Classroom Resources

Monthly Themes

Inventors and Inventions

Writing Prompt:

Compare and Contrast:

Have students look at the photo of this important invention—the television. Have them write a paragraph that tells how the television of long ago is different from the one they use today. How is it the same?

Activities

Grades K–2: Science/Language Arts
Invention Alphabet

Send students on a scavenger hunt of the classroom or school building to find inventions. Give each student or pair of students a letter of the alphabet and have them look for inventions that begin with that letter.

Grades K–8: Science/Social Studies
Telephone Tour

Take students on a visual tour of telephones from 1877 through 1977. Have students tell how the telephones are similar and different.

Grades 1–3: Science
Super Pencil

Ask students to think of ways they can improve upon the pencil, and then have them design and build a new one.

Grades 1–4: Science/Social Studies
The Best Invention Ever

Brainstorm with students a list of 10–20 inventions that they think are the best ever. Then have each student choose one of the inventions, and explain to the class why that invention was the best one ever invented.

Grades 1–4: Science
Help Me!

Have children discuss how machines help people do things. Then have them “invent” machines that can help them do something they need help doing.

Grades 1–8: Science
Quizzes

Test students' knowledge about inventors and inventions.

  • What Am I? (grades 1–2) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/invent_1-2_quiz.pdf
  • What Am I? Answer Key (grades 1–2) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/invent_1-2_quiz_key.pdf
  • Invention Challenge (grades 3–5) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/invent_3-5_quiz.pdf
  • Invention Challenge Answer Key (grades 3–5) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/invent_3-5_quiz_key.pdf
  • Ideas That Taste Good (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/invent_6-8_quiz.pdf
  • Ideas That Taste Good Answer Key (grades 6–8) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/february/pdf/invent_6-8_quiz_key.pdf
Grades 1–8: Science
Show Off Your Inventions

Have an invention convention in your classroom or school.

Grades 2–6: Science
Be an Inventor

Have students role-play the part of inventors.

  • Young Inventors
  • http://henson.austin.apple.com/edres/ellesson/elem-younginvent.shtml
Grades 2–5: Science
Word Find

Have students find words related to inventions hidden in a puzzle.

Grades 3–5: Science
Invention Lesson

In this lesson, students will learn how some inventions came about accidentally, and how the story of an invention can be told in an interesting fashion.

Grades 3–8: Science/Math
Assembly Required

Inventors and problem-solvers have their own ways of looking at things. Challenge your students to assemble shapes to create a pattern.

  • Puzzle Blocks
  • http://www.inventionatplay.org/playhouse_puzzle.html
Grades 6–8: Science
Make a Contraption

Have students appraise the qualities of successful inventors and inventions, as well as examine the ways in which the Internet supports inventors, as a springboard for designing and “patenting” inventions that would be helpful to them in their daily lives.

  • Daily Lesson Plan
  • http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/lessons/19990909thursday.html
Grades 6–8: Science
Follow the Bouncing Ball

Have students experiment with fun objects to try and make a bouncing ball go where it is supposed to.

  • Tinker Ball
  • http://www.inventionatplay.org/playhouse_tinker.html
Grades 6–8: Science/Social Studies
Invention History Challenge

Which came first? You might be surprised to find out how early—or how late—some inventions arrived.

Grades 7–8: Science/Social Studies
Chain of Invention

Necessity may be the mother of invention…but sometimes invention is the mother of invention, as one great idea leads to another. See if students can trace the path invention has taken over the centuries.

Grades 7–8: Science
Compare and Contrast

The computer is one of the greatest inventions of all time. However, many computers are already obsolete. Have students write a compare-and-contrast essay about the ways computers of the past are different and similar to the ones used today.

Grades 7–8: Science
Inventions

Do your students know who invented many of the things they use today? Have them play this matching game and find out.


Houghton Mifflin