Over the past weeks my 6th grader has enjoyed working through The Greatest Inventors from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks. This particular Lapbook and Study Guide is intended for grades 2-8. Students will read about some of the greatest inventors throughout history and their inventions and create lapbooks to display what they had learned along the way. Lapbooking is a bit like scrapbooking but only for educational purposes. Once you get started it can almost get a bit addictive. Lapbooking is a great way to reinforce what your child is learning using a collection of mini-books, flaps, graphics, drawings, and written work, that is normally glued in a standard size file folder that fits in your lap.
What is covered in The Greatest Inventors? Well, to start with your student will get a brief explanation of exactly, What is an Invention? After getting that out of the way the journey begins as they learn about inventors and the inventions that marked their places in history.
- Johannes Gutenberg
- Benjamin Franklin
- John Deere
- Wilber and Orville Wright
- Guglielmo Marconi
- George Eastman
- Louis Braille
- Eli Whitney
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Robert Fulton
- Thomas Jefferson
- Galileo Galilei
- George Stevenson
- Thomas Edison
- Jonas Salk
- George Washington Carver
- Henry Ford
- Alexander Graham Bell
For each lapbook you will have a diagram of the layout of where to place each inventors information cut-out. Each cut-out includes space for the students to include pertinent information about the inventor and his invention.
You will simply use three different color dividers to make the lapbooks.
My daughter said, "I really enjoyed learning about so many interesting inventions and the inventors who came up with the inventions. I think that my favorite one was 'How did Louis Braille help the blind?'."
Some questions asked in the mini-book flaps are:
- What did Eli Whitney's cotton gin do?
- Talk about Robert Fulton's early life.
- Talk about Galileo Galilei's Discoveries.
- What did Wilbur and Orville Wright do early on to learn about flight?
- What did Johannes Gutenberg's first printed Bible look like?
- What is Polio?
- What is crop rotation?
Included at the end of the printables are resources for:
- Book Logs
- Biography Book Reports
- NICK Notes (Notes, Information & Comments, Key Words)
- Outline Form
- What I Have Learned Today
- Additional Reading Material
For the younger student parents may want to read aloud the inventor study guide and discuss any questions that their child may have. This may also be a great time to pull out unfamiliar words to add to your child's weekly vocabulary/spelling lists. This is a great time to have open discussion about topics new to your child. Example, when learning about George Washington Carver in the first sentence it talks about how he was born a slave. This may be a great time to find some books about slavery and begin a discussion about slavery. Further down it discusses crops and agriculture. Again, perfect time to find some books at the library or information of the internet on farming, pictures of crops, and adding the word agriculture to their vocabulary list for the week. Finally, search the internet for all of the interesting ways that peanuts can be used besides just eating them. Maybe make a picture collage using an actual peanut or a picture of a peanut and then either cut pictures from magazines, write words, or have them draw pictures of all of the things that peanuts are used for.
For the older student have them do a more in depth research project into the inventor or his invention. Maybe have your student do a further investigation into the Braille System and have them actually go to the library and see if they can locate a copy of a book written in Braille. Maybe they could challenge themselves to learn the alphabet in Braille. For the older student interested in a future in medicine they could read up on the Polio Epidemic and Dr. Jonas Salk.
I was a bit disappointed to see that no female inventors were included in this packet.
Overall, I was really happy with the contents of the packet and my daughter learned a great deal of information. She enjoyed working through the inventors. I will say that I cut out the busy work of cutting out the inventor cut-outs for her. It's not that she could not have done it herself but I preferred her to do something more productive with her time than cutting out some of the more detailed items such as Henry Ford's truck. With that said, I would definitely recommend this lapbook study to others. I would probably personally recommend it for grades 4-6.
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