January 17, 2021

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Encourage Your Students to Invent

In honor of Kid Inventors' Day, we're highlighting resources to engage your students in the process of inventing. Find an appropriate activity or challenge for your students. 

Grades 4-12

Smithsonian Learning Lab

Encourage creativity and discovery in your students with these resources from the Smithsonian Museum, the National Zoo, and nine major research centers. Don't miss the distance learning resources, including a variety of ideas for all grade levels.

Grades 4-12

Technovation Families: Curiosity Machine

Connect your students with scientists and engineers to help create projects together. Discover design challenges you can build on your own, including categories such as aerospace, robotics, and engineering. View the videos for even more ideas.

Grades K-6

Do Try This at Home: Invention at Play

Engage students in these opportunities for play that develop visual thinking, problem solving, exploration, and collaboration. Have students create doodles, invent toys, or redesign a current invention to help develop their creative thinking.

Read All About Inventors & Inventions

Learn more about inventions by reading or listening to the books shared in this section. Find the perfect book to share with your students at any grade level. 

Grades K-12

CurriConnects Book List: Inventors and Inventions

Enjoy these books about inventions and inventors throughout history, including both popular and lesser-known figures. All books are divided by level, from preschool to adult.

Grades K-4

Reading Treks: My Brothers' Flying Machine, Wilbur, Orville, and Me

Reading Treks create a virtual field trip of resources about a story or text using the My Maps feature of Google Maps. Use this Reading Trek (with maps and activities) to teach your young students about the invention and history of flight.

Grades 1-5

Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader

Embark on an incredible literature adventure with astronaut Anne McClain as she reads a book on video. "Ada Lace" is a story about a third-grader and "inventor extraordinaire" who invents a ham radio to contact people.

Introduce Your Students to Inventors

Use these resources to bring inventors into your class and help your students engage with and understand famous inventors of the past. 

Grades K-12

TeachersFirst's Inventors and Inventions Resources

Peruse this curated special topics collection of resources about inventors and inventions. Each of the resources includes lesson ideas for science, social studies, and other subjects, plus activities about innovation, inventions, and inventors.

Grades 6-12

Da Vinci - The Genius

Explore an inventor's workshop through the eyes of artist/inventor Leonardo da Vinci. Discover elements of machines, gadget anatomy, linear perspective, and the golden ratio. View lesson plans where students sketch and build their own inventions.

Grades 3-8

Thomas Edison's Inventive Life

Learn about Thomas Edison and the impact of his inventions. Go beyond the light bulb and the phonograph, and teach your students about the full repertoire of Edison's inventions, telling the story of how one man became a national invention hero.

This Week at TeachersFirst

Register now to save your spot in our first Winter OK2Ask® session this Tuesday and be sure to join us on Twitter this Thursday for our bi-monthly Twitter chat. We're also highlighting a blog post about Kid Inventors' Day and we kindly ask for your input in our weekly poll. 


  OK2Ask: TeachersFirst Smackdown (Classroom Management Edition) image

Tuesday (1/19) at 7 PM ET

OK2Ask: TeachersFirst Smackdown (Classroom Management Edition)

Join us for the first OK2Ask virtual workshop of 2021! Learn about and compare some of TeachersFirst contributors' favorite technology tools and share ideas for using them with other participants. Help decide which tool will win this season’s smackdown!

Evaluate one or more tools for use in your classroom »


  Twitter Chat: Maximize Learning - Classroom Management for Remote Learning image

Thursday (1/21) at 8 PM ET

Twitter Chat: Maximize Learning - Classroom Management for Remote Learning

Learn more classroom management strategies, especially helpful for remote lessons, during our upcoming Twitter chat. Discuss the components of classroom management for positive remote learning experiences and share classroom management practices.

Use #OK2Ask to explore tools and resources that assist with remote classroom management strategies »


  Quick Tips for Celebrating Kid Inventor’s Day image

Infusing Technology Blog

Quick Tips for Celebrating Kid Inventor’s Day

View this related blog post to learn new ideas to implement in your class to prepare for Kid Inventor’s Day, a day set aside to acknowledge previous young inventors and encourage today's students to develop and expand their creative thoughts.

Check out the tips and tools shared in this blog post »


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Share your thoughts with our community

Weekly Poll

This week our poll asks: "How do you integrate inventions (or inventors) into your lessons?" View the replies of other educators once you submit your own choice.

How do you share inventions (and inventors) with your students »

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About TeachersFirst
TeachersFirst is a collection of curated, classroom-ready content and ideas — including teacher-authored reviews of more than 15,000 web resources. Built-in guidance from seasoned professionals makes effective classroom technology use trouble-free. TeachersFirst is made available free to K12 teachers by The Source for Learning, Inc., a nonprofit that has been providing educational resources for more than 40 years.