Friday, January 5, 2018

Inventor's Secret Teach-a-long: Introduction to the Unit

Why did we develop this unit?


We LOVE to have kids study and learn about the character of REAL people who's actions have changed the world.

It’s important that our children understand that success comes with hard work, persistence and content knowledge as well as good ideas.

We wanted to provide a way for teachers to introduce the Engineering Process/Invention Process (NGSS) to students with a hands-on, fun, non threatening activity that was embedded in their learning and had a purpose beyond “checking off a standard”.

We design our units specifically to use close reading as a way for students to:

  • build knowledge and vocabulary, 
  • study author’s craft and author’s reason for writing
  • engage in reading, writing and speaking around a common interest/content 
  • come up with their own ideas!
We believe that learning should be connected to an essential purpose or idea and not just random lessons and activities.

Why did we choose the book, The Inventor's Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford as our anchor text? 


This book ends with an important message for the reader. Never Give Up! And, it uses two very successful inventors to prove the point.

It is a great book to study author’s craft and character traits.

Using a picture book with close reading activities allows all students to access knowledge and ideas no matter what their reading level. This book introduces the content to be learned in a way that makes students want to know more because it talks about inventions that they know about first-hand.

The book brings up lots of topics/idea that students can pursue individually as mini research enrichment projects.

Where might this unit fit into your curriculum?

I am using this unit because I am currently doing an Energy Unit in science. Studying two inventors that used two different kinds of energy, mechanical (Ford) and electrical (Edison) to power their inventions is a natural fit.

However, this unit can also connect with the following curriculum topics:

  • Inventions
  • Growth Mindset
  • The Engineering Process
  • Timelines
  • Biographies
  • Nonfiction Reading
  • Close Reading

Join the Teach-a-long for our integrated unit:

The Inventor's Secret: Close Reading, STEM, Growth Mindset and Inquiry


Previous Post: The Inventor's Secret Teach-a-Long!

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