Introduction to Flight


Introduction to Flight teaches students specifically about the physics behind airplanes, kites, and balloons. Students will learn how each of these types of objects stay afloat in the air. They will discover what circumstances are necessary for an airplane, kite, or balloon to fly.

Check out the Options for Lesson section for more suggestions of ideas or activities you can incorporate into the lesson plan. One idea for this lesson is to print airplane designs ahead of time for students to choose in case you don’t happen to have internet access when you present this lesson.

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What our Introduction to Flight lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Introduction to Flight explores certain concepts that relate to aerodynamics. Students will specifically learn about airplanes, kites, and balloons. They will also discover a little about the history of flight, including facts about the Wright brothers. This lesson is for students in 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. This lesson requires scrap paper and rulers. In addition, you will have some preparation to do ahead of time. Prepare a well-designed paper airplane for the lesson opening. You will also need to consider adapting the lesson should you choose to present it outdoors, depending on the weather.

Options for Lesson

There are a few suggestions in the “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page that you can take advantage of. For the activity, you could assign students to work in pairs. If you don’t have access to the internet at the school, print airplane designs ahead of time for students to choose for the activity. One more idea is to formalize a voting structure for best plane, longest flight, etc., with actual ballots and prizes.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page provides an extra paragraph of information to help guide the lesson and remind you what to focus on. It explains that this lesson is meant to be fun and engaging for students as they learn some of the basics about aerodynamics. The blank lines on this page are available for you to write out thoughts and ideas you have as you prepare the lesson.


The Introduction to Flight lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one will reinforce students’ comprehension of lesson material in different ways and help them demonstrate when they learned. Use the guidelines on the classroom procedure page to determine when to distribute each worksheet to the class.


Students will create and compare paper airplanes for the activity. First, they will make one plane using the scrap paper you provide. Once they finish, they can try to fly the paper airplane. They will then explain how this flight went using the vocabulary they learned during the lesson. They should include measurement information on their plane as well.

Next, students will visit a website about paper airplanes that provides many different designs. (If the website is inaccessible, have them search for paper airplane designs in a search engine.) Students will choose two or three new designs to create and try out. After they fly one of the planes, they will again write about it on the lines provided. Then they will compare the two planes and describe what variables might have affected the planes’ flight.


The practice worksheet lists 15 questions of various types for students to answer. These include true/false, fill in the blanks, and multiple choice. They will also need to label the four forces that affect a plane’s flight in the correct places on the diagram near the bottom of the page.


For the homework assignment, students will complete a crossword puzzle. There is a total of 19 clues to complete. You can choose whether or not you allow them to use the content pages for help during this assignment.

Worksheet Answer Keys

If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information




4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade