Friday, April 19, 2024


by Mark Warner
0 comment
Ages: 7-11
Contributor: Sam Collins

 In 1953, Jacqueline Auriol, a French pilot, is about to go down in history along with her jet aircraft. In this video, she becomes the first European woman to break the sound barrier in a plane.

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Stop the video at 0:10. Ask the children to predict what the video is going to be about.
  • Ask the children to write some dialogue, for example, between Jacqueline and the mechanic from 0:42 and 1:04.
  • Watch the section from 0:13 – 0:27, and ask the children to write a detailed description of it.
  • Use the repetitive structure of the narration (for example, from 4:28 to 4:38) as a model to write a description of something else.
  • Watch the section from 2:54 – 3:32 and collect vocabulary that could be used to describe it.
  • Ask the children to record the structure of the story as it shifts from older Jacqueline to the event in the plane.
  • Watch from 3:53 – 4:17 and discuss how Jacqueline’s feelings are shown by her physical movements and reactions,
  • Write a newspaper report about the flight.
  • Invent some alternative titles for the film.
  • Write a diary entry about the event from the point of view of Jacqueline or another member of the team.
  • Jacqueline’s plane broke the sound barrier and went supersonic – collect other words with the prefix “super” and discuss their meanings.



  • Use Scratch to create a flying game.
  • Create a short animation of a flying object, like a plane.

Design Technology

  • Design a flying suit. What features would you incorporate, and why?
  • Make a list of the safety features, such as the helmet, that you see in the video.
  • Jacqueline Auriol was a test pilot. Discuss why testing is important and how you know a test is useful or accurate. This BBC video is a great conversation starter.
  • Among her many achievements, Jacqueline Auriol was a test pilot for Concorde. Watch this video that celebrates Concorde and have a discussion about how it is different from other aeroplanes.


  • Freeze the video and ask the children to sketch what they see on the screen.
  • Ask the children to draw what Jacqueline Auriol could see while she was flying.


  • Create a soundtrack for a section of the film.
  • Listen to the music from 2:57 – 3:14. What effect does it have on the viewer? How is that effect achieved?


  • Research the life of Jacqueline Auriot. This Kiddle page is a good starting point.
  • Watch the closing credits carefully, from 6:08. What evidence and documents from Auriol’s life have been used? What do they tell us about her?
  • Find out about other famous female pilots, such as Amy Johnson and Amelia Earhart. Make a virtual visit to the Smithsonian’s Women in Aviation exhibition.



  • Jacqueline Auriol worked in a team; when have you worked in a team to accomplish something you could not do on your own?

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