Imaginative Inventions

By Ansberry, Karen; Morgan, Emily | Science and Children, July 2006 | Go to article overview

Imaginative Inventions


Ansberry, Karen, Morgan, Emily, Science and Children


Byline: Karen Ansberry, Emily Morgan

In today's fast-growing, highly competitive global marketplace, innovative thinking is more important than ever. Encourage your students' creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills with these technological design activities. Technology involves using science to solve problems or meet needs, and the understanding of technology can be developed by challenging students to design a solution to solve a problem or invent something to meet a need. Inventions don't have to be entirely new ideas. Sometimes they can be improvements to existing inventions. In this month's column, students in grades K-3 improve inventions, while students in grades 4-6 tackle design challenges.

This Month's Trade Books

Imaginative Inventions By Cherise Mericle Harper. Little, Brown. 2001. ISBN 0316347256. Grades K-4

Synopsis

This witty and informative look at the origins of familiar inventions makes a terrific introduction to the invention process. Find out the who, what, when, where, and why of roller skates, piggy banks, potato chips, Frisbees, and more through clever verses and whimsical illustrations. Each of the 14 featured inventions is covered in a double-page spread with fun facts inset along a border.

Professor Aesop's The Crow and the Pitcher By Stephanie Gwyn Brown. Tricycle Press. 2003. ISBN 1582460876. Grades K-4

Synopsis

Based upon one of Aesop's classic fables, this clever tale features a quick-witted crow trying to get a drink of water from a nearly-empty pitcher. After several comic attempts, Crow uses the scientific method to solve his problem: start out with a question, gather up the facts, form a hypothesis, tackle the experiment, review the results, and finally, "be a true scientist and share it with the rest." Vivid artwork, scientific blueprints, and humorous touches, such as a "thirst-o- meter" and a "pebble indicator" appear throughout.

Curricular Connections

The design process in technology is the parallel to inquiry in science. In scientific inquiry, students explore ideas and propose explanations about the natural world, whereas in technological design students identify a problem or need, design a solution, implement a solution, evaluate a product or design, and communicate the design process. The principles of design for grades 5-8 do not change from grades K-4, but the problems addressed should become more complex. In grades K-4, the Standards suggest studying familiar inventions to determine function and to identify problems solved, materials used, and how well the product does what it is supposed to do. Explorations of common inventions are featured in this month's trade book-inspired investigations for grades K-3. In the older grades, students can begin to differentiate between science and technology by complementing their scientific investigations with activities that are meant to meet a human need, solve a problem, or develop a product. Design challenges at this level should cover a range of needs, materials, and aspects of science. A variety of engaging design challenges are featured in this month's trade book-inspired investigations for grades 4-6.

For Grades K-3: Improve an Invention

Explore the topic of Inventions/Inventors

Engage: Introduce the author and illustrator of Imaginative Inventions. Build connections to the author by reading the inside flap of the book about Cherise Mericle Harper's favorite invention ("...muffins, which taste a lot like cake, but you get to eat them for breakfast!"). Select several of the inventions to read about. As you read each two-page spread, leave out the name of the invention and instead say "this invention." Have students make inferences about the identity of each invention using clues from the text and illustrations. After reading each poem, reveal the name of the invention and then have students identify the need or want in each situation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Imaginative Inventions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.