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Super Science @ Your Library
image of a light bulb

Inventors and Inventions
Electricity

 

Objective:
Students will learn about Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison; their inventions and experiments with electricity and other notable scientists & inventors.
Grade Level: K-5

 

Books:

Picture Books

Barretta, Gene
Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin
Introduces Benjamin Franklin's inventions and how they are still used today.
 
St. George, Judith and David Small
So You Want to be an Inventor
Presents some of the characteristics of inventors by describing the inventions of people such as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Eli Whitney.
 

Information Text

Barretta, Gene
Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci
Learn about Leonardo da Vinci, artist, inventor, engineer, and scientist.
 
Driscoll, Laura
George Washington Carver: Peanut Wizard
A fictional student's report presents information on George Washington Carver, who became an expert on peanuts and other plants and taught others at the famous college for African Americans, Tuskeegee Institute.
 
Schroeder, Alan
Ben Franklin: His Wit and Wisdom from A to Z
Benjamin Franklin devised armonicas and bifocals, helped bring us the Constitution and signed the Declaration of Independence, and even experimented with electricity and invented the Franklin stove. He amassed enough noteworthy accomplishments to cover the entire alphabet from A to Z!
 
 

Activities:

Benjamin Franklin's Kite

Materials: kite pattern, string, magnets, pencils, construction paper

  1. Have the students write one thing they learned that Benjamin Franklin invented on the kite.
  2. Have them cut out the kit and key
  3. Write their name on the key
  4. Attach the kite and key to a piece of string.
  5. Add a magnet to the back of the kite.

Electricity in a bag

Materials: Ziploc bags, C cell batteries, insulated copper wire, battery holders, battery clips, sockets, flashlight bulbs

  1. Put children into groups of 2 or 3
  2. Give each group a bag (electricity kit)
  3. Each kit includes a Ziploc bag, one C cell battery, two insulate copper wires, one battery holder, battery clips, one socket
  4. one small flashlight bulb should be passed out to each group
  5. Allow the groups to open their bag and explore the materials for 10 minutes. (see if any students can complete the circuits)
  6. After 10-minutes have the students that were able to complete their circuit, demonstrate the steps to the other groups. (or the instructor can do this)
  7. Have them draw a picture and label the parts.
 

Replicate Steam Energy

Materials: toothpicks, straws, a hot plate, and a teapot.

  1. Cut 4 equal sized pieces of construction paper into squares.
  2. Stick the toothpicks into the top of the straw like a cross.
  3. Glue the squares onto the toothpicks. It should look like a turbine.
  4. When the teapot kettle is hot it will whistle.
  5. Place the straw over the opening of the teapot and the steam that rises should turn the turbine replicating the process that takes place when you use steam to generate Electricity.
 

Vocabulary:

Circuit: A closed, usually circular line that goes around an object or area.

Electricity: The physical phenomena arising from the behavior of electrons and protons that is caused by the attraction of particles with opposite charges and the repulsion of particles with the same charge.

Inventor: Someone who is the first to think of or make something

Invention: A new device, method, or process developed from study and experimentation

 

Additional Resources: