To examine the role inventors played in the development of the United States into the world's leading industrialized nation.
1 class period
This lesson begins with a unique Contest. Fifteen American inventors are listed in column one. Some names are familiar, but most are not. Their inventions, however, are all well known, with many found around the house. Each person's invention is given in column two in Morse Code, which was devised by Samuel Morse in order to send messages over a wire with his newly invented telegraph. Class members will use a key to help them decode the fifteen inventions based on a series of “dots” and “dashes” to form letters and words. Winners of the contest will be the people who fill in the most correct answers in column three within 15 minutes.
Students will next read a section entitled Great American Inventors that includes several primary sources pertaining to Thomas A. Edison, Henry Ford, and the Wright Brothers.
To conclude the lesson, class members will take part in an enjoyable activity where they pretend to be an inventor. This requires some imagination and sketching skills.
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions and answer key included, along with a 20-question follow up quiz to measure student progress. The quiz can also be given as a homework assignment.