Elementary Programs Chapter

Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Books to Share

  • Feathers, Flaps, and Flops: Fabulous Early Fliers by Bo Zaunders.
  • Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh by Robert Burleigh.
  • Wings by Jane Yolen.

Books to Show or Booktalk

  • The Avion My Uncle Flew by Cyrus Fisher.
  • Fantastic Flights by Patrick O’Brien.
  • Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh by Robert Burleigh.
  • Sparrow Hawk Red by Ben Mikaelsen.
  • Race For The Sky: The Kitty Hawk Diaries of Johnny Moore by Dan Gutman.


Display books on pilots, such as Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager, and Bessie Coleman, along with a collection of model airplanes borrowed from a library patron or local craft store.


Teach the children to sing “The Air Force Song” by Robert M. Crawford. The lyrics and an instrumental version are available on the NIEHS Kids’ Page at www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/lyrics/offwego.htm. The site also tells about the origins of the song. The American Military Band records another version of this piece on Music of the U.S. Air Force.

Audio Recordings

  • Freddy the Pilot by Walter Brooks.
  • “Ready to Fly,” “Helicopter Harry,” and “Parachute Girl” on Ready to Fly by Roger Day.
  • Skydive! by Gary Paulsen.

Jokes and Riddles

Q. Why do airplanes always fly past Peter Pan’s home?
A. Because the sign says Never Never Land.

Q. Why do geese fly south in the fall and north in the spring?
A. It’s just too far to walk.

Q. Who made the first airplane that didn’t fly?
A. The Wrong brothers.


Paper Airplanes

Make one or more paper airplanes, using the instructions from Origami Paper Airplanes by Didier Boursin or Fabulous Paper Airplanes by E. Richard Churchill. The styles you choose will be determined by the physical space of your program area. Make and fly them yourself beforehand to be sure you can teach others.


Fly the paper airplanes made by the children.

Guest Speakers

  • Invite model airplane enthusiasts to demonstrate their hobby.
  • Invite a model airplane club to demonstrate radio-controlled or other powered airplanes.
  • Invite a pilot or someone from the flight industry to talk about flying.


If you have public performance rights, show these videos and DVDs to the children during your program. Otherwise, display them for home use.

  • Did You Ever Wonder?: How They Make Airplanes? (24 minutes)
  • Just Imagine! You’re an Airplane Pilot. (19 minutes)
  • The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk. (24 minutes)

Web Sites

Kids Turn Central, Paper Airplane Online Resources
This site gives links to a variety of sites that provide diagrams and instructions for many paper airplanes.

NASA Free Software
Public domain software developed by NASA allows students to design and study flight, the physics of aerodynamics, how air pressure effects flight, and more.

Stories, games, flight simulations, activities, and more designed to make aeronautics fun.


The Greatest Paper Airplanes.

Professional Resources

  • Origami Airplanes: How to Fold and Design Them by Florence Temko.
  • Origami Paper Airplanes by Didier Boursin.
  • The Wright Brothers for Kids: How They Invented the Airplane by Mary Kay Carson.


Texas Reading Club 2005 Programming Manual / Go Wild...Read!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011