Art Connections: Colorful Kites
Have you ever flown a kite made from a paper bag? You'll create a colorful paper bag kite in this activity using some very simple materials. And if you live where strong breezes blow, you'll be able to watch your kite travel high in the air.
1. Get Ready
Large paper bag (the kind you would get at a supermarket)
Assortment of colored markers
Spool of kite string
2. Do and Wonder
Cut off the bottom of the bag, and throw it away.
Lay the bag flat on the table, so you can work on one side. Use the ruler to measure about one-third down from the center of the top edge of the bag. Make a small X at that spot. Then draw a line from each corner of the bag to the X.
Notice that the surface of the bag now has four triangles drawn on it. Cut off the top and bottom triangles, and throw them away.
Fold the two remaining triangles back toward the opposite sides of the bag. Tape the inside portions of these triangles to the sides of the bag. You should see the tops of two triangles sticking out.
Run a strip of masking tape down the long edge of each triangle, from the top to the bottom of the bag. (This will reinforce the folds in the bag.) Also put a square of masking tape on the point of each triangle. (This will reinforce the part that's sticking out.) Punch a hole through each square of tape about 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) in from the point of the triangle.
Use the ruler to measure and mark about 4 inches (10 centimeters) up from the bottom of the kite. Use the paper punch to make six evenly spaced holes straight across the bottom. (These are vents to let some trapped air out when the kite flies.)
Cut a length of string about 40 inches (1 meter) long. Thread one end through each wing hole, and tie a knot to secure it.
Gently pull up on the string connected to the kite to find its center point. Connect this point to your spool of string by tying another knot. Be sure it's secure!
Use colored markers to decorate your kite. Make it special so you'll be able to tell your kite from all the others when they're up in the sky!
To make your kite fly more upright, tie some short strings with ribbons or small pieces of construction paper to the vent holes.
Go outside and fly your kite!
3. Think and Write
In a short paragraph, explain why the kite rises and then stays in the air.
Many forces affect how well a kite flies. Air moving over its top and bottom surfaces produce lift, which moves the kite upward. At the same time, gravity pulls the kite down toward the earth. Changes in a kite's weight and shape, whether it has a tail, and how strong the wind is blowing will also affect how well your kite will fly.
© ______ 2000, Allyn & Bacon, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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