Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-8, students explore BrainPOP resources to learn about the Wright brothers and their invention of the first flying machine. Using what they learn, students write and present a speech honoring the Wright brothers, including details from their lives and work.


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Brainstorm what they know about the Wright brothers.
  2. Identify the sequence of events that led to the invention of the first airplane.
  3. Play a game in which they recreate a timeline of events in the lives of the Wright brothers.
  4. Write and present a speech.



Lesson Procedure:

  1. Tell students that today they will learn about the Wright brothers and their invention of the first flying machine. Explain that they will find out how their invention of the first flying machine was inspired by nature. You might ask them to predict what in nature may have inspired their plane.
  2. Show the movie Wright Brothers on an interactive whiteboard or other large display to the whole class once through without pausing.
  3. Write “Wright brothers” on a whiteboard or other display. Ask students if they’ve heard of the Wright brothers, and if so what they know about them. Write their responses on the board. Students may know, for example, that they invented the first airplane. Some may know that their first flight only lasted a few seconds.
  4. Next, if you have access to multiple computers or devices, have students open the Make-a-Map feature. Or, if limited computers or devices, distribute the Sequence graphic organizer.
  5. Students are to watch the movie again within the Make-a-Map feature. As they watch, have them construct a sequence chart identifying events in the Wright brothers’ lives in the order that they happened. If limited computers, you can show the movie again to the whole class as they take notes offline on a Sequence graphic organizer.
  6. Using what they learned in the movie, invite pairs to play Time Zone X: Wright Brothers and challenge them to put the events in chronological order.
  7. Now invite students to imagine they are presenting a speech honoring the Wright brothers for their accomplishments. Instruct them to use the information from their sequence charts and what they learned playing Time Zone X to write their speech. Suggest that they read it as if it is today so they can address how their original invention inspired today’s modern planes.
  8. Finally, have students present their speeches to the class.

Extension Activities:

Divide the class into small groups of four. Have each person in the group read a different Wright Brothers Related Readings. Then have them share what they learned with the group.