Wright Brothers Lesson for Kids: Facts & Biography

Instructor: Tammie Mihet

Tammie has taught elementary school for 14 yrs. and holds an MA in Instructional Technology

The Wright Brothers used their creativity and inventiveness to design one of the most loved inventions of all time, the airplane. In this lesson, find out what led these two brothers to make possible what others thought was impossible!

The Wright Brothers: Aviation Pioneers

A pioneer is someone who is the first to develop and apply a new idea. That's what the Wright Brothers were, they were pioneers in aviation, or the flying of aircrafts. These pioneering brothers were born four years apart and had five other brothers and sisters. Wilbur, the older brother, was born in 1867 near Millville, Indiana, and Orville was born in 1871 in Dayton, Ohio.

Of the two brothers, Orville was the one more inclined toward mischief and once was even expelled from elementary school! It was a toy 'helicopter' their father brought home when they were young that ignited their love of flight. The brothers played with the helicopter nonstop until it broke. Then, using their budding inventiveness, they built a new one, the beginning of great ideas to come!

Wilbur and Orville Wright
Wright Brothers

Inventions

Neither one of the Wright Brothers officially finished high school; however, they did not let that stop them from reaching their dreams. Together, they went on to develop their own printing press and opened a bicycle repair shop; they even invented their own bicycle brand! With the profits they made from its sales, they continued to invest their money in their real love, flight. In May of 1899, they contacted the Smithsonian Institute asking for information about aviation.

Birth of Flight

Starting in 1899, the Wright Brothers, using the scientific method, or steps, began to test various flying machine designs. Using this method, they would test various designs, gather data about the design's flight, and change their designs based on the data collected. They first tested their flying ideas on kites, then gliders, and only after successful trials, did they test powered machines. On December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers had a break through: they successfully kept a powered, heavier-than-air airplane in flight!

Scientific Method Used for Testing Flight Success
Scientific Method

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