Fly a Leaf

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In this outdoor, windy day activity, learners "fly" and race leaves along a line to discover which types of leaves catch the most wind. Which leaves are the best fliers? Why? Learners think about wind as an important environmental and physical factor, and how plants must adapt to its influence. What a fun way to take advantage of a windy day!

Quick Guide

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Game


Materials List (per group of students)

  • poles (the thickness of a broomstick) 1 meter long or longer
  • plastic soda straws
  • six-meter lengths of 40 lb. test monofilament nylon fishing line
  • small pieces of cardboard
  • rolls of clear tape
  • spool of thread or light string
  • scissors
  • several hammers, rocks or board (for driving poles into ground)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants

Informal Categories

  • Games
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Regents of the University of California, 1982