Montgomery School students in Mrs. Baumeister’s third grade classroom are wading through junk, and having the time of their lives! Their “Invention Convention” is tied to the study of Greek culture and history. As their teacher explains, “The Greeks are known for inventing many things we still use today. Right now, I am very grateful for their invention of central heat!” The students have studied Greek culture and history, and they’ve recently read books about inventors. The lesson also draws from Arthur L. Costa, Ed. D. and Bena Kallick, Ph.D.’s studies of the 16 Habits of Mind, specifically, “Creating, imagining, innovating.”
Using Thomas Edison’s words as inspiration, “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk,” students have collected a vast assortment of “junk” including broken toys, buttons, spools, and containers, and are working in groups to create something useful. The atmosphere in the room is electric (pun intended), and the students are collaborating, brainstorming, and communicating idea after idea.
Students will follow up the unit with an invention research report. Mrs. Baumeister says, “You may never know…you might see my students on Shark Tank with the latest and greatest invention of 2015.” At the very least, they’ve had some creative fun while practicing a broad range of useful skills!