Theme Day - Paper Airplanes

The end of the school year is FINALLY in sight.  Curriculum is covered, report cards are finished, room is getting cleaned (slowly), the weather is HOT, and we are d.o.n.e.  To add a little more fun to the excitement of the end of the year, and keep the learning and some kind of structure, we're doing 5 fun theme days for the last 5 days of school.

Friday was our first theme day - High Flying Friday - a day dedicated to flying paper airplanes.  :)  I've done a paper airplane day before when I taught Flight in grade 6 science, but I wanted to do a little more for this day.  Now, technically, we only did half a day, because there were some other things we needed to finish off in the morning, but I have lots of ideas to fill a full day if we do this again next year.

Students were given time (about 45 minutes in total) to research different paper airplane designs.  They built and tested many different designs during this time.  I have this super fun Electric Plane Launcher I bought a few years ago, and I let them use it to test the planes in the classroom.

After that, we went outside to fly our planes.  Each student got 3 "flights".  They had to measure the length the plane flew (in metres, so they were working with decimals, too).  We wrote down each measurement on a sticky note.

Once we had our measurements in hand, I drew a quick number line on the board, and students had to place their sticky note measurements on the number line (ordering and comparing numbers).  And then we had to answer our "fraction of the day" question with the data.  (
That was all we had time for, but if I was doing this for the full day, some more ideas are:
• make a line plot graph with the data
• find the mean, mode, median for the distances
• add all the data to find the total distance flown
• have 2 different plane designs - one for distance and one for tricks
• write a descriptive paragraph from the perspective of the plane

I can't wait to share our next 4 theme days with you as our official 5 day count down is ON!

Some other end of the year activities you may be interested in: