Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Inventors & Invention lesson plan resources

A few weeks ago my first grader approached me regarding learning about inventions and inventors. I had other lessons planned for the day but I decided this was a worthwhile deviation from our plans and together we sat down to see what cyberspace could teach us about the great inventors and their inventions. The resources I found online coupled with books from the library made for a great unit study that are still working on. I've had many other homeschool Moms ask me for the information I uncovered so I decided to just put it all together is a semi-coherent blog post.

Teacher Vision; this site has great printables and lesson plans for inventors and inventions. Please keep in mind though, it is a paid membership site but they do allow for 5 FREE views/downloads before requiring you to pay to access more resources. 5 free printables is better than nothing!!

Pro Teacher; this site is a compilation of lesson plan ideas submitted by public school teachers. Although many of the lesson plans call for large group activities I found that many can be adapted for the smaller homeschool environment. If nothing else, the lesson plans can give you ideas and jumping off points for activities in your own home.

Crayola Inventions; invention lesson plans and creative art activities. Most lesson plans give a spine of ideas, you can elaborate on them as you feel led.

Renaissance Connection; invention timeline complete with science, language arts, and much more.

Scholastic; a variety of invention and inventor lesson plans from Scholastic. Some plans include additional recommended resources.

About.com inventions; lots of lesson plans on building inventions, you may have to scroll past some advertisements.

Lesson Plans Page; I have linked a great invention research worksheet but there are more wonderful resources on this site for your pursing.

Invention ideas from CLN; a long list of invention and inventor websites. I have not verified that all the links on this page work. The ones I have checked out and used are packed full of great information.

Discovery Inventions and Inventors; great invention and inventors lesson plans from Discovery! At the bottom of the page lesson plans and ideas are further broken down by age group.

Library of Congress Science and Invention lesson plans; a wealth of amazing lesson plans, resources, and information on every possible invention or inventor that your budding scientist could ever want to know about.

The Homeschool Mom; a compiled list of invention and inventor websites. Again, I have not verified that all the links she shares are current and valid but the list is extensive and can be very helpful.

Smithsonian; in addition to great information about inventors and their inventions this site also has 4 games that your kids can play and learn about science/engineering at the same time. My 6 year old asks to play on this site all the time. He loves the game where he has to get a ball from a starting point to a certain ending point by using physics and engineering.

To complete our unit study I gathered a variety of information on all the major inventors and their inventions. My children and I put together an invention timeline which provided a springboard of curiosity and discovery. I also checked out a variety of books on inventors from our local library. I chose some that were simple picture books for my younger children and also found a nice sized stack of books for my 4th grade. My 1st grader also asked for a notebook so he could draw/sketch his inventions as they came to his creative mind. He is now on notebook #2 having filled up his first notebook in just a couple of weeks. I have encouraged him to label and elaborate on many of his inventions. Additionally, legos have become a great learning tool for this unit. When my son finishes sketching his invention he typically turns to his huge stash of legos to make a model of this creation. To encourage his vocabulary and group speaking abilities I often ask him to explain to our family what he has made, why it is important, and what improvements he thinks he can still make to his invention.

Bottom line of this unit study is to have fun! The possibilities for learning are endless.

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