May is National Inventors Month! There’s no better time to celebrate all the inventors (and inventions!) that make our world today . . . or those that will define tomorrow!
Start off by listening to some of the multitude of podcasts The Walking Classroom offers on these innovative folks, or make a week of it! Start by having a listen to Henry Ford (Complete-#112, 4-#89), Thomas Edison (Complete-#162, 5-#16, STEM-#9), and Gabriel Fahrenheit (Complete-#164, 4-#25, STEM-#6), and then stay tuned to investigate additional inventors later this month!
The World Would be a Different Place . . .
. . . if not for inventors! Invite students to reflect on what inventions hold together the world of today! If students think of cars, electric lighting, or temperature measurement, they’re on the right track! In fact, these are the main inventions made possible by our three inventors this week. If students come up with any other good ideas, hold on to them. We’ll shine a spotlight on some more inventors later this month!
As students listen and reflect, encourage them to consider what life would be like without inventors. Or, consider what inventions could improve life today! You never know who might just turn out to be the next great inventor.
If there’s one thing almost every inventor has in common, it’s a love of learning and an insatiable curiosity. Why not feed your young inventors’ curiosities with some books about famous folks known for their inventions! If students enjoyed learning about Thomas Edison, take a look at some books about the inventor himself!
Similarly, students interested in airplanes may enjoy learning about the Wright Brothers, while computer experts may enjoy Ada Lovelace. With such a wide subject, no matter what invention captivates students, a wealth of books awaits!
Inspire New Inventors!
You may also want to invite students to get hands-on! If there’s one thing history can tell us, it’s that you never know who the next great inventors will be. There are a multitude of activities to kindle that innovative spark in students everywhere. Start with these lesson plans from PBS, or, for students of all ages, try out some of these activities!
Round out your inventing activities with PBS’s hands-on invention challenges! For a particularly low-cost challenge, break out some old holiday lights and have your students craft some light-up greeting cards! Still hungry for more? Stay tuned this month for Innovative Inventors II, and be on the lookout for other timely topics (and more ideas!) in future posts.