Transportation: Air

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11671

When you look into the sky, do you see anything moving through the air? You may see birds, and you may see planes or balloons! How do people travel in the air? Learn how, and draw pictures of fliers!


People and Their Environment

Social Studies
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
PreK/K, Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

  • How do birds move around in the air?
  • Do you think you could zip around up there without help?
  • What happens when you let go of a helium balloon?

Learn about air travel!

In the previous Transportation series Related Lessons, found in the right-hand sidebar, you learned about ways people travel from place to place by land or water.

The word "transportation" means to go from one place to another. Sometimes those other modes of transportation are not fast enough to get people where they need to go. Air travel is a faster way to get to different places in a country or even around the world.


One mode of air transportation you may recognize is a plane. There are many different types of planes. The most popular type of plane is a passenger plane. These planes transport people all over the world.

Another type of plane is a propeller plane. Propeller planes are much smaller and can be used to travel, take care of farm plants, and even just for fun!

Another type of plane is a jet plane. Jet planes are very fast planes.

All planes are powered by engines. The person who flies a plane is called the pilot.

  • Have you ever been on a plane?
  • If not, what do you think it would be like to be on a plane?

If you have been on a plane, share your experience with your teacher or parent.

Helicopters are another way to travel by air. Instead of having wings on the sides like planes, helicopters have propellers on the top that spin. Helicopters are much smaller than planes. People use helicopters to travel, go on tours, broadcast news, and for emergencies. Helicopters are a great way to travel, but you cannot fly very far in a helicopter.

  • Have you ever seen a helicopter flying?
  • If not, what do you think a helicopter would look like in the sky?

Share your answers with your parent or teacher.

Another fun way to travel by air is in a hot air balloon. People use hot air balloons to see the scenery from above and just for fun! They are rarely used to travel long distances because they move quite slowly. A hot air balloon uses heat to make the balloon fly.

They also drop heavy weights off the balloon so it can slowly go up into the sky. This is how they raise the balloon safely. When they want the balloon to go back to the ground, they lower the heat. The balloon slowly comes to the ground as it is given less and less heat. Hot air balloons come in many shapes and sizes. They can have some colorful designs like the ones below.

  • If you had a hot air balloon, what would yours look like?

Share your answer with your parent or teacher.

These are some amazing ways to get from place to place by air!

  • Which way would you want to travel? Why?

Share your answers with your parent or teacher, then, move on to the Got It? section.

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