Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) was born in Milan, Ohio, and showed an interest in science in at an early age. The little boy who was interested in science grew up to be one of America's greatest inventors who patented 1,093 inventions in his lifetime. Teach elementary school students about Thomas Edison and his inventions through school projects.
Teach children about Thomas Edison through a biography project. Read a short Thomas Edison biography to students and ask them to do further research on their own. Then ask the children to create a project based on their findings. The biography project could be a skit about Edison written and performed by the student, a book report based on the biographical information they find, a timeline of Edison's life or a presentation board project.
Invention Project Ideas
Thomas Edison is one of America's greatest inventors. Have children invent something in the same way Edison invented his many inventions. Ask students to brainstorm about inventions that could make their life easier. Some examples may be a machine to do their homework or something that would take out the garbage. Ask the students to draw a picture of their invention and write a brief description as to how it might operate. For younger students, assign a common object and ask them to come up with ways to improve on it, as Edison did.
Science Project Ideas
Teach children more about Thomas Edison by not only telling them about his scientific experiments and projects, but encouraging them to try similar projects. Projects with electricity should be conducted by an adult and only observed by children. Build a box with a light switch that turns on a light bulb. Have children observe the various components that have gone into building the box. Consider showing children how electric circuits work or showing them the different parts of a light bulb and how they function.
Other Project Ideas
There are many project ideas for a Thomas Edison school lesson. Take a tour of a local museum featuring historical information on Edison. Create a pen pal project where a student or even the whole class is paired up with a scientist or inventor so students can ask questions about the world of science. Another Edison project is engaging children in drawing Edison's image or a picture of some of his inventions and creating an Edison invention collage.
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