TeachersFirst's Inventors and Inventions Resources
Invent and Innovate! This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students learn about inventors and inventions. Use these resources for science or social studies lessons and activities about innovation and invention, in observance of National Inventors' Day (celebrated on February 11, Thomas Edison's birthday), or at any time during the school year. Whether you are simply learning about the history of invention or planning a schoolwide Invention Convention, these resources will provide inspiration and project possibilities.
Explore all of TeachersFirst's resources tagged inventors and inventions for more ideas.
Grades4 to 9
In the ClassroomThe possibilities at this site are "inventive." Visit the games site to learn about sound and play an interactive "string thing." Have students work in cooperative learning groups to recreate the building activities. Share the video clips (or interactives) on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have your class complete one of the "real life" challenges together. If you can't do it during the competition months, go back and try one of the past competitions. Document it on a class wiki, then invite next year's class to do it even better by learning from "experience." Before you know it, kids will walk in the first day of school and ask when they get to try the challenge.
Grades3 to 6
In the ClassroomThis website could be used in a variety of capacities in science and/or social studies. The site offers excellent research information about the Wright brothers and the invention of the airplane. The site would also be useful in a science class learning about flight, steam-powered engines, gas-powered engine, wings shape, lift, and other aviation concepts.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as an anticipatory set for a unit in history or on inventions. Share a collection of images or invention drawings on a projector or whiteboard and ask what the invention will do. Or use the site as the starting point for individual or group projects. After demonstrating on an interactive whiteboard or projector, have students use laptops or lab computers to "collect" resources related to their assigned inventor, decade, or era in American history. Check your school policy regarding accessing student email. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.Students can use their log-ins to collect resources.
Since the documents are in the public domain (are not copyrighted), students may also download and use the files as part of other projects, such as video compilations, Powerpoint presentations, or multimedia of any sort. To access the resources in non-Flash format, click the small link to "research this record in ARC" in the detailed view of the item. You can then view and Save As for use elsewhere. Be sure you teach students about copying the URL and relevant information from this ARC page to cite the source and give credit in any presentation they make. This site is excellent for enrichment or projects for the gifted, as well. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class for students who are working in History Day projects or other assignments for your class.