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Young Orville and Wilbur Wright: First to Fly

by Andrew Woods

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296175,836 (4)None
A simple biography of the brothers who launched the air age in 1903 when their flying machine stayed in the air for twelve seconds.

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A children’s biography that I like is Young Orville and Wilbur Wright: First to Fly. It is written by Andrew Woods and illustrated by Ellen Beier. It was published by Scholastic and is an easy to read paperback book. The colorful and detailed illustrations reflect life in the 1800’s. The women and girls are wearing long dresses and bonnets, while the boys are wearing knickers, vests, and jackets in the pictures. The modes of transportation pictured in the book are a horse and buggy and bicycles.
The book begins by giving a brief summary of when Orville and Wilbur were born and where they lived. It goes on to describe their relationship as being best friends and sharing a common interest in reading books and building things with their mother. One day their dad brought home a flying toy for them to share. They played with it so much that it broke, so they build another one, but much bigger.
Throughout the years, Wilbur and Orville began building more and more things. They collected scrap metal and sold it to buy parts to make special tools. The boys eventually built their own printing press and started a newspaper business. They also owned a bicycle shop. But they never forgot about that flying toy that they had many years before. They finally decided to build a flying machine.
I would use this as part of a science lesson on flying. Before we made paper airplanes, we would make predictions about how far the plane would fly, how the shape of the plane would affect the distance it flies, and what materials to use to make the airplanes. I would make a K-W-L chart or a graph, depending on the developmental level of the children. If the children were able to make their own paper airplanes, we could make more observations because everyone would be different. ( )
  cjoley | Nov 8, 2009 |
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A simple biography of the brothers who launched the air age in 1903 when their flying machine stayed in the air for twelve seconds.

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