Inventive Insights: Writing about Inventive People

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SWBAT to describe the relationship between a series of historical events.

Big Idea

In this lesson, students will pull key details from texts they’ve read to create a historical timeline as well as write a reflective statement based on reading.

Enroll Students Into Learning

5 minutes

Today, we begin our lesson by gathering on the carpet.  I tell the students that I am so proud of them because this week, as we read about inventive people, the students have done a great job reading closely, thinking about and formulating questions, as well as citing evidence from the text as their answers!  I ask the students, “Don’t you feel like you’ve learned a lot?  I do!  Today, we’re going to add to our previously started timelines to show what we’ve learned about history in a different way!”

Experience Learning

5 minutes

Students move back to their seats and pull out their previously started timelines, called “My Creative, Inventive, and Notable Timeline”.  I ask the students to remind me what a timeline is all about,  and a student says, “A timeline is a list of events that happen, starting at the beginning and going to the end.”  I confirm for the student that this is exactly right-a timeline shows a certain period of time, which could be a day, a month, a year, or any other time period we choose, and the important events within that time period.

Next, I ask the students what period of time we’ve recently been reading about as we learned about Tony Sarg.  A student says, “The turn-of-the-century!”  Yes!  That’s exactly the time period we’re going to continue to focus on today as we add to our own timelines!

Label New Learning

5 minutes

To label the students’ learning today, I say, “Third graders, today we’re going to use the information you’ve gained from reading the informational text, Balloons Over Broadway, to show the relationship between historical events during the turn-of-the-century!

Demonstrate Skills

10 minutes

I first remind students how we plotted when Booker T. Washington was born, which was in 1856.  I also remind students how we plotted when Charles Lindbergh fles across the Atlantic Ocean, which was in 1927.  Then, I ask the students to look back through the text, Balloons Over Broadway, to again look carefully for evidence of events in history throughout the text, just as we did with the other two texts we’ve read previously.  Students dig through the text, searching for evidence that we can cite and show on our timeline of the turn-of-the-century.  Once the students find evidence, students plot it on their timelines.  (See a picture of a sample of a student timeline in the Resources section here.) 


5 minutes

As a review today, I say to the students, “Boys and girls, over the last couple of weeks, we’ve read some more biographies, specifically about notable and inventive people.  Let’s take a look at our Essential Question Unit Map and see if we can add anything about inventive people.”

I pull up our SmartBoard file with our essential question, and the students help me add that Tony Sarg is an inventive person because he came up with a new idea that no one had ever had before.  I want each student, though, to do some individual reflecting on this essential question, so I say, “But, now that we know all about inventive people, I’d like for you to think about what makes a person inventive.  You’ve heard a few different ways that people can be considered inventive, and today, I’d like you to write a statement about what you think makes a person inventive!”  Here, I give each student an “Inventive Speak Bubble” template an allow them to write their idea of what makes a person inventive! 

Once students have had a chance to write their statements, I ask if there is anyone that would like to share.  A few students share their reflective thoughts, and one student offers that a person can be considered inventive if they create something that we still even use today.  That leads me perfectly into the lesson closing special treat I have for the students:  a video clip of this year’s Macy’s Day Parade that shows how we still have Tony Sarg’s idea alive and well in the parade as we have new, current balloons in the parade each year, even this year! The kids are thrilled to watch this video clip and it’s a great way to show how important inventive people have been in our lives!  (I found this video clip online-just search for the most recent Macy's Day Parade and lots will come up!)