Researching to Build Knowledge and Teaching Others: Inventions That Changed People’s Lives
In this eight-week module, students learn about new or improved technologies that have been developed to meet societal needs and how those inventions have changed people’s lives. They conduct authentic research to build their own knowledge and teach others through writing. In Unit 1, students read the graphic novel Investigating the Scientific Method with Max Axiom, Super Scientist by Donald B. Lemke as well as several informational articles about inventions that have been developed to meet people’s needs. Students learn about and analyze structures and visual elements authors use to convey complex ideas. Then, they will write a short opinion paragraph about which of the inventions they learned about has been most important to people and why. In Unit 2, students will read The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth by Kathleen Krull, focusing on how the television was invented to meet societal needs.
Students will write an informative essay to explain why Philo Farnsworth wanted to invent television and how TV changed people’s lives. In Unit 3, students are given the choice to conduct research about one of two inventions that were developed to meet societal needs, Garrett A. Morgan’s traffic light or the Wright brothers’ airplane. Students will closely read and collect information about one of these inventions in order to develop a narrative in the form of a graphic novelette that explains why the invention they researched was developed and how it changed people’s lives. This task addresses NYSP12 ELA CCLS R.I.5.9,W.5.2, W.5.3, W.5.4, W.5.5,W.5.6,W.5.7, W.5.8, L.5.3, and L.5.4.