Paper Airplane Icebreaker and Discussion | UMC YoungPeople
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January 2019

Paper Airplane Icebreaker and Discussion

By Jeremy Steele

Paper airplanes are universal fun, and can be a great metaphor when talking about how our appearances don’t always reflect our abilities and how small changes can make a big difference. Before you meet, take a moment to Check out Fold ‘N Fly for instructions on several different design options you can share with your class. You can even print out some templates.

Begin by pairing students up. Ask them to design and fold a couple of plan prototypes that they think will fly the fastest, highest, straightest or farthest.

After they are all folded, as a group talk about which ones youthink will go fastest, highest, fly straigtest and farthest. Then test your predictions.

After the first flight, bring your pairs together and make modifications to the airplane to make it faster, higher, straighter.


Could you tell how the plan was going to fly based on its design?

How did your modifications affect the outcomes?

Think about your life. How does this activity describe you right now?

When he's not playing with his four children with his wonderful wife, Jeremy is the associate pastor at Los Altos UMC in Los Altos, CA. Jeremy has spent over twenty years working in youth and children's ministry and continues to train children and youth workers as well as writing and speaking extensively in that field. His most recent book is the "All the Best Questions." You can find a list of all his books, articles, and resources for churches at