INVENTIONS - America's Best



By Karen Cole & Dorene Johnson
modified by Kathy Snyder

Introduction - Question - Background - Individual Roles - Group Process - Assessment


Introduction
 

    What is your favorite invention?  Do you admire an American inventor?  Is there an invention that you think has made a major impact on America?

    What are those inventions?  Who invented them?  How have these inventions impacted our world?  Where did the ideas for these inventions come from?  This web quest will help you answer these questions and more.

    As a team, you will explore American inventors and their inventions.  Each member of your team will conduct research and will become knowledgeable about great American inventions from four points of view.  You will then get together to share your information in the quest to identify the three most important American inventions.


 





 

The Question 

    The main question you are to answer is:

    Which three American inventions have made the greatest impact on the American society?


 

Group Process

In this web quest, you will use the power of teamwork, the abundant resources on the Internet, and the print resources in the library to learn about American inventions. You will be asked to think about the importance and impact these inventions have had on American society.

  1. Select your desired individual responsibilities (see individual roles below).
  2. Research and chose the three inventions you believe have had the greatest impact on American society. (You will approach this from your assigned perspective as a historian, economist, reporter, or scientist.)
  3. Prepare your research (as explained below) to convince your teammates that your three inventions are the most important American inventions.
  4. Share findings within your assigned group (these groups will be created by your teacher).
  5. Discuss and come to a consensus as a group on the three most important American inventions.
  6. Create a multimedia presentation to outline the three most important American inventions.

Your presentations must include:

(Worksheets and checklists)

 

Assessment

The assessment for this web quest is based on several components.  A rubric will be used for grading.
The components are:

Click on the links below to print out the checklist.

Historian
Economist
Reporter
Scientist
Presentation Assessment



 

 

Background Information

    An invention is something produced for the first time through the use of imagination or ingenious thinking and experimentation.  A famous quote is "Necessity is the mother of invention" it means that the reason anything gets invented or improved is because of a need.

The processes that inventors follow to invent are to:
 



 

Individual Roles

Historian

As the historian, your role is to explore the historical impact that American inventions have had on our society. What was the historical importance of each invention?  What was the need for the invention and how has the invention changed the way we live?

Visit the following links to find the three American inventions you think have made the greatest impact on the American society, then create a timeline, that outlines when the invention was created.  On the timeline you must also include an explanation of why you chose these three inventions.
 
About.com   PBS    Dick Rieman's references

 


 

Economist

As an economist, your role is to explore the economic impact that American inventions have had on our society.  How did each invention save time or make life easier? Saving time translates into saved money for Americans.

Visit the following links to find the three American inventions you think have made the greatest impact on the American society, then create a report that outlines each invention and the economic impact it had/has on Americans.

About.com famous inventions  Hall of Fame - search by invention  KidsKonnect.com  CyberSleuth Kids 
 


 

 

 

Reporter

As a reporter, your role is to explore the positive impact that American inventions have had on our society.  How did each invention improve society at the time it was invented?

Visit the following links to find the three American inventions you think have most improved American society. Once you find them, write an article that outlines each invention and the improvement it had on Americans.
 

CyberSleuth Kids  About.com  KidsKonnect  By Kids for Kids


 

 

Scientist

As a scientist, your role is to explore the scientific impact that American inventions have had on our society.  How did each invention expand American's knowledge at the time it was invented?

Visit the following links to find the three American inventions you think have most expanded knowledge, then write a thesis that outlines each invention and the improvement it had on Americans.

Thomas Edison
About.com
CyberSleuth Kids
U. S. Patent Office
JC Schools

 


 


Conclusion

American inventors have contributed many wonderful inventions that have impacted our nation and the world. Many inventions prove to be only a start for even greater inventions, such as Henry Ford's Model T automobile. Who knows, you may be the next great inventor (don't forget to give this web quest credit for your desire to invent!)


 

Teacher Tips



 

 

Acknowledgements

Thank you to the authors of this web quest.  It is a wonderful idea and a great approach to cooperative learning about the ingenious ideas American inventors have devised.  It has been modified to suit the students at Norwood Public School.  Broken links have been eliminated and replaced with other resources.  All credit for the original idea goes to Karen Cole & Dorene Johnson.  (Click here to go to the authors' original web quest).