8.1 Teaching suggestions: The road to the first flight
These teaching suggestions are designed to help fourth-grade teachers discuss the article “The Road to the First Flight” with students.
- Have students fill out an FQR chart or KWL chart while reading.
- Questions to consider while reading:
- How did Orville and Wilbur Wright’s childhood impact their adult life?
- Who influenced the brothers and their discoveries?
- What details from their lives could make someone label the brothers as determined or focused?
- What things happened that could have prevented the first flight?
- Could the Wright Brothers be described as resourceful? Why or why not?
- What adjectives could be used to describe the brothers? Provide support for the ones you chose.
- Create a cause and effect chart as a class activity or small group activity to help students organize the cause and effects of the events in the Wright brothers lives:
- Have students create a timeline from the section “The Growth of an Industry” with the information provided. Students can research additional dates of importance to add to the timeline. Or use an online timeline creator like:
- Have students create word webs of terms that could describe the Wright brothers. Use an online site like bubbl.us.
- Lead a discussion about why the Wright brothers may have chosen Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Have interested students conduct research to answer the question.
- Use the resources under “Learn More” in the article’s sidebar to help provide background knowledge, sites to further explore, or research projects.
- Have students explore Orville Wright’s diary on the Smithsonian Institution’s website. It provides another perspective on the first flight.
- For more information explore:
- Biography of Orville Wright
- Biography of Wilbur Wright
- Bibliography Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the First Powered Flight
- Orville Wright: Co-Inventor of the First Successful Airplane
- Kate Carew’s Interview with the brothers (This article provided a view of the playful and humorous personality of the Wright brothers not normally seen in the media. This interview was forgotten after it was published in 1910 until Kate Carew’s granddaughter found it and had it republished 93 years later.)
- Orville Wright was one of the founding members of NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics). He served there for 28 years. NASA was created from NACA in 1958.
- Biography of Orville Wright “January 30 1948: Orville Wright died in Dayton, Ohio, at the age of 76, thus ending his 28 years as a member of the NACA. NASA was created from NACA 10 years after Orville’s death. In his lifetime, the speed of the airplane had been increased from 0 mph to almost 1,000 mph.” from