Why don't trees blow down in the wind?

Why don't trees blow down in the wind?

Lesson narration:
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DISCUSS:

Why do you think trees don’t get blown down by the wind, but umbrellas do?

To help us figure it out, let’s pretend to be trees blowing in the wind. Maybe that will give us some ideas! Go to the next slide to begin.

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DISCUSS:

What ideas do trees give you, for making an umbrella that won’t blow down in the wind?

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Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity and exploration you just completed.

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Read-Aloud

  • This video read-aloud of The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires is the story of a girl struggling to create a truly “magnificent thing.”

  • Students will enjoy the surprise at the end of the book and will learn about the process of engineering design along the way.

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Reading & Activities

  • This set of wind activities make a great literature connection to Curious George Flies a Kite by H. A. Rey and Margret Rey.
  • A read-aloud of the book is available in two parts from YouTube: Part 1, Part 2.
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Activities

  • Paper Bag Kite: In this activity, students create simple paper bag kites, then experiment to find out how different features affect how the kites fly.

  • Fly a Leaf: In this activity, students experiment to find out which leaf shapes catch the most wind. Great for a windy day!

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Lesson narration:

Activity Prep

Print Prep

In this lesson, students examine structures like roots, branches, and leaves that keep trees from blowing down. In the activity, Wind-Proof Umbrella, they use their observations to create their own tree-inspired umbrellas that stay up in the wind.

Preview activity
COVID-19 Adaptations
Teacher demo recommended

Students at home
Set up a few model umbrellas and show them over video conference so students can make observations. Then have each student imagine and draw their own umbrella design (instead of building one). If you have time, you can choose a few of the students' design and build them while students observe on video conference.
Students at school
Set up a few model umbrellas and have your students observe them. Then have each student imagine and draw their own umbrella design (instead of building one). If you have time, you can build a few of the students’ designs and test them out in the classroom.

Exploration

18 mins

Wrap-Up

2 mins

Extend this lesson

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