Implementation of “A paper plane parade” (SOI-MT-388)

Author: Ayrton Curmi, Primary Class Teacher

School/Organization: San Gorg Preca Paola Primary School, Malta

This learning scenario, ‘A paper plane parade’ by Alina Marilena Buduleanu, links different subject areas, such as Mathematics, Language, STEM, and Arts. Cross-curricular approaches are essential in helping students make connections between different areas of knowledge and develop a more holistic understanding of the world. By combining topics like shapes and measurement with science topics like forces, students can explore how these concepts are interconnected and develop a deeper understanding of their relevance in real-world situations. Furthermore, incorporating different subject areas can help engage students with diverse learning styles, making the learning experience more enjoyable and effective, while improving their creative and critical thinking skills.

School and class context.

I’m Ayrton Curmi, a Maltese primary school teacher, teaching 15 students aged between 9-10 years old. This is a group of enthusiastic learners who are eager to explore the world around them. They are curious and ask insightful questions, always striving to understand the material they are presented with. This class thrives on hands-on activities and experiments, engaging with their surroundings in a way that fosters creativity and critical thinking skills. 

Implementing a cross-curricular approach.
 As a primary teacher, I found this learning scenario to be an excellent introductory lesson for the topics of forces and measurements. This learning scenario helped me to incorporate a cross-curricular approach between Maths, Science, English and Arts in a Primary State School. The scenario provided an engaging and interactive way for my students to explore these concepts, which is crucial for building their interest and curiosity. Additionally, the lesson provided an opportunity for me to introduce my students to the Europeana platform, which is an invaluable resource for accessing a vast array of digital educational content. By familiarising my students with this platform, I hope to equip them with the skills necessary to explore and learn from a wide range of sources throughout their academic careers.

Implementing and adapting this learning scenario.

In order to adapt this learning scenario, another hands-on activity was introduced where students created their own kites to reinforce the concept of forces. By experimenting with different materials, shapes, and sizes, students were able to see firsthand how different forces can impact the flight of an object. The integration of technology and assessment for learning strategies, along with a fun craft activity, created a well-rounded learning experience that engaged and motivated students to better understand the concept of forces.

Students working on their kites to understand the concept of forces

In addition to constructing their paper planes and kites, the students in this scenario also collaborated to test their paper planes and provide each other with constructive feedback. Collaborative testing and feedback are effective teaching strategies that encourage teamwork and the development of communication and critical thinking skills. Additionally, the students were introduced to the Europeana platform, where they worked together to search for relevant information and resources related to the topic of forces. This provided an opportunity for the students to practice their research skills and collaborate to gather information and share their findings. Overall, the use of collaborative learning strategies such as group construction, testing, feedback, and research helped to promote active engagement, critical thinking, and social skills among the students.

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Students collaborating to create paper planes before testing them out

Use of Technology

Technology played a significant role in this learning scenario, as a variety of features were used to enhance the learning experience. Mentimeter and Quizizz were used as interactive tools to engage the students and assess their understanding, while the Europeana platform and YouTube provided digital resources and multimedia content to support student learning. The use of technology helped create an engaging and interactive learning environment, while also providing access to a range of resources and information to support student learning. 

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Students working on Mentimeter, “How do Humans fly?”

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Students searching on the Europeana platform.

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Assessment for Learning

Assessment for learning strategies were introduced in this learning scenario to monitor student progress and improve learning outcomes. A group K-W-L chart was used to brainstorm and reflect on what the students knew, what they wanted to know, and at the end of the lesson, what they learned. Students used Mentimeter individually to share prior knowledge, and also individual exit tickets gathered feedback at the end of the lesson. Quizizz was also used as a formative assessment tool.


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Students working on their K-W-L chart and exit ticket

Promoting collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.

The main learning outcomes for the students in this scenario were focused on developing their knowledge and understanding of flying machines and airplanes, as well as promoting collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. By the end of the learning scenario, the students were able to:

  • Understand the basic principles of flight and how they apply to different flying machines.
  • Recognize and name different types of flying machines, such as airplanes, helicopters, and drones.
  • Identify the design of airplanes over time and understand the evolution of airplane technology.
  • Name the different parts of an airplane and explain their functions in flight.
  • Build a paper plane capable of flight and apply the principles of flight learned in class.
  • Provide constructive feedback to peers on their paper planes and apply critical thinking skills.
  • Use various technological features, such as Mentimeter and Europeana platform, to enhance learning and engage in online research.
  • Collaborate with peers in constructing paper planes and kites and work on a K-W-L chart to brainstorm and reflect on learning.
  • Understand the relation between a traditional kite and an airplane, and recognize the similarities in aerodynamics and design principles.
  • Apply creativity and problem-solving skills in designing and building their own paper planes and kites.

Room for improvement.

To further enhance this learning scenario, the teacher could organize an educational outing to an airplane hangar where students can meet with various engineers and gain firsthand experience of the design and construction of airplanes. This can provide students with a real-life situation that is relevant to their lives and can also be important in choosing their future careers. By meeting with professionals in the field, students can gain insight into the practical applications of the principles of flight they have learned in class and see the possibilities of pursuing careers in related fields. This outing can also serve as a valuable opportunity for students to ask questions and engage with experts in the field, further enriching their learning experience.


Upon reflection, I am pleased with how this lesson turned out as all students were able to comprehend the concepts related to forces. Although providing constructive feedback to each other can sometimes be difficult for students, I was able to facilitate the process and guide them towards constructive criticism. The learning scenario was very relevant to their daily lives, which helped to enhance their engagement with the activities. This was apparent during the final activity, where they provided feedback through an exit ticket. Looking ahead, the students are excited to test their kites outdoors. Overall, this was a successful learning scenario, and I am excited to incorporate similar activities in the future.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? ‘A paper plane parade’ created by Alina Marilena Buduleanu.

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Museovirasto.

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