Most everyone has flown a kite, but how many students have put themselves into the high in the sky position of a kite?
You class will be able to say that they have after this lesson on writing from a high in the sky perspective.
K: How To Have A 'Kite' Lesson On Writing From A 'High In The Sky' Perspective
Lay the Foundation
Before you jump into the high sky view of a kite, read your students some books about kites. You may want to use Catch the Wind! All About Kites by Gail Gibbons or The Great Kite Book by Norman Schmidt. Ask your students if they have ever imagined what it might be like to be a kite high up in the air. Introduce the term “bird’s eye view” to your class. What might they see from a bird’s eye view outside? In the classroom? At home? Give your students an opportunity to share times they have seen the world from a bird’s eye view. These times may have been on a ferris wheel, in a plane, from the top of a building or some other time they were high in the air. You may even want to have your students stand on their chairs or desks to see how the room looks different based on your point of view. What are the similarities when they view the room from a high position? What are the differences? Artists also use the term “worm’s eye view” to describe looking at the world from a position on the ground. You may also want to have your class lie on the floor on their stomachs and observe the room that way. What are the similarities? What are the differences? If you like, have your students make notes about the similarities and differences they saw from a bird’s eye view, a normal view and a worm’s eye view of the classroom.
Now that your students are thinking about the world in different ways, have them close their eyes and imagine what it would be like to be a kite up in the sky. What would they see? What could they observe? Give your students five to ten minutes to freewrite. Freewriting is an exercise in which the goal is to never let your pen or pencil stop moving. If your students know the term stream of consciousness, freewriting is similar. For the allotted amount of time, they should keep writing absolutely anything that comes to mind. They should not worry about grammar, punctuation, spelling, getting off topic or organization. This activity is simply to get ideas on the paper.
Once time is up, have your students go back and read what they have written. They may want to highlight any phrases or ideas they wrote that they find particularly interesting or inspiring. They should then use these ideas to write an organized and descriptive piece on what it is like to see things from a bird’s eye view. They may write about what they see from their high position. They may write what it feels like to be so high in the air flying on the breezes. They may want to imagine that they themselves are a kite and write about their dreams and fears. Anything is okay as long as they are taking a high above the world view. While your students write, you may want to play some light and airy music to set the mood. Flute music or the sounds of birds in nature would be good choices. Once your students have completed their pieces on kites, you may want to repeat the activity taking the perspective of an ant on the ground. You can display the kite pieces in your classroom suspended from the ceiling or clipped to a clothesline strung in the classroom. If your students write the ant pieces, designate a bulletin board for displaying them and cut out a simple anthill from brown paper to decorate the board and post their pieces in the burrows.
To follow up the writing activity, you may want to launch message balloons as a class. Have each student write a note to the person who will find their balloon stating their name, the date, the school’s name and a brief message including a request to write the postcard and place it in the mail. Then have your students attach a prepaid postcard addressed to themselves. They should each attach their notes to a helium balloon, and as a class release the balloons together. See how many people in class receive the postcards from people who found the balloons and make a display to show where the balloons were found.
Another way to round out your high in the sky unit is to get out of the classroom. If you are able to take a field trip, schedule a visit to a high place near your school. It may be a tall building, an observation tower or a mountaintop. Encourage your students to write about what they see and how they feel as they observe the world from so high up. You can also ask them if they have changed their ideas since writing the kite piece. Any thoughts or feelings that they share should be encouraged.
Every teacher wants her students to soar in their education. Why not give that flight a little boost by looking at the world from a kite’s perspective.
Your students will enjoy using their imaginations, and doing so may just help them look at the world in a new and interesting way.