These books explore the marvels of geology, land forms, weather, environments, and other phenomena related to science and nature. Included in each volume is a Parent/Teacher Handbook with coordinating activities.


design challenge


How can we design a kite that will sail through the air when we pull it? 

Students should engage in a Driving Question Board to elicit ideas and ask questions about what they need to know to answer this question and solve the problem. 


Simply Suggestions:

  • String

  • Straws

  • Skewers

  • Pipe cleaners

  • Tissue paper

  • Construction paper

  • Wrapping paper

  • Newspaper

  • Waxpaper

  • Cardboard

  • Brown paper bag

  • Similar items


The user will be a child, so size should be a consideration. It should also be visually appealing as it soars through the air. Consider connecting this to kites in different cultures, and having them be representative of the children who make it. It should be easy to hold, launch, and hold onto as it soars in the sky. 

Teacher Tip: In the past, we did "About Me" kites and the students on the team got an equal share to put pictures and make sure something about them was on the kite. 


Your Choice: 

  • Design a kite that can be used by a child

  • Be reusable

  • The kite should be able to stay in the air for at least 30 seconds


Students may or may not have flown kites before. Consider showing some kite videos so that they have an idea of what it is like to fly a kite. They may need some background to understand what causes a kite to fly. Students will draw on background knowledge and experience to think about ways to approach the challenge and solve the problem. Allow class discussion of considerations and ideas. This stage may involve some exploration with materials and ensure understanding of the constraints. 

PE aligned

Including, but not limited to: 

  • Air / Weather

  • Matter


In their notebook, students should draw their kite and consider the size, shape, and what would be represented on it to make it visually appealing. Students will also need to plan for the supports in the kite and decide if they will go around the perimeter and intersect on the kite, or connect specific points. 

Teacher Tip: Hold students accountable for their design. As they are planning you may need to coach teams if they do not have a large enough surface area, or if they plan for holes in the kite. 


Students may consider tracing an object to get the shape of their design. They may need some assistance in making sure that the kite is large enough. Secure their supports with tape or hot glue (teacher support needed), and attach the string at the end. Allow them time to creatively design their kite. Students who state they are "finished" may add embellishments, make sure they know the more they glue on, the heavier it will be. 


This test should be done as a class. Consider watching the weather and tracking the wind to select your testing day. It is so fun watching the teams try to launch their kites on the same day. Select a wide open field for testing. Depending on the number of teams and size of the space, you may need to take turns. Otherwise consider letting them all test at the same time and take turns within their group doing so. 


Discussion to follow is important, students should consider why they were or were not successful in flying their kite. Some consideration may be given to the weather and and wind. Have all kites displayed to be able to compare the size and shape, as well as discussing the weight of the kites. Some discussion may be given to the approach in launching the kite. After discussing, it would be great to have them make some improvements and test again. 

additional texts