Thursday, March 15, 2012

Invention Investigations

I am so excited for our leprechaun day tomorrow! I will be using Looking for a Leprechaun from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits and Lucky Leprechaun Centers from Made for 1st. More pictures to come!

In other news, I finished my Invention Investigations unit this week and wanted to share some pictures of my students' inventions. They were priceless!

 Here are their group invention posters. They were given a problem card and had to work together to create an invention to solve the problem.
 This group created an invention to solve the pesky problem of sand always ending up in the student's shoes! It covers the entire top of the shoe or boot to block the sand. Very practical. :)

This group had to solve the problem of growing out of clothes. They found a new material that will continue to stretch as you grow. Like spandex does for your waist!
This group created a watch that will scan the floor for your pencil and put it on the watch for you to find. It also beeps to alert you when it's ready. So futuristic!

At the end of the unit, students have the opportunity to pose their own problem and create an invention to solve the problem. They have to complete a detailed tree map describing their invention and then a multiflow map to give the reasons as to why or how the invention will solve the problem. It was a lot of writing but so good for them! Here are a few of the inventions:

 The "Make Your Bed" robot

An automatic trash can that roams at night picking up trash on the ground!

"Dorothy" a device that helps tornado chasers predict tornadoes and sensors that travel inside the twister.

The students all brought in recyclables and could use any material for their invention. I've never seen such creativity and absolute engagement. Not one behavior for over an hour during the creation stage!
They presented their invention to the class and the questions they were asking one another were amazing. They would ask clarifying questions that really made the inventor think and most of the times they would decide to change their design. This unit goes along with Meet Ben Franklin from the Treasures Basal series but would also be great for a unit on recycling around Earth Day.
You can check out the unit on TPT!


  1. Are you project based at your school or was it a one time thing? Sounds like your class really got into it! I LOVE the bed making robot and the pencil scanner. YES PLEASE!!!! I'll take two!
    I am so excited that you are using Looking for a Leprechaun! Hope it goes well for you! Can't wait to see the pictures!
    Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits

    1. Hi Reagan! I'm so glad you came by my blog. I just started reading blogs a few months ago and have loved yours!
      The kids had a great time Looking for the Leprechaun and because they had to come back and do a page in the book each time. It helped them stay pretty calm during the search!
      We are not project based, more of an arts focus, but I have been wanting to create more units that will hit some of the common core standards. Especially with speaking/ presenting and more oppportunities for learning conversations. We also just adopted a new teacher eval and cooperative groups as well as student led conversations are emphasized.
      Thanks again!

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