Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Alexander Graham Bell - Inventors & Inventions

Alexander Bell was born in Edinburgh Scotland to a hearing impaired mother and a father who was an expert in the voice.  He worked diligently, following in his father's footsteps to help the deaf learn to communicate.  He was exceptionally hard-working, and began scientific research into the resonance (vibrations) of the voice.  This research eventually led to his invention of the first telephone in 1876.

In class activities:
  • Watched the animated biography of Bell at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sgbGuRBLQA
  • Used balloons to examine how sound travels in waves
  • Mapped the travels of Bell
  • Talked about solving "impossible" problems, and brainstormed inventions that we could make.

Optional Lesson Extension Activities:

  • In your best handwriting, write at least one sentence describing the problem that your chosen invention solves.  Note: Try not to write too small.  This will be added to your poster.
  • Begin thinking about what you will be building (ex. a model of your chosen invention, a sample of what your invention can do) to place in front of your poster.
  • Practice your timeline.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Alfred Nobel - Inventors and Inventions

Alfred Nobel  
Mining has always been dangerous work.  Gunpowder had unpredictable results, but Nobel found that by combining nitroglycerin with an absorbent clay it became safer to handle.  He patented this mixture in 1867 as ‘dynamite'.    

In 1888 Alfred's brother died and a French newspaper accidentally published a death notice of Alfred rather than his brother.  It blamed him for destruction because of his invention of dynamite.  This inspired him to leave a better legacy after his death.  He is still remembered today at the awarding of the Nobel prizes.

In class activities:
  • Discussed the dangers of mining
  • Learned about the invention of dynamite
  • Made our own mock dynamite sticks
  • Brainstormed what we want to include on our inventor posters
  • Used finger paints to create explosion art
  • Learned about the creation of the Nobel Prizes

Optional lesson extension activities:
  • Read 1 article or book about your inventor or invention of choice.  Bring to class one full page image of the invention.  Please write the source on the bottom corner of your image.
    • (Because this is for personal educational use, images may be photocopied from books or printed from http://images.google.com)
  • Practice your timeline

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Treasure Hunters

Focus: Abraham Lincoln
We kicked off our electives with a study on Abraham Lincoln! We colored portraits of him and learned he was on a five dollar bill and a penny. We read "Abe's Honest Words" by Doreen Rappaport and "Looking at Lincoln" by Maira Kalman , where we learned some interesting facts( did you know he was kicked in the head by a mule?) We talked about how he hated slavery and worked very hard to end it. We also talked about the Civil war and the conflict between the North and the South. We learned the parts of the Gettysburg Address-of the people, by the people, for the people..The children enjoyed all the pictures of him standing so tall!
For our project we made  Lincoln faces where we turned ourselves into Abeaham Lincoln .
The children had fun re enacting like him :-)
For music we worked on our note cards using instruments for the rhythms . We ended class with a rousing game of Musical chairs set to patriotic tunes :-)
Questions to ask this week: What important thing did President Abraham Lincoln do? Ended slavery
What was his famous speech called? The Gettysburg Address

Samuel Morse - Inventors & Inventions

The era of electronic communication began with invention of electric telegraph.  The 1st telegraph systems transmitted visible signals from tower to tower using flags or codes, and messages took long periods of time to travel from place to place.  Samuel Morse, a painter and inventor, harnessed electromagnetic technology to transmit signals via a single wire.  

In class activities:
original image and more information about
how to use this chart at LearnMorseCode.com

  • looked at historic images
  • listened to the story of Samuel Morse
  • discussed the semaphore and the disadvantages of visual telegraphs
  • built visual telegraphs 
  • practiced sending and receiving messages
Our inventors and inventions class will culminate in a “World’s Fair” in which each student will present a trifold poster about a historic invention of their own choosing.  The kids will have regular short at-home assignments to work on, which we will add to their poster as we move through the course. Please look for these in the class notes every week.
Optional lesson extension activities: Assignments:

  • Have your child choose an invention or inventor from the Modern time period that fascinates them.  Write this down, along with your name and bring it in to share with the class. (Best handwriting not necessary.  These papers will not be put on the posters)
  • Practice your timeline

original image and more information about
how to use this chart at LearnMorseCode.com

Sheryl Goedecke