Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Wright Brothers, and supports students ’ understanding of the role perseverance plays in scientific innovation. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display images of a Wright Brothers-style glider airplane, and a modern airplane, like those shown below:

Ask students:

  • What do you notice about each picture? 
  • How are the planes alike? How do they differ?


  • Read aloud the description on the Wright Brothers topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Gadgets,” “Real Life,” or “Trivia.”  Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE 

Students express what they learned about the Wright Brothers while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a mini-documentary describing how the Wright Brothers responded to challenges they faced in developing the airplane. (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map that identifies how the Wright Brothers used what they learned from others, and from their own attempts, to refine their airplane. (Essential Literacy Skill: Summarize key details)
  • Creative Coding: Code a flag that represents the Wright Brothers’ experiences designing and building airplanes. (Essential Literacy Skill: Make logical inferences from explicit details)

Step 4: APPLY 

Apply: Students take the Wright Brothers Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Wright Brothers Quiz


STEAM collection: Continue to build understanding about engineering and innovation with more BrainPOP topics, resources, and games.

Additional Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments