Teacher of the Lesson: Kelly Pelak
Grade Level: 5
Estimated Time: 35 minutes
- Students will become more familiar with scientists and inventors who
were significant in the history and development of electricity.
- Students will be able to summarize information from a primary source
document and write a brief report on one scientist and his/her contributions
- Students will be able to illustrate and display the information they
gained from their research on a piece of poster board.
- Students will construct a visual timeline of the history of electricity
in the classroom.
- a variety of resources for the children to read (see Children's literature
bibliography for suggestions)
- strips of paper (each with a scientist or inventor's name on it)
- poster board (each child should get 1/2 of a sheet)
- black construction paper for the dates on the time line
- list of famous inventors and scientists (relevant to electricity)
- art supplies: pencils, construction paper, scissors, glue, markers,
- Begin the lesson by explaining that there are many people that played
an important role in the history of electricity. Choose a couple names
from the list and give a brief explanation of their contributions to electricity.
- Explain that the class will be involved in creating a timeline of the
most important dates and events involved in the history of electricity.
Each member of the class will be responsible for researching one of these
scientists and reporting back to the group about what he/she contributed
to the development of electricity and when. Each student will write a brief
summary of their contributions (4-5 sentences) and design and illustrate
a piece of poster board for the timeline. It is important, in their research,
to find the exact year that the discovery or contribution was made and
cut out that date in large black numbers for the timeline.
- Model a poster for Ben Franklin and read a summary of his contributions
to electricity. It is highly important that this model corresponds with
the expectations established for the class.
Sequence of Instruction
- Give the students time in class to work on their research. Encourage
them to use the school library or to use the references provided to them
by the teacher. Their textbook may also serve as an important resource.
- Remind students that correct spelling, punctuation, and capitalization
are expected. In addition, remind students to summarize rather than copy
the factual information from a text for their reports.
Creativity is also important! Their posters should be carefully designed
and clearly demonstrate the person or achievements that they are adding
to the timeline.
- Provide time again in class for students to work on their posters.
When their work has been revised and checked for accuracy by the teacher,
they may share information about their scientist with the rest of the class
and add the poster to the timeline on the wall.
- When the timeline is complete, students will be able to refer back
to it and visualize the number of scientists who contributed to the history
of electricity and the amount of time it took to get to where we are today.
- In addition, ask students to look at the group of scientists as a whole.
Which groups of people in society are not represented in this display?
Why might that be?
EVIDENCE OF STUDENTS ACHIEVING OBJECTIVES:
- Were students able to recall information about significant people in
the history and development of electricity during classroom discussions?
- Were students able to summarize rather than copy factual information
about their scientist or inventor from their resources? Was the report
written in their own words? Did they use proper spelling punctuation, and
grammar in their reports?
- Were students able to highlight the main points and significant information
on their posters? Was the information accurate and grammatically correct?
Did the students provide an illustration of either the scientist or the
contribution on their posters?
- Given the dates, students were able to put their posters in order on
an "Electricity Timeline" around the room.
- Have the students work together in pairs on a single report.
- Have the students analyze and research why every scientist or inventor
on the list is a man. What might this say about women during this time
period? Which cultures are not represented in this list? What might that
say about textbooks?
- How did the lesson go?
- Did the students enjoy the task?
- Was the model helpful?
- How well did they use the resources provided to them ?
Return to the Electricity
Return to the 96-97 YLP page