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Homework Idea – The Ultimate Paper Plane

Homework Idea – Paper Plane Challenge – a creative way to manipulate scientific variables, explore procedural texts & have a little fun.

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The Ultimate Paper Plane
Further? Higher? More Tricks?

The Ultimate Paper Plane - Further? Higher? More Tricks?


Over the course of the next week, you must seek out ‘the mother of all paper aeroplane designs’. You must make the model and then ‘tweak’ it to either achieve maximum distance, maximum loops before hitting the ground or maximum height. NB for this last one you will need a clinometer.

(an excellent opportunity for research and the investigation of variables)


Tips & Tricks:

  • Show and discuss this video of the longest flight by a paper plane. 

  • Work through this video on making the plane shown in the video.

  • Transporting the Model – Place the model in the bag and blow up the bag. Next tie the bag with a knot or rubber band. This way the models don’t get crushed on the way to school.
  • Define the rules of the competition before you begin ie each model will receive 3 throws and the result will be determined by an average of these 3 throws. How will distance be measured?
  • Create Rules for Different Competitions – e.g. Most loops or longest flying time.
  • Function versus Form – It is more important the plane works well rather than how good it looks. No coloring in!
  • SAFETY – throw your model only when there is no one in front of you.

Presentation Ideas:

  • Make creative mobiles in your classroom.
  • Create a learning journal entry with video, photos & text.

Community Building:

  • Have your students visit other classrooms to show them how to fold the new models
  • Have a lunchtime flying the new models


  • Have your own ‘secret weapon’ to pull out when the going gets interesting. The students will love how you tried as well. They especially like it when their models ‘kick your butt’ lol 
  • I once made The Mantra – It was a very good distance plane and the students thought it looked very cool. Here is the link if you’d like to give it a go.

    paper plane model

    Paper Plane model – The Mantra

  • Keep the procedural text of the best plane so you can ‘kick some butt’ with your next class 🙂