A is for Airplane Lesson Plan or Birthday Party (or P is for Pilot)

A is for Airplane was a very fun theme! With my girls out of school, I put them to work for a portion of preschool. They dressed up as the pilot and flight attendant. We set up a mock airplane in the living room with chairs, magazines, and a poster of the cockpit.  We made the kids tickets and escorted them to their seats. Then the pilot took the kids on a trip to England and even told them a little about geography on the way {not sure how much was retained}, even serving them little packets of animal crackers. It was a very fun intro to our preschool.


Airplane Song
(To the tune of " Wheels on the Bus")
The pilot on the airplane says fasten your belts (fasten seat belts)
Fasten your belts, fasten your belts.
The pilot on the airplane says fasten your belts
When flying through the sky,
Other possible verses...
The children on the airplane go bumpity bump.... (move up and down)
The babies on the airplane go waa, waa, waa.... (pretend to cry)
The signs on the airplane go ding, ding, ding.... (point to signs)
The drinks on the airplane go splish, splash, splish.... (pretend to hold a glass that is wiggling)
The luggage on the plane goes up and down.... (pretend to be luggage going up and down)

I'm a Little Airplane
(To the tune of I'm A Little Teapot)
I'm a little airplane (arms shoulder height)
I can fly (turn right arm like propeller)
Here is my throttle (reach out with 1 hand)
Give me a try (push throttle in)
When I get all reved up (engine noise)
then I fly (move forward)
Off the runway to the sky (fly around)

Zoom I am a Pilot
In my plane I fly today,
zoom I am a pilot
My right way compass points the way
zoom I am a pilot
All through life I'll safely fly
I can I will if I but try,
zoom, zoom, zoom
I'm an Airplane 
Sung to: "Clementine"
I'm an airplane, I'm an airplane
Flying up into the sky.
Flying higher, Flying higher
As I watch the clouds go by.
I'm an airplane, I'm an airplane
See me flying all around.
Flying lower, flying lower,
Till I land down on the ground.

Finger Play and Movement

Six Little Airplanes
  Six little airplanes flying in the sky,
One took a dive and then there were 5
Five little airplanes flying in the sky
One landed on shore and then there were 4.
Four little airplanes flying in the sky
One zoomed like a bee and then there were 3
Three little airplanes flying in the sky
One was feeling blue, so then there were 2
Two little airplanes flying in the sky
One just had no fun, so then there was one.
One little airplane flying in the sky
Down came the sun and then there were none.

The Airplane
The airplane has great big wings
(children stretch out arms.)
Its propeller spins round and sings,
(children move right arms around in a circle.)
The airplane goes up.
(they lift up their arms)
The airplane dips down.
The airplane flies--round all of the town!
(With arms outstretched, they turn around twice.)
 VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVROOOM!  (make sound again)


Relay Game
Split kids into two teams.  Have one child run down, put a captain's hat on, fly like an airplane to a pilot's jacket. and fly back to their teammate.  Their teammate flies to the same locations and drops off the hat and jacket and then flies back.  Continue until everyone on the team is done.

Color/Letter Recognition
 Airplanes – Pretend to be airplanes and move around with arms extended. Call out directions as children "fly", then "land". Hold up color name flashcards or alphabet flashcards and only the children with that particular color or whose name begins with that letter can “fly”.

Captain Says

(Like Simon Says)
Have one player stand up front (with a pilot's hat if you can) and play the game Simon Says, but say "Captain Says" instead.  Captain says, "touch your toes" or Captain says, "turn around".  They can choose anything.  BUT if they don't say Captain says, and someone does the direction, that person is out.

Introduce the Letter A
I always like to do something where we physically make the letter A.  So this time, we all layed down to form a human A.  Then we talk about things that start with the letter A.  I did this by printing out various clipart of items - some that started with A and some that didn't.  I glued them to paper airplanes and together we decided which airplanes could fly (the ones that started with A since airplane starts with A) and which could not.  The kids enjoy this and start coming up with things on their own that start with A.

Color Review
I printed out multiple airplanes here
I colored them all different colors of the rainbow.  Then I placed them on a flannel board or you can tape them to a white board.  I took turns taking one or two away and the kids had to figure out which colors were missing.  One by one they disappeared as we reviewed the colors.

Lettice, the Flying Rabbit 
 Angela's Airplane 
 Going on a Plane 
 The Noisy Airplane Ride
 Airplanes and Flying Machines
 Usborne Flip Flap Airport

 Science/Social Studies

We talked about things that can fly - airplanes, helicopters, hot air balloons, birds, etc.  Airplanes and Flying Machines would be a great resource for brainstorming. Then I asked them if they could fly?  Of course they laughed.  I first introduced them to the Wright Brothers and their first airplane by readingThe Story Of The Wright Brothers.  This is a fabulous board book that tells the story in a simple and short way.  

 I gave them a very small lesson on why airplanes can fly. (A great description can be found here.)  I know sometimes these things go over their heads, but I believe that it's all about exposure to concepts that start to make things connect in their head.  Reading books can help simplify it for them.  How Do Airplanes Fly is an example of a book that can help explain.  I told them about the fact that things that fly use forces called drag, gravity, thrust and lift.  And they all have to be balanced. 


Printable Airplane with the alphabet flying behind in a banner

Make your own airplane scene
I used blue construction paper  and printed out an airplane for each child like this one
The kids then colored their airplane and glued it to the blue construction paper.

Then we used cotton balls and stretched them out to be the clouds in the sky.  The kids were able to decorate their pictures with mountains, lakes, and houses below the airplane and we glued the following poem onto their pictures:

Little silver airplane
Up in the sky,
Where are you going to
Flying so high?
Over the mountains
Over the sea
Little silver airplane
Please take me.

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