ALEX Lesson Plan


What was Right about the Wright Brothers?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Stuart Duncan
System: Florence City
School: Hibbett School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 7388


What was Right about the Wright Brothers?


In this unit students will explore the lives of the Wright brothers. The end result will be a student-made documentary highlighting the factors that allowed the Wright brothers to succeed at manned flight when others before them had failed.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
1 ) Use input and output devices of technology systems.

Examples: input—recording devices, keyboards, touchscreens

-  output—printers

•  Demonstrating ergonomics relative to technology systems
•  Demonstrating correct keyboarding techniques
•  Demonstrating safe removal of storage media
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
2 ) Use various technology applications, including word processing and multimedia software.

•  Using navigational features commonly found in technology applications
•  Identifying digital file types
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
8 ) Collect information from a variety of digital sources.

Examples: online libraries, multimedia dictionaries

•  Using technology tools to organize information
•  Demonstrating efficient Internet search strategies
Example: keyword search

•  Evaluating electronic resources for reliability based on publication date, bias, accuracy, and source credibility
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 3-5
10 ) Use digital environments to collaborate and communicate.

Examples: publishing online journals, sharing presentations, contributing to online discussions, communicating with experts

•  Producing digital works collaboratively
Examples: developing shared writing projects and group multimedia projects

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
23 ) Write informative or explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. [W.5.2]

a. Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. [W.5.2a]

b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic. [W.5.2b]

c. Link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially). [W.5.2c]

d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. [W.5.2d]

e. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented. [W.5.2e]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
29 ) Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources. [W.5.8]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
39 ) Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.5.2]

a. Use punctuation to separate items in a series.* [L.5.2a]

b. Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence. [L.5.2b]

c. Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It's true, isn't it'), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve'). [L.5.2c]

d. Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works. [L.5.2d]

e. Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed. [L.5.2e]

Local/National Standards:

This lesson was developed by Stuart Duncan and Kay Simpson.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will develop an electronic portfolio to analyze and explain the factors that led to the Wrights' success with manned flight.
Students will work in cooperative groups to integrate individual portfolios into a single, creative dramatic presentation.
Students will use video equipment to record and edit.
Through this research investigation, students will be able to answer these Essential Questions:
1. What environmental and hereditary factors helped shape Orville and Wilbur Wright's inventive minds?
2. What prior and/or current historic events contributed to their success with the first manned flight?
3. What additional factors helped the Wright Brothers achieve the first manned flight?

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Blank video cartridges, To Fly: The Story of the Wright Brothers by Wendie C. Old

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access, Microsoft PowerPoint (or other presentation software), digital video camera, digital editing equipment, LCD projector or other digital presentation device to show video


Students should have prior experience using meta-search engines. They should also have knowledge and experience with basic computer applications and digital video production.

1.)Have students reflect on the question "What was Right about the Wrights?". Create a class KWL chart on the board to determine the student's prior knowledge.

2.)Read To Fly: The Story of the Wright Brothers by Wendie C. Old to the class. If students have been taught note taking skills the teacher may wish to require notes to be taken during the reading.

3.)Depending on age of students and availability use Kidspiration or Inspiration software package (or other graphing planners like Think Tank) to create a web about the Wright brothers and the important events of their lives. If graphic planning software is not available, complete a basic concept map (see attached link for example).
(Educational World)
This link will give you a template of a basic concept map.

4.)Have students identify missing links on the concept web. Students will search for the missing information using the Internet. The teacher may want to bookmark the sites listed in the attachment entitled "Helpful Sites". An additional and optional resource for this step is TrackStar (see link below). This URL contains a guided research tour, TrackStar #160409, that visits various Wright Brothers sites.
Great tool for making or viewing guided research investigations of the Internet!

5.)Students will summarize the information they have gathered onto the attached research guide "Searching for the Wright Stuff".

6.)Students will compile information gathered in step 5 into an electronic portfolio format. Students will use presentation software to create a pictorial timeline of the events surrounding the invention of the airplane.

7.)Students will share their individual timelines with the class.

8.)Divide students into cooperative groups consisting of 3-5 students. Assign each group a portion of the Wright brothers' timeline. Each group will create a 3-5 minute documentary play utilizing all of the members of the group. Each group will submit a script for the presentation that includes characters, setting, dialogue, costumes and props. (If this is the students' first experience with a video project the site below offers helpful information for beginners.)
Great site to help teachers and students script, make, edit and present "kid created" videos.

9.)Students will present their portions of the timeline play as one continuous biography of the Wright brothers and their quest to achieve manned flight. During this presentation, students will video the presentation of another group.

10.)Students will view and edit their own presentations. Each small group presentation will then be edited and placed on one continuous videotape for presentation to a larger audience.

11.)The full class will view the combined class production of the play. Each member of the class will evaluate this combined version. Any needed changes, deletions, and/or improvements should be made and saved.

12.)Students will present the final production of the play to the student body or smaller groups of students around the school.

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Assessment Strategies

The attached rubrics are used to evaluate both the timeline portion of the project as well as the final dramatic presentation. Students should also be assessed for their mastery of the three essential questions listed in the Primary Learning Objective section above. This may be accomplished through learning journals or formal assessment at the end of the unit.


Students who are already proficient with PowerPoint could be given the option of creating a web page instead of a slideshow presentation.
Depending on the location of the school the teacher may want to schedule a field trip to the Southern Museum of Flight in Birmingham, Alabama. Visit the website for more information.


For students who need more assistance with basic research, Trackstar lesson #160409 is available to guide them along with the process (see Step 4 for link). PowerPoint tips may be printed from this page:

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.