Students will focus on the contributions of inventors and their inventions, using the strategies of inference and metacognition. Have the students think about the various inventions that make their lives easier and fun. An obvious one would be television.
Read or have students read about inventors. Discuss these scientists, their ideas, and how their inventions helped or hindered the quality and safety of life. For example, the following selection might be shared with the students:
In 1923, Garrett Morgan, a black inventor, created the electric stoplight, a device that enables the orderly movement of millions of automobiles in towns and cities throughout the world. He then sold the rights to mass produce the stoplight to General Electric for the sum of $40,000. Garrett Morgan also invented a gas inhalator which earned him recognition when he used it to rescue nearly two dozen men trapped in a tunnel in Cleveland, Ohio.
In recognition of his heroic deeds and safety inventions, the city of Cleveland gave him a gold medal; in Chicago, a public school was named in his honor. It can be seen that Garrett Morgan made two important contributions to safety and the preservation of life.
Next, working in cooperative teams, have the students brainstorm on
some inventions they could or would like to create and the rationale for
doing so. For example, how would their invention help to:
After completion of the descriptions, each group will share their project with the class or an invited class.
Excerpted from Beyond Rhetoric and Rainbows: A Journey to the Place Where Learning Lives ©1996 University of Illinois Extension.