Aviation Classroom Theme

We love aviation as a classroom theme for all ages. It’s easy to set up your classroom, science and social studies connections abound, and the theme fits in well with all kinds of motivational and character programs. Our linked resources will give you some great computer skills practice, too.

Also check out our Travel Theme and Hot Air Balloon Classroom Theme for more ideas.

Think about a bulletin board:


Airplane classroom theme slogans:

  • Up, up and away!
  • Soaring into a new year
  • We’re flying high
  • High flying readers
  • Taking off!
  • Aiming high!
  • We’re just “plane” great!

Add airplane books to your library table:

Set up a flight simulator in your computer center. There are plenty of options, but we checked with pilots and have these recommendations:

  • GEFS is a free online flight simulator based on Google Earth.
  • You can actually get the flight experience within Google Earth. To enter airplane mode,  press CTRL + Alt + A (command + option + A on a Mac). Visit the Google Earth Help Center for more details.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator is probably the most popular flight simulator software for casual use, and it’s affordable. Download a demo.
  • X-Plane v 9.0 is more realistic than the Microsoft game, and can actually be used for flight training.

Welcome students with virtual field trips:

You can enjoy an airplane or aviation theme in your classroom without ever getting into the science of flight, but if you feel like it, we’ve found some great resources:
  •  NASA’s Beginner’s Guide to Aeronautics leads to pages appropriate to various age and grade levels.
  • Scholastic has a cool interactive timeline of flight. Add the dates to your classroom timeline.
  • Paper Flight is a paper airplane flying simulation game. Get the lessons about controlling paper airplanes without the classroom management issues that can arise with real paper airplanes.
  • The National Air and Space Museum has a very cool interactive animation that lets you understand and experiment with drag, lift, thrust, and weight. We crashed our plane several times as we learned how these forces interact.
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  1. I did the airplane theme last year and my third graders loved it. For individual classroom behavior we did Sky Miles where they accrue up to 10,000 sky miles for different completed tasks or appropriate behavior (participating in different daily classroom activities, bringing appropriate materials (gear), completing homework, etc.) Students had an index card in the corner of their desk that was laminated. Students were responsible for writing down the sky miles they earned for each activty. I gave sky miles usually in 100 mile increments but students also received 300 additional sky miles at the end of class. Then at the end of class they would tally their daily total and add to their existing total. Once students accumulated 10,000 sky miles I would subtract the 10,000 and the students would begin the process again. I did have a number of different incentives that students could choose from once they earned 10,000-a prize from the treasure chest, eating lunch with me, homework pass, or upgrading for a week of first class seatig which means instead of using a regular student chair they would use an old office seat at their desk. For more information please let me know

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  3. Love these ideas!

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