Birds and Planes

  • Time Length
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    1-2 hours

  • Mess Level
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    A Little Messy

  • Cost

    Materials or Fees

  • Difficulty
    Shape Created with Sketch.


To Get Started:

You may use templates found on line, if desired or make your own bird and airplane. Make the bird first and talk about how it moves.

Make the plane next and talk about how it moves.

Question and Wonder:

  1. Look at pictures of birds and pictures of planes.

What do you notice about them?

How are they different? How are they the same?

How do you think those differences change the way they fly?

  1. Put out your arms and pretend to be a bird and an airplane.

When you were a bird, how did you move?

How about when you were a plane?

Why did you move that way? How did your movement change?

  1. Make a paper plane and a paper bird. Talk about how they are designed.

Fly your creations several times and talk about what you observe.

  1. Go outside and watch birds fly.

What do you notice?

How do they take off? Land?

  1. (Optional) Ask your parents to take you to or near an airport. Sit and watch planes take off and land.

What do you notice?

Compare what you saw with your observations of birds.


Test and Discuss:

Which came first birds or airplanes? Why do you think that?

Do you think scientists designed planes by studying birds? Why or why not?

What other ways does nature influence design?

Print Instructions