Flying Tigers

Curtiss P-40 WarhawkOne of the most familiar WWII airplanes carries the trademark of the Flying Tigers—a long nose painted with a menacing shark mouth. While the Flying Tigers were a hotshot fighter group, the pilots had to develop new tactics to outfly their Japanese adversary—the Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa, or what the Americans call the “Oscar.”

Why? Find out in Flying Tigers—one of 10 posted videos in the Chronicles of Courage series. The 20-video series from the partnership of NBC Learn and Flying Heritage Collection uses the collection’s WWII airplanes and aviation technology as their focal point.

Listen to experts describe the innovations of these aircraft and the pilots themselves talk how the plane performs in the air. Then turn students loose to “mess around” with materials as they generate questions to answer through investigation. The NSTA-developed lesson plan will give you a leg up on that, with suggested materials and a few directions investigations might take.

Consider developing a guide to support students as they document what happens when they manipulate materials. Include a place where students write down their questions specifically. Then encourage students to take some chances and try different things with the materials as a way to generate more questions.

Take a moment to look at this video and the array of suggestions for using it in your classes. Can’t make an immediate connection with this one? No worries. Take a look at one of the others. We’re sure you’ll find a fit that excites your students and brings those textbook concepts to life.

Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation “Flying Tigers” presents two very different aircraft. The Oscar is light and nimble with especially designed butterfly flaps to give it a turning advantage over it adversaries. The Tomahawk was rugged and strong, which allowed it to dive quickly.

STEM Lesson Plan—Adaptable for Grades 7–12
Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation “Flying Tigers” provides strategies for extracting information from video content and challenging students to explore further plus support for building science literacy through reading and writing.

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