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Temple Grandin, Wonder Workshop, & Flying Toys!

If those three words don't make you curious (and smile a little bit) you are in the wrong place. In this blog I'm sharing a modified wonder workshop from Inspiring Innovation. TOGETHER you and your little (or not-so-little) will learn about the amazing twice-exceptional innovator, Temple Grandin, and then explore aeronautical engineering! I know, I know, it sounds like a really big word for a little, but I promise give this one a try and you and your little are sure to smile and learn together.

Wonder Workshop: Flying Toys from Inspiring Innovation

1. Who is Temple Grandin

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures is a WONDERFUL way to introduce Ms. Grandin and her bio to your littles. If you don't have access to the book at home or from your library, check out her website, you can even send her a letter. Temple grew up to be an inspiring innovator and advocate for Autism, but when she was a little learner she loved to create and fly bird kites! Wondering and being curious about how those kites flew, not only was super fun, but it helped Ms. Grandin learn to think like an innovator. This is the hook for this wonder workshop.


2. Create your flyer!

In the photo above my son, Jonah, is holding the paper flyer we created together. All you need is a 1" x 6" and 1" by 10" strip of cardstock (you can just cut an old card, if you don't have cardstock paper) and a straw. Tape the strips into circles and then tape the circles to the balloon.


3. Explore and PLAY!

This step is critical... Ready for it... Play with your flyer TOGETHER!

Laugh, Smile, Fly It, Crash It and Laugh again.

Rinse and Repeat.


4. What do you notice?


Together discuss what your little (or not-so-little) what you noticed? Use the sentence starter, and model what you observe for your little.

"I noticed it flies higher when I throw it like..."

"I notice it flies like a football if..."

"I see that it crashes if I..."


5. Hmmm.... I wonder!


You may think you've finished this exploration... but the truth is, you've only just begun! What do you wonder now? Do you wonder if it would fly higher if you held it a different way? Do you wonder how far it would fly if you threw it outside vs inside? What ever you wonder say that aloud to your little! And then test it. Ask them to say, "I wonder" and then test their wondering! You can even pull out a couple more strips of paper and some straws and wonder about creating a different design! (i.e., I wonder if I created a flyer using 3 straws if it would move farther). The sky (and beyond) is the limit here.



*This Tribe 5 was adapted from my book, Inspiring Innovation and Creativity in Young Learners, published through Prufrock Press.







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