- Practice informative/ explanatory writing
- Practice persuasive writing
- Conduct research
- Apply analytical thinking
- Develop presentations
- Participate in group discussions
- Copies of the Presenting My Invention Informative Writing Activity
- Markers or crayons
- Blank Paper
Step 1. Start this activity with an invention challenge. Ask students the following questions:
- Who invented the telephone? Alexander Graham Bell.
- Who invented the gasoline-powered automobile? Karl Benz is believed to have created the first gas-powered car.
- Who invented peanut butter? Aztecs and Incas made an early version of peanut butter. In the United States, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the creator of the cereals, patented a process for making peanut butter from peanuts as a protein source for people who couldn’t chew well.
- Who invented the pencil? Many credit the English in the 16th century.
Step 2. Next, ask students to identify inventions that have helped society and if they know how any of these inventions got their start. Explain that inventions start with ideas and determination.
Step 3. Distribute the activity sheet and review it with the class. Assign students to teams of three or four. Explain that each team is going to brainstorm and sketch an invention, write an informative description of the invention and what it does, and then create a pitch or presentation to persuade people that the item will help them.
Step 4. Provide students with class time to develop their ideas using the prompts on the activity sheet and to rehearse their presentations. Students should create sketches of their inventions for their presentations.
Step 5. Invite each group to present its invention. After each presentation, ask students why they chose the item they created.
Step 6. As a follow-up activity, have students research American inventors and write a paragraph describing the inventor and what he or she created. For example, the student activity sheet includes the following inventors:
- George Washington Carver—invented more than 300 uses for peanuts
- Thomas Edison—patented the incandescent lightbulb
- Mary Anderson—invented the windshield wiper
Alexander Graham Bell from pbs.org
Everyday Mysteries from the Library of Congress
A History of the World from bbc.co.uk
The History of the Light Bulb from energy.gov
Mary Anderson from women-inventorys.com