Brown Bag Kites

Grades 3-4

Art 207-03, Group 2

Jacqueline Gallinetti, Tim Jaramillo, Britney Best, Alyson Strickland, Jenn Badoud



Objectives:  At the end of this lesson the student will be able to...


1)      Observe and discuss kites and how they function (fly)
2)      Apply recycled materials to artwork/kite making
3)      Utilize and develop self expression
4)      Appreciate the art made by others and themselves

Student Materials:


1)      Large brown paper bags
2)      Strong "kite" string
3)      Scissors
4)      Hole puncher
5)      Ring reinforcements (available at office supply stores, buy extra)
6)      Glue or pasts
7)      Tempera or acrylic Paint (multiple colors)
8)      Crayons, markers, pencils (decorative materials)
9)      Paper streamers or crepe paper
10)   Other light objects for decoration: glitter, paper, buttons etc


Teacher Materials:


1)      Book:  "let's make a kite", with historical/cultural information
2)      Previous student artwork examples




1)      Kite
2)      Wind
3)      Air flow
4)      String
5)      Fly
6)      Culture




1) Discuss contents of book, kite building process, and historical/cultural background
3) Instruct students to hole-punch, 4 holes in top of brown paper bag.  One hole in each corner of the bag.  Add reinforcements to holes.  Cut two pieces of "Kite" string about 30 inches long each; tie the string through the holes in bag, creating two loops. 
4) Cut another string about 30 inches long.  Loop the string through the other two strings creating a handle.  You may have to assist students with this section. 
5) Decorate bag with decoration materials.  Finally, cut multiple streamers about 1 foot (12 inches) long, glue to bottom of paper bag.  Set aside to dry.. And now the kite can fly!!


1)      Take class outside (hopefully it is windy) and test the kites
2)      Discuss why some fly and why some do not fly
3)      Emphasize cultural and historical background information
4)      Come back inside and hang kites up in classroom




Make sure you have enough reinforcements for each kite.  Masking tape can be a substitute for the reinforcements.  Monitor the students' decoration materials; make sure the kite is not too heavy to fly.


Characteristics of artistic development in the age group:


Students at the 3rd and 4th grade level are between the ages of 7 years to 9 years old.  According to Lowenfield's artistic development theory, students at this age are leaving behind their first representational attempts at the pre-schematic stage.  They enter the schematic stage and develop the achievement of a form concept.

Children's art at this stage is created depicting concepts and not perceptions, which are indicative of the child's knowledge of the environment.  Space representation includes drawing of the sky and other baselines, in attempt to create a more complete atmosphere, with little or no overlapping.  Human representation includes geometric body shapes and correct placement of limbs (legs, arms, etc).  Proportions are drawn depending on the objects emotional value.

The schematic stage is an important stage in a child's artistic development because, when observing or assessing the child's art you are able to see the way in which a child begins to interpret the world, as well as their emotional development in regards to their environment.


Historical and cultural content:


It is not known when the first kite was flown, but its popularly held that the Chinese led the way with early aerodynes copying the form of birds.  In Japan, kites were used for religious purposes and they still do this today.  On May fifth each year its "Boys day" and any home with a boy flies these kites called carp windsocks.  By the 1600's, the traditional diamond shape kite had become popular in Europe and was widely used there.
Kites became very popular and were being used for many things.  For example, scientists used kites to figure out atmospheric phenomena by using the kites to carry thermometers to measure such things as air temperature at various altitudes.  In addition, kites were used to lift cameras for aerial photography since the 1870's.  Other people, such! as the French designer Maillot, used kites to carry heavy payloads from one place to the other.
As time went by people had many different ideas for kite use.  Another popular idea was when Lawrence Hargrove decided to design box kites for meteorological forecasting.  The stability of his kites made it ideal for man lifting.  This idea of man lifting was also seeked out by another pioneer, but he did not have as much success.  His kites were used during the Royal Navy Reconnaissance trials and failed.  They collapsed during the trial, later killing him, and one other.

A new form of kites started to emerge in 1963.  By the 1970's new kite, designs were booming because of the wider variety of materials.  Today we see kites used for many different things such as parachutes and pleasure.  Over time, we have come up with new contraptions to take over the duties of many things that kites did; but kites were the beginning of a new curiosity era.



After the presentation of our well developed lesson plan to the class we realized that there were a few suggestions made by both the students and the professor that would be helpful to note.  Most of our peers agreed on the fact that the lesson was both fun and simple.  We received many compliments on the pre-cut strings, hole-punched and reinforced bags, as well as the music that we had to "stimulate the mind" during our lesson.  Some of the problems with our lesson included the fact that it was difficult to complete both sides of the bag in such a short amount of time.  In addition, some thought that there was too much freedom for the children to choose which decorations they would use to decorate their kites.  Our professor complimented our group on the uniqueness of our lesson and enjoyed that she had never thought about it prior to our lesson instruction.  Although, she di! d comment that we should concentrate on creating a more strict subject matter for the children to work with on their kites.




Book:  "The Creative Book of Kites"   Provided by Masami Toku
Various Slides of historical kite making and background.  Provided by Masami Toku

 Guidelines for case study research class handout.  Provided by Masami Toku

 Art lesson idea:  Found on Internet at:     "Brown Bag Kites"