This lesson plan adheres to New York State Learning Standard 4- Economics, Elementary Level, Key Idea #2. Additionally, this lesson plan corresponds with the National Social Studies Curriculum Standards thematic strand of production, distribution, and consumption.
Display image #s 19, 20, 22, 27, 30, and 32. Ask students what the images portray. Instruct students to look carefully. What are the objects made of? What size are the objects? What year do they think the photograph was taken? Tell students that these are the photographs of new inventions from the late 1800s.
Students will be able to analyze primary sources for evidence of Inventors and Inventions from the turn of the 20th century. Students will identify how these inventions impact their lives today.
This lesson is based on the Inventors in Imaging Technologies Discovery Kit. The lesson should be used in Social Studies courses during your study of economics and technological advances in American life.
Essential Information - Inventions in communication brought the nation closer in the early twentieth century. Additionally, transportation innovation and the building of a railroad network that spanned America improved people’s lives through increased economic activity. Technological advances in aviation, photography, printing and electricity changed the face of America. Begin this assignment by examining the Inventors Discovery Kit, explaining the images and the importance of inventions.
Activities - Assign students an invention/inventor to research from this time period. Some examples are: adhesive tape/Richard Drew, airplane/Wright Brothers, assembly line/Ransome Eli Olds, television/John Logie Baird, bakelite/Leo Baekeland, band-aid/Earle Dickson, xerography/Chester Carlson, cellophane/Jacques Brandenburger, crayons/Edwin Binney & Harold Smith, phonograph/Thomas Edison, photographic roll film/George Eastman. Distribute the “Invention Info Sheet” to each student so they can carefully record their research.
When students are researching remind them of how many times they use inventive technology daily. For example, iPods/phonograph or electricity/lightbulb.
CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING
Students present their research to class. Focus on: How has the invention you researched had on impact on American life?
Communicate with School Librarian prior to beginning this assignment. Monitor student work answering questions throughout.
Discuss with students what they think future generations may have difficulty with and why.
The turn of the 20th century and early 20th century were a time of great change in America. Many enterprising men and women made lives more efficient, provided jobs, and sped up communication through their inventions.
Your assignment is to research one of these inventions by filling in the information below. You will present your research to class. Therefore, you must include a diagram or photograph of your invention and be able to explain:
1. What was the purpose of your invention?
2. What year was it invented?
3. Who invented it?
4. Is it still used today? If yes, by whom?
5. How did your invention change people’s lives?