Mrs. McGowan's Class
Grade 2
H.W. Mountz School
Spring Lake, New Jersey


We read several good books about the Wright brothers. The favorites were:
First Flight, The Story of the Wright Brothers
by Caryn Jenner
The Wright Brothers by Pamela Duncan Edwards
My Brother's Flying Machine , Wilbur, Orville and Me by Jane Yolen

We also enjoyed two terrific videos:
Charlie Brown: The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk
The American Experience: The Wright Stuff

A highlight of this study was a visit made to our classroom by two airplane pilots. Jennifer Johnson flies for a passenger airline and Roy Johnson flies cargo planes. They brought some interesting maps, an altimeter, a special slide rule all pilots carry with them (even in this age of computers), model planes, and money from different countries.

Of course we made paper airplanes! We flew the planes (traditional darts) in our hallway. Each of us had three turns and we counted floor blocks quickly to see how far the planes flew. We plan to repeat this in December and log distances more accurately with standard measures. We'll be able to use our data to make graphs and write questions about the graphs.

Our contributions to the project:

Wright Brothers ABC CyberDictionary

Wright Brothers Readers Theater Script- Please print and use)

Wright Brothers Mini Quiz

Our written responses are in the form of an ABC book or dictionary.

~ How We Made the CyberDictionary ~

First we made a whole-class list of words for each alphabet letter. These words related to the Wright brothers story and discussion we had during our study. Next, students randomly selected the letters they would be using to tell and illustrate a part of the story. The best part of a collaborative classroom project is the sharing of ideas that takes place.

Word List

A is for Airplane
B is for Buzzard
C is for Crashed
D is for Devil
E is for Elevator
F is for Flyer
G is for Great
H is for High
I is for Ideas
J is for Jets
K is for Katherine
L is for Lift
M is for Magnificent
N is for New
O is for Orville
P is for Pilots
Q is for Quickly
R is for Rudder
S is for Sandy
T is for Track
U is for Used
V is for Very
W is for Wilbur
X is for eXcellent
Y is for Yelled
Z is for Zoom

These words are used in our students' writing to tell the Wright brothers' story. Here are a few writing samples. The entire CyberDictionary can be viewed at our class webpage.

Wilbur and Orville Wright built the first gasoline engine powered airplane. When they were just little boys, they got a toy helicopter. They liked it so much, they thought they could learn to fly.

 Image by Chelsea

The Wright brothers' sister's name was Katherine. She gave her brothers encouragement and support. She did not get to fly until almost six years after the flight in 1903.

 Image by Lia

S is for SANDY
They tested the Flyer at Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The sandy beach had perfect winds.

 Image by Conor

W is for WILBUR
Wilbur was born April 16, 1867 in Indiana. He was interested in how birds fly. In 1899 the Wright brothers built a kite which they controlled by warping or twisting the wings.

Image by Tiffany

Finally, students will be writing comments about the project. We'd love to hear from other classes. Just send us an email.

Our project is aligned with the following standards:
New Jersey
Core Curriculum Content Standards

Language and Literacy
3.2 listen actively in a variety of situations to information from a variety of sources.
3.3 write in clear, concise, organized language that varies in content and form for different audiences and purposes.
3.4 read various materials and texts with comprehension and critical analysis.
3.5 view, understand, and use nontextual visual information.


5.3 All students will integrate mathematics as a tool for problem-solving in science, and as a means of expressing and/or modeling scientific theories.

5.7 All students will gain an understanding of natural laws as they apply to motion, forces, and energy transformations.

  National Educational Technology Standards for Students. (NETS)

Use technology communications tools: Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.