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Learning Maths Outside the Classroom - Designing Kites Combining Maths & Art

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 21 November 2008 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 21 October 2010 by ncetm_administrator

School GroundsSchool Grounds

Designing Kites Combining Maths & Art

One successful Kite flyer commented, "It's impossible to fly my kite without smiling. I feel like I am flying too". When children finally reach that climactic moment when the mathematics, the aesthetics of design and the science of construction combine successfully and the kite flies, then everyone involved smiles, and teachers know they have achieved a major goal. Total immersion in the project often results in pupils being unaware of the maths involved in the project, as a result of the high motivation to solve geometry’s challenges. Such a project helps them to ‘get a feel’ for mathematics and to see it as real part of everyday living.

The process of kite making involves planning, measuring, understanding the relationship of weight to surface area, getting the angle of the bridle line right in relation to the main body of the kite, listening, learning and taking part. It requires concentration, and often succeeds in capturing the attention of pupils who have struggled to engage in other activities. Pupils often don't realise how much they are learning through the process until the kite is flying.

A Guide to Making Kites - This page gives you a step by step simple illustrated guide to kite construction.

A Guide to Lesson Planning - These ideas are intended to be a guide only as to the type of activities you may wish to engage the children in. They will need to be adapted to match the age and ability of the participating group of pupils. During the activities there will be plenty of opportunity to practice the all important process of  Predict - Trial - Review.

Click below to view some video clips.

What the experts have achieved - Click here to take you through to the site of Didier Ferment, a kite expert, enthusiast and maths professor. It is a truly inspirational site, and takes the viewer through a series of kite constructions of ever increasing complexity. The site is beautifully constructed and easy to navigate. It would make an excellent starting point for a project on Kites.

Safety First - This ‘ready to print’ poster summarises safety considerations when flying Kites.

Usworth School International Kite Project - This link takes you to the Report and Evaluation by Infinite Arts, of the Usworth School International Kite Project, involving participants from Sardinia, Tasmania, USA and Japan.
People’s Air Gallery - This link takes you to the Final Report prepared by Infinite Arts of the People’s Air Gallery project commissioned by Sunderland City Council, which brought Kite making to the people.

Tiramisu - This was developed by Infinite Arts for Creative Partnerships London. The name ‘Tiramisu’ means ‘lift me up’, and the project provided an opportunity for teachers and teaching assistants to explore creative learning. Tiramisu is currently being developed throughout the UK and can be offered as inset or as a residential course for teachers in your area.

Tiramisu Report - This link takes you to the Final Report prepared by Infinite Arts, which analyses the original Creative Partnership London West Tiramisu Project in terms of strengths and weaknesses. It is well-illustrated and features some of the specialist materials provided by the Drachen Foundation.


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