I just got back from camp at Worthley Pond in Peru, Maine, where besides the usual campfire, fishing, swimming, and feasting on smoked ribs and Beth's delicious Filipino creations, we more often than not also fly kites out on the lake. These days we generally pick up our kites at Marden's or the Christmas Tree Shop, where good nylon kites can often be purchased for less than the price of a greeting card. Today my nephew, Josh, a 4th year engineering student at UMO, successfully flew a large dragon kite out in the middle of the lake in a 12 foot aluminum rowboat. As is our custom, we cheered and teased from the shoreline as he sailed down the lake from the energy of the wind.
Back in my days of teaching 5th grade, we made our own kites out of newspaper, trash bags, string, pine sticks, and a bit of masking tape. Amazingly enough, they actually flew! I suspect that these days, in light of the bubbles and boxes of the NCLB mentality, this might no longer be permitted without some heavy campaigning . . .but I might be wrong. I mean, what on earth can be learned from flying kites?
Well *cough* for starters, kite flying is both an art and science:
Kite Flying can be an interdisciplinary or thematic unit that engages students and unifies learning:
NASA: Beginner's Guide to Kites
Education World: Kites
Kite Day Theme (Pre-school)
Let's Go Fly a Kite (K-2)
eMINTS eTHEMES: Kites
The Physics of Kites
Welcome to the Adventure with Physics and Kites!
The Fun and Physics of Kite Flying
WebQuest: Flying High with Kites (10th Grade Geometry)
YouTube: How to Make a Traditional Kite
More YouTube Videos on Making and Flying Kites
Kite Threads at VoiceThread
The Human Side: "Let's Go Fly a Kite" at Sunshine and Momma blog.
VacationLand Guide: Where Kites Go to Soar
NorEasters: The Kite Site for Maine Kite Flyers
Kite Flying has practical application: