Students have a lot to learn in 4th grade – some days, you might wonder how you’ll cover it all! Between classroom management, assessments, and aligning your curriculum with the standards, it can be challenging to fit everything in and meet the needs of your students.
STEM education provides a way for students to get involved with their learning while exploring the world, and drones can be an essential part of the learning process.
Curious how drones can be used as a part of your curriculum? Check out our programs here.
4th Grade STEM
In 4th Grade, students are learning complex ideas and how to formulate answers to questions about these ideas. They have to apply what they’ve learned in 1st-3rd grade and are starting to master skills instead of just practicing them.
The concepts they’re learning include:
- Asking questions and defining problems
- Planning and carrying out investigations
- Generating and analyzing patterns
- Definitions of energy and matter
- Defining and delineating engineering problems
- Conservation of energy and energy transfer
- Understanding fractions
Let’s talk about how these complex concepts can be broken down and taught using drones.
STEM + Drones for 4th Graders
Drones are excellent to combine with STEM education because they cover so many areas. From engineering to art, drones are a versatile tool to use in 4th grade classrooms. It’s a bonus that students love flying them. Here’s how drones can connect to different areas of the 4th grade curriculum.
4th Grade Science → Drones
In 4th grade science, students are learning about Earth’s features, energy, and matter. Meanwhile, drones in the real world are transforming the field of environmental reserach. Environmental drones help researchers collect valuable data on Earth’s atmosphere and climate. They can even help scientists understand natural disasters since they can go places unsafe for humans.
So not only can drones connect to your curriculum when you’re discussing how drones are used to help environmental researchers, bringing drones into the class allows for real-life application of these concepts. Getting to see and fly drones in school will bring these science lessons home for your 4th graders and allow them to retain what they learned.
4th Grade Math → Drones
In 4th grade math, students are learning how to interpret multiplication and division problems, and are starting to understand and analyze patterns in each math problem. Math isn’t always the most exciting subject for kids, but you can use drones to help make math more engaging. In classrooms across the world, educators are using drone technology to help with math concepts.
How the drone itself works is being used as a math concept since it requires basic math skills to fly a drone. It’s also a great opportunity to teach students about distance and velocity as you measure the speed or distance of the drone. You can also use the drone as a tool to teach multiplication and division. One creative UK teacher used a drone to teach multiplication to her students.
4th Grade Reading & Writing → Drones
It may be easy to see how drones can connect to subjects such as math or science, but what about reading or writing? Drones are effective tools even in these subjects when teachers get creative. For 4th grade curriculum, you may use drones to complete a writing exercise where you photograph scenery and ask students to practice describing it.
Then, have students write a story about what they see in the picture. You can also include a reading exercise by introducing an informative article about the usage of drones.
4th Grade Art → Drones
Art class is a place for students to be creative. Thinking outside of the box is a necessary part of this subject, and working with drones allows students to express themselves in a creative way. Some schools hold drone tournaments, where they include competitions such as drone design, or synchronized drone dancing.
These creative drone competitions can combine with what they’re learning in art about 3D design and different media techniques.
4th Grade Standards & Drones
As an educator, one of the most important aspects of your lessons is their alignment to standards. Although you don’t want to teach a boring lesson just because it aligns with standards, it’s important to think of standards first, then make your lessons engaging.
Drones can help connect your 4th grade curriculum to various aspects of the standards. STEM education is meant to group together teaching on science, technology, engineering, and math to prepare students for the future.
The skill of piloting a drone is becoming more necessary in fields such as agriculture, public safety, and construction. Even law enforcement officers frequently use drones! But in a practical sense, drones can be applied to subjects such as geography in the classroom by using them to talk about location and teach geospatial skills.
Since drone technology is so widely used, you can connect it to nearly any subject. Bringing drones into the classroom will help students build critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well, making them better learners overall.
Drone Ideas for 4th Graders
4th grade is an important year for students as they develop the skills necessary for 5th grade. It’s also a great year to introduce drones in the classroom. As part of your 4th grade curriculum, drones can be used for:
- Making a collaborative art project
Have students work in teams or as a class to create a video using a drone, or have a drone dance competition.
- Drone racing
Kids love races and drone races are a blast. To make it less competitive, have students work together as teams and have them race the clock instead of each other.
- Career day with drones
It’s never too early to have students imagine their future. Have students research and choose a career where drones would be used, and then present to the class.
Best Drones for 4th Graders
When you’re looking at using drones in your 4th grade classroom, what kinds of drones are the best to use? For 4th grade students, the drones you choose should be:
- Easy to fly
- Safe to fly indoors
There are plenty of drone models out there, and the best model for your class will depend on how you’ll be using it.
Drones + 4th Grade = Soaring Into Learning
Drones are fun to play with, but they’re also educational. When using drones in 4th grade, students can learn about motion, multiplication, and patterns. Since drones are so versatile, it’s easy to align our drone curriculum to your standards.
When we created the Drone Legends curriculum, we had STEM learning in mind. Think about how you could engage your students if you were able to use drones in your lessons.
Ready to find out how to bring drones to your school? Check out our programs and contact us today!