Soaring High with Kites

Soaring High with Kites

by Judie Haynes

Help your ESL students obtain new heights in English language learning through this dynamic unit on kites. Through this topic your students can study the importance of kites in cultures around the world and investigate the role that kites have played in scientific discovery,

Combine the study of science, art, and culture with this dynamic thematic unit about kites. Have students investigate cultural importance of kites around the world and the development of flight. Teach students how to retell kite legends and stories from various cultures.

This unit can be taught to students over a wide range of grade and English language ability levels. The ESL teacher can also work with students who are developing their listening, speaking and social skills; and, at the same time, include those older students who are reading and writing.

Lesson Topic


Proficiency/Grade Level:

Grades 2-6; High Beginning to Advanced students.

Content Concepts/Skills

Science concepts: Weather, wind, flight, inventions

Cultural concepts: The importance of kites in various cultures.


Kite vocabulary ; including parts of the kite; types of kites and verbs to describe what kites do in the air.

Materials Needed:

Books about kites (fiction and nonfiction); photocopy paper, art supplies, straws, tissue paper

Unit Overview

This topic was taught over a wide range of grade and ability levels in three different ESL groups. My 2nd graders made simple kites from patterns and wrote kite safety rules. They also each wrote a short haiku. Third and fourth graders listened to stories about kite festivals in different countries. They wrote about these festivals and made their own kites. Fifth and sixth graders designed unique kites and wrote about kite legends from Asia. They also wrote diamante poems about kites.

To see an overview of the unit download my Kite Thematic Web.

Instructional Sequence

Activity Downloads

Note: To view the classroom activities, you must have Acrobat Reader intalled. Acrobat is a free application available from Adobe Systems.

PDF fileKite Web (30k .PDF)

PDF filekite vocabulary (2k .PDF)

Related Links