Kite Math: Activities for Primary and Intermediate Students
Kite Day is in June, but there is no reason why students cannot use kites to kick up their enthusiasm for math. Whether you are looking for bulletin board ideas or an actual math lesson plan, kites can do it all. The ideas below can easily be adapted for preschoolers through middle school geometry students and will make reinforcing math skills a breeze.
By their very nature, kites are a great shape to study. Basic diamond shape kites can be used to teach geometry skills, by measuring the area of the triangles that make up the kite itself. Talking about parts equal a whole can also be included as students calculate the area of the entire kite based on the area of each individual part. For younger students, simply teaching about diamonds and triangles is a wonderful lesson. Color-code each section of the kite, if desired, to make discussion about the triangles easier for younger learners.
Center Math Problems
Create a kite inspired math center in a corner of your classroom. Using large sheets of colorful construction paper, cut out multiple kites. On each kite, write a variety of math problems on one or both sides. One kite could be designated a subtraction kite, while others could focus on addition, multiplication, division or fractions. Laminate them and punch
a hole at the top. Using hooks or push pins in an interactive bulletin board setting, hang them from the wall. Students will then be responsible for completing the problems on each kite. Use a piece of notebook paper or create an answer template that can be kept in a paper basket on the center’s table. Not only will students enjoy the novelty of the kites, but the colorful decorations will help brighten up the classroom.
One of the very best ways to help students learn is to involve them in hands on projects. Having them create their own kites is a great way to do just that. This project is best suited to intermediate or middle school students, but could be adapted for younger grades if desired. Begin by placing students in small groups and having them research kite shapes and building materials. Consideration should be given to the weight of the kite’s material, as well as, the size and shape. Once students have determined what they need and the type of kite they are attempting to build, have them complete the project. This activity will improve their group communication skills, math skills, research tactics and much more. Once the kites are complete, have a kite flying competition on the school playground or an athletic field. Invite other classes and parents to watch.
Kites are creatures of creativity and imagination, and they are the perfect instrument with which to engage students. Think outside the box when using kites in lesson plans and your students’ enthusiasm will soar. Do you have a favorite kite inspired activity that you use in your classroom? Tell us about it!