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Teacher Feature

Teacher Feature

100 Years of Change


Although their flight was relatively short, the advent of this sustained "air time" had a great affect on our nation.  Aside from the impact on travel, the ability to fly has affected everything from the agriculture industry to politics.  In the past 100 years since the Wright Brothers had their successful flight in Kitty Hawk, this country, as well as the world, has undergone numerous transformations.  This activity invites students to look at some of the changes that affected the way that we live our daily lives.


Before starting this activity, divide a piece of chart paper into three columns.  In the first column, write the following words:  food, shelter, clothing, travel, recreation, other.  Give the other two columns the following headings respectively, "1903" and "Today."  Instruct your students to work with a partner to create a list of items used today that would fit in each of these categories.  Regroup and discuss the lists as a class.  Fill in the "Today" column during the class discussion.

Next you will want to introduce your students to the lifestyle of people in 1903.  To do this, start off by reading an appropriate book about the Wright Brothers as a whole class.  Ask students to note any mention of the categories they discussed earlier.  If there are any categories that were not mentioned in this text, allow your students to use classroom/library/Internet resources to research this information.

To tie these lists together, ask your students to conduct a Think-Pair-Share where they will think about and discuss how the existence of manned flights enabled any of these changes to develop.


The project described above reflects some of the national standards of learning as defined by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE), and the International Society for Technology in Education.  These standards are listed below:

Language Arts Standards

Gather and use information for research purposes:  Students will read/listen to a story set in the early 1900s and will draw information from this story about the culture of America at this time.

Demonstrate competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning:  Students will conduct discussions to determine the ways in which flight has effected our lives over the past 100 years.

Social Studies Standards

Time, Continuity, and Change:  Students will compare the same information between two time periods.

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