I knew I wanted to do some makerspace type activity after reading After the Fall :How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat. Obviously paper airplanes would be the activity, but that wasn’t enough. Santat takes the familiar rhyme and let’s us know what happened to Humpty Dumpty after his great fall, although in this case, all the kings horses and men (the name of the hospital in the book) did put him back together again. But he can’t bird watch from his favorite high perch because he is now afraid of heights. So will he conquer his fear and get back up there again? And the story involves him making paper airplanes.
After reading the book to the fourth grade class we discussed what they thought the themes of the book were. They decided it was about having courage and not giving up even if you fail once.
Paper Airplanes and Reflection
I asked the students to think about a time they struggled and how they resolved that situation. They drew and wrote about a situation where they struggled but kept on trying. They then made an airplane out of their paper and flew them. We flew them in the library, which they thought was great. Some made adjustments to their plane design for a better flight.
My Reflection on this Activity: YouTube Instructions
I was very surprised after doing this with the first fourth grade class how few students knew how to make a paper airplane! So, for the next class I had a few YouTube videos and websites pulled up on the library computers if students wanted to watch those. After trying this method, I would definitely include sites with only VERY simple airplanes. Students still struggled while attempting to follow the directions and videos.
Lesson learned: these students need to have more activities to develop fine motor skills!