Inventions Plus

Grade Levels: 3 - 5

Overview


Students use a Web resource to view and learn about inventions, both accidental ones and ones created to solve a problem. Then they devise and explain an invention of their own.

Objectives

  • Students will learn about kinds of inventions and how some have come about.
  • Students will practice brainstorming problems that might be solved by a new invention.
  • Students will design an invention to solve a problem, preparing a drawing and a list of steps to be followed to develop the invention.

Procedure

  1. Tell students they are going to use the World Wide Web to learn about inventors and inventions. Encourage students to share what else they know about inventions they use in everyday life.

  2. Let groups of students go online to the Inventing Modern America: Games website.

  3. Discuss the most common ways inventions happen. Suggest that they think about problems in their everyday lives that could be solved with some kind of invention. Brainstorm a list of these problems – or more significant problems – either as a whole class or in small groups.

  4. Students then choose a problem from this list and create an invention to solve it. Have them draw their invention and then write a brief paragraph, clearly describing the order of steps in either creating or using their invention.

  5. Allow time for students to share their inventions. They might enjoy first sharing just the drawings to guess the purpose of one another's inventions.

Home Connection


Students might bring their drawings and descriptions home and work with family members to construct and test out the invention.

Extensions


  • Students might wish to check out the National Inventors Hall of Fame website. They can browse the database of inventors and inventions, and then click on any topic of interest (car radio, artificial heart, peanut products are a few of the choices) for a brief history of the invention and the inventor.

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