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Amelia Earhart Day Activities



July 24 is National Amelia Earhart Day, which celebrates Earhart’s birthday and honors her accomplishment as one of the first female pilots. Teach children about Earhart to inspire them to work hard throughout their lives, as she did, to accomplish their dreams!

During your lessons about Earhart, try these interdisciplinary airplane activities from Honk, Honk, Rattle, Rattle by Pam Schiller for a full day of airplane fun!

If I Had Wings

Vocabulary

  • Breeze
  • Butterfly
  • Clouds
  • Floating
  • Fly
  • Hills
  • Mountain
  • Rolling
  • Watching
  • Wings

Song

If I had the wings of an airplane

Up to the hills I would fly.

Flying around in the sweet breeze,

Watching the clouds rolling by.

Oooh lah lah, oooh lah lah, oooh lah lay,

Oooh lah lah, oooh lah lah lay.

Oooh lah lah, oooh lah lah, oooh lah lay,

Oooh lah lah, oooh lah lah lay.

If I had the wings of a butterfly

Up to the mountains I’d fly.

Floating around on the sweet breeze,

Watching the clouds rolling by.

Oooh lah lah, oooh lah lah, oooh lah lay,

Oooh lah lah, oooh lah lah lay.

Oooh lah lah, oooh lah lah, oooh lah lay,

Oooh lah lah, oooh lah lah lay.

Oooh lah lah, oooh lah lah lay.

Theme Connections

  • Me
  • Things I Like
  • Travel

Did You Know?

  • Lift is the aerodynamic force that counteracts gravity and holds an airplane in the air. Most of the lift required by an airplane is created by its wings, but a certain portion is also generated by other parts of the aircraft, such as the fuselage.
  • Butterfly and moth wings are marvelously elaborate structures of membranes no more than two cells thick. The shape and size of wings varies between species and takes on a characteristic shape that may include scalloping, lobes, and even hair-like slivers.

Literacy Links

Oral Language

  • Discuss other things that fly (for example, bumblebees, birds, butterflies, helicopters, and bees). Sing a new verse of the song substituting “bumblebee” or any other thing that flies for “airplane.”
  • Discuss unusual phrases in the song such as “sweet breeze” and “clouds rolling by.”
  • Teach the children the American Sign Language signs for airplane and butterfly.

Phonological Awareness

  • Substitute the syllable “moo” for “oooh” and “ma” for “lah.” Sing the song again with new sounds. Try other syllable substitutions.

Print Awareness

  • Print “oooh lah lah” on chart paper. Encourage the children to identify the letters. Which letter is part of both words? Which word has three of the same letter?

Curriculum Connections

Art/Blocks

  • Encourage the children to build a house with blocks on the floor. Have them stand over the house and draw a picture of the house from this different perspective.

Blocks/Language

  • Help the children build an airport. Encourage them to build the control tower, runway terminals, and so on. Use as much vocabulary as possible.

Fine Motor/Outdoors

  • Provide paper and have the children color it as they wish. Show them how to fold the paper into an airplane. Fly the planes outdoors.

Gross Motor

  • Place a box on the floor and cover it with a sheet or a towel to make it look like a mountain. Invite the children to “fly” over the mountain by jumping over the covered box.

Math

  • Use a piece of yarn to measure each child’s arm width. Cut the yarn and give it to each child. Have the children use blocks to measure the yarn. “My arm is two blocks wide.”

Music and Movement

  • Give children paper plates to hold in each hand to make pretend wings. Encourage them to decorate their wings with crayons, markers, and paint. Play classical music and encourage the children to use the wings to “fly.”

Special-Needs Adaptation: For a child with special needs, use large paper plates. When the child has finished decorating each plate, attach a small piece of Velcro to the back of it. Make a cloth bracelet for the child to wear around his wrist. Then on the inside of his wrist, on the cloth bracelet, attach another piece of Velcro. This will allow the child to participate in the activity without having to hold the paper plate. This is especially effective for a child with motor or tactile sensitivity.

Outdoors

  • Take the children outdoors and have them lie on their backs and watch the clouds rolling by. Do you see any airplanes in the sky? Do you see anything else flying in the sky?

Science

  • Provide a variety of pictures of animals or use plastic animals. Encourage the children to sort the pictures into animals with “wings” and “no wings.”

Writing

  • Print “oooh lah lah” on a sheet of paper and place it in the center of the table. Provide paper and encourage the children to copy the words.

Home Connection

  • Encourage the children to ask their families where they would fly if they had wings. Let children report their findings when they return.


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