Invent a. . .

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Science, Physical Science

Grade 5- 8


Students attempt to turn ordinary materials into inventions which are useful in solving a problem.



  • Make sets of materials for students to use in creating an invention as shown on the work sheets. The sets will be duplicated so that two teams will work with the same set of materials to see if they can use them in a different way.
  • Prepare a table containing items all groups may borrow during their work.

  • Briefly discuss what students have learned about inventing. Be sure they know that inventions often come about because there is a problem which needs to be solved. Also, inventors need to be creative and look at using materials in different ways than most people would in order to turn them into new inventions.
  • Explain that the students will be divided into teams. Tell them that each team will be challenged to use a set of materials for inventing a specific type of item. Let them know that each invention task will be done by two different teams. The challenge will be that each team must make a different invention from the same set of materials.
  • Divide the students into six teams and distribute the work sheets. Let each team read the instructions. Be sure the pairs of teams working on the same task are separated in the room and do not exchange ideas.
  • Show the students where in the room the general team materials are located.
  • Distribute the sets of materials to the teams. Instruct them to examine and discuss these before they begin the task. Without giving them any ideas, monitor their progress and offer them encouragement to be creative.

  • Have students show their inventions and demonstrate how they work.
  • Place the inventions on display in the classroom, along with the work sheet for each team.


invention work sheets (one per group)items needed, as listed on the work sheetsscissors, tape, string, glue, stapler, water, and other items which teams may need during the construction of their inventions

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