Let's Invent!

I love our science class this year.  We are studying the history of inventions and some famous inventors. This involves covering some basic physics along the way, especially simple machines.  I'm excited. It's not something I know a lot about, so I look forward to learning along side the kids.

To compliment our studies we have been reading

I like it so far.  To help make our reading more interesting, I bought a Lit. unit guide to go along with it.  You can check it out here.  I also bought the little kite kit that goes along with it. I'm sure you'll see our post about that in the future.

The lit guide is a good one if you're focus is on the literary value of this book.  But unfortunately, it's not so great as a science companion.  However, I've managed to pull a few activities out of the lit guide that correspond nicely with our class.

For example, today we did an activity on inventing.  I pulled out a big 5 gallon bucket and filled it with random objects from the garage.

I asked the kids to work as a group to use at least two of the objects to create something new! The new item needed to have a name, and it needed to have a purpose.  Well, because my kids ALWAYS get along with each other, they quickly figured out that they'd rather do their own thing and make their own inventions.  So much for group effort.

Their inventions were somewhat imaginative, to say the least. (They weren't practical in other words.) But I could see the creative juices flowing and that was worth something.

Here's what they came up with:
 This is a model roasting stove.  I think.    I can't really explain to you how it's supposed to work.  But the inventor could explain it to you in great, great detail.
 This is a device for spreading grass seed.  The seed is dispensed via the holes in the "flipper"  as you scoot along the yard.  Many other uses for this invention were also note worthy.

This inventor didn't have a name or a purpose for his creation.  But it was quite a work of art and he enjoyed the process.