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Lesson Plan #:AELP-INT000
Author: Randy Bartholomew
School or Affiliation: Barnett Elementary School, Payson, UT Date: 1994

Grade Level(s): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


  • Interdisciplinary
  • Social Studies
  • Language Arts/Spelling
  • Science
  • Arts

Announcing the 1st Annual Invention Convention
Design, invent, and build something new, useful, or decorative, using any combination of the items listed below. Try to make something that no one else will think of. You may use tape, glue, string, paint, paper clips, and pins in the construction of your project. It will be displayed in the auditorium. Do all the work yourself.

Items you may use:

  • 2-liter Plastic Pop Bottles
  • Egg Cartons (1 dozen size)
  • Cardboard T.P. or Towel Rolls
  • Wire Coat Hangers
  • Plastic Gallon Milk Jugs

Judging Students may choose to enter in ONE of the following:

  • Decorative Inventions used to add beauty
  • Combination Inventions that have more than one purpose or function as demonstrated by the inventor
  • Futuristic Inventions of things that may be real in the future.

Students will be judged on the originality of the idea and design, and the creativity in the use of the materials.

Invention Convention
Lesson Plan
Use this lesson plan to introduce the Invention Convention.

Distribute the worksheet, Famous Inventors.

Discuss inventors and their inventions. Discuss new ways of looking at old things.

Distribute the worksheet, A New Twist. Have students complete the worksheet and then categorize some of their responses.

Distribute the Invention Convention rules.

Discuss the rules and information.

Show the materials they are to use and explore the different ways that can be used. (Tear apart the T.P. roll, bend the hanger, etc.) Emphasize the many, different, and unusual ways to use the materials, either alone or in combination. Answer any questions the students may have about the convention.

From Here To There
Social Studies, Transportation Level III

This lesson could be used as either an introduction or culminating activity for a unit on transportation. Students will find it interesting to explore new methods of transportation.

Student Motivation: Discuss transportation and its convenience and necessity in history and our lives today.

Ask: What causes methods of transportation to change with time?

Problem: Students will list the many, different, and unusual ways of transporting someone or something from here to there.

Activities: Students will design a new or futuristic means of transporting someone or something from here to there.

The students will make a three-dimensional representation of their design.

Spelling Relations
Spelling, Language

This lesson can be used with any list of spelling words. Start the lesson by discussing how some words make us think of other words because we can find a relationship between the words. Give a few examples, ie: Milk makes me think of cow, because cows give milk.

Problem: The students will find many, different, and unusual relationships using the words in the spelling list.


Have the students write sentences using the following form: ______ makes me think of ________ because,

Encourage the students to find unusual relationships and be able to explain their answers by use of the ‘because’ found in each sentence. Let the students share their answers.

The Surprise Seed
Science Level I

Student Motivation: Discuss seeds and their parts. Show examples of familiar and unfamiliar seeds. Discuss the conditions that a seed must have in order to sprout and grow.

Ask: What would you expect to grow from a seed that you find under a tree? What about a seed that I may find hanging on a plant? (A new tree or plant of the same variety.)

Say: Let’s pretend that we are walking along, when all of a sudden we see a seed lying on the ground in the path. It is very unusual looking and isn’t like any seed you have ever seen before. There are no plants nearby that it could have fallen from. So you take it home and carefully plant it in a large pot of rich soil. You water it, and put it in a sunny place. A few days later, you see that something is beginning to push its way up through the dirt. Tomorrow it will be up. You can hardly wait to see what it is.

Problem: The students will name many, different, and unusual things that could sprout from the seed.

Activities: Have the students choose one of their unusual ideas or something else, and draw what sprouts from the seed.

Navigation Without A Map
Science, Technology Level IV

It may benefit the students to have a discussion of known navigational tools and practices. ie: compasses, maps, astronomy, satellites, etc.

Student Motivation:
Ask: How many have used maps before? What do we use maps for? How many of you have had experiences using maps on a trip or vacation? What problems did you or your parents have while using maps?

Problem: The students will think of many, different, and unusual ways to navigate around an unknown city. Then they will design a system using a new form of navigation.

The students will make a representation of their solution. This could be a drawing or a three-dimensional model.

The students will evaluate their creations and decide on five advantages and five disadvantages of their design.

Custom-Made Valentines

Art, Social Studies
Holidays and Customs

Student Motivation:
Discuss Valentines Day and why we give others Valentines cards and greetings.

Discuss the different kinds of Valentine cards (brands) they have seen or will be giving to others.

Ask: What does custom-made mean to you? What are some things that you or your family may have that are custom- made? (accept reasonable examples, furniture, upholstery, clothing, care interiors, house, etc.)

Ask: Why do people have things custom- made? (made a certain way, choose own colors and styles, need special size, family preference, etc.)

Problem: The students will list many, different, and unusual jobs that people do. After categorizing their responses, have each student choose one, or think of one that is not on the list, and custom-make a Valentine for a person who works at that job.

Activity: Each student will construct custom-made Valentine cards using paper, scissors, glue, or other materials. Remind the students that they are making a Valentine card, but to customize it to the person and job that they do. It does not have to made using the regular Valentine colors and styles (red hearts, lace, etc.) Encourage them to think of something that no one else will think of.

Symbols of America

A Nifty New Flag Subject Area: Social Studies

Teacher Introduction: This lesson can be used very effectively as a culmination activity to a unit on the United States. As the students redesign the flag, they will be encouraged to think of symbols that are not presently found on the flag.

Another interesting way to use the lesson would be to ask the students to redesign their school flag to make it more representative of the school’s educational philosophy and viewpoints. This idea could even be elaborated to include the entire school population, if presented as a contest.

Student Motivation:
Ask the students:
What is a symbol? What are some symbols of our country? What are the most unique symbols of our country which are easily recognized by other countries and people? List all the students’ responses to the above questions.

Students will design a flag representing the U.S.A. They will not use any recognized symbols currently in use including those listed above. The flag will not be rectangular in shape, use stars, stripes, or the colors red, white, or blue.

Have students make a design which can be made into a finished product and displayed.

Have a flag parade.

Have students give a short speech about their flag that tells what it represents about the U.S.A. and why the symbols were chosen.

The New Bunny Hop

Physical Education, Creative Dance

Student Motivation:
Obtain a copy of the music and instructions for the Bunny Hop **. Put students in line formation and do the Bunny Hop as instructed. Say: Now we’re going to find out other ways of dancing the Bunny Hop.

Brainstorm the following ideas:
What else could be hopping in this dance?
What other movements could be made besides hopping?
What other formation could this dance take besides a line?

Give the students 30 seconds to get into groups of five or six. Point out that the movements and steps are in groups of 4. Give the students a few minutes to work as a team to come up with a new version of the Bunny Hop. Give them enough time to practice. Encourage them to come up with something new and different.

Let the students perform their new versions for each other. Have the students try the new dance creations. Find other recordings that could be changed creatively.
Chicken Fat
Hokey Pokey


Begin in line formation with each student placing his hands on the shoulders of the person in front. Count in fours starting with the Right Foot.
R.F. Heel, Toe, Heel, Toe
L.F. Heel, Toe, Heel, Toe
Hop Forward, Hop Backward
Hop Forward 3 Counts (Hop, Hop, Hop)
Repeat until music ends

Thoughts on Teaching by A Teacher
Everything you say,or do not say, do, or do not do, will illicit a reaction, either positive or negative in nature, from the class or individuals you are teaching.

Anything and everything that happens in the classroom, whether it is good or bad, is to your fault or credit as the teacher.

What the students are doing is more important than what you are doing.

Ninety percent of everything you will do in the classroom is management. Make the remaining ten percent really count.

Proper discipline and correction of student behavior does not damage self esteem.

If you ignore a student’s improper behavior, the student will continue the behavior until he gets your attention. Give your attention the first time and save the student and yourself a lot of unnecessary effort.

When telling students what to do, be sure to tell them how to do it, where to do it, when to do it, and why to do it.

If a student is in trouble at school, he might as well be in trouble at home.