Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Top Ten Inventions of 20th Century

This is the time of year when teachers start planning for the new school year. Finding a variety of ideas to assess how much students still remember from June becomes a priority:)

One fun way to do this is to have children/students think about inventions which have changed their lives in a major way be it good or bad. The teacher might want to model what will be expected of them by "pretending to be one of them in trying to think of an invention." This type of modeling is especially necessary for the ELL since this student often needs more language/content support to reach the teacher's expectations. So a teacher might say "I think the car was a great invention. I think this because ........ Without the car, people would not ........ etc." Students might be directed to come up with 5 important inventions within their small groups of 4 or 5. The sharing out would be verbal with the teacher charting all their answers. If there were questions on choices, the teacher can help clarify the invention and what it did.

There are variety of activities that could follow here. My favorite however is having each group pick an invention, research it, draw it, outline the positives and how their assigned invention has improved (or worsened) people's lives. Each person in the group would have a specific task so that each one is actively engaged. The ELL would hear English and have the support of peers in making her/his contribution a solid one. Students could share out their findings the following day.

Once that was done, they would now be able to see how the following two sources agreed with their findings:

Top Ten Inventions List A

Top Ten Inventions List B

I am fairly confident that students will have thought of inventions not listed:) If they do, applaud their creativity. In just the few years since these surveys have been written, more inventions have surfaced which have improved the quality of life for us.

ELL Teacher Pros

PS Don't forget to sign up for the back to school ELL Teacher Pros August newsletter. You will receive lots of free teacher tools that will cut down on your every day cost in running your classroom.

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