At my school, we use the Treasures reading series. Our story this week is African-American Inventors.
(Has anyone else noticed that this series puts anything remotely connected to a holiday or special month about as far from that time of year as possible? Perfect story for Columbus Day? Let's put it in the Spring! *soapbox off*)
I always spend part of Monday building background knowledge and gearing kids up for the story. Most of my kids know what it means to invent, so it was time to dig deeper.
We discussed why inventors create new things- because of a need, to solve a problem, or to improve what we already have in some way.
We also looked at how products that satisfy the same basic want, like listening to music, have changed over time. (The record is John Denver because that was my mom's favorite artist! I don't know what's up with the 8-track, or why the CD looks so... ahem, inappropriate- but you get the point!)
This particular example is always interesting to me, because I had a stereo when I was little that had an 8-track, even though that was pretty old technology by that point (yes, I'm young). Still- to think of how many changes there have been in JUST my short lifetime of a quarter decade... it's pretty crazy. (I mean, my uncle sold car phones when I was a kid- remember those things?!)
So I asked the kids to imagine what kind of inventions they think they will see in their lifetimes.
I gave them the day to think, but tomorrow they're going to discuss with a friend and then write and draw an invention they think someone will have created when they are 100 years old! They will also need to justify why that invention will be created.
This could also work really well for a short 100 day prompt! I included a more traditional prompt, too, about "if I could invent anything, it would be..." so feel free to snag a copy of my invention writing paper here. I kept it very simple because I plan on backing it with construction paper and I have a feeling my kids will make their illustrations plenty 'busy'!
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Now, for the fun part- as a teacher, what invention would you love to create? I'm hosting my VERY FIRST linky party, and I can't wait for you to join up and spread the word!
As much as I would love an automatic paper-grader tonight, I think the invention I would love most would be some kind of armband that automatically vibrates every minute or so to remind some of those super-distractable kiddos to get back to work
Imagine, me not having to say "______, get back to work" and "______, keep going" all day! I think both the kid AND I would enjoy that!
What about you? Snag the image below (thanks to The 3AM Teacher and KevinandAmanda.com for the frame and fonts, respectively!) and join the...