there, based on things I knew were there (map, model plane, goggles, etc).
Daddy let Thing One play "Flight Control" on his ipod. This is his new obsession!
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
That's all til next week, when we learn more about volcanoes!

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