Inventors Who Have Changed the World


Introduction | Task | Process| Resources | Evaluation| Conclusion


Did you ever wonder what your life would be like if we did not have electric lights, washing machines, cars, or computers? Our world changes every time there is an important invention.

We will learn about the lives of great inventors and how they achieved their goals. Take a moment to think about which inventions are most important to you. Through this exploration you may discover how these inventions were created!


The Task:

 In this unit you will accomplish the several tasks:

First choose four inventors from the list below to research. There is a research page with questions for you to complete for each inventor.

Louis Pasteur

Thomas Edison

Eli Whitney

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak

Alva Fisher

Alexander Graham Bell

Henry Ford

Madame CJ Walker

George de Mestral

Robert Goddard

George Washington Carver

Benjamin Banneker



The Process

At the computer:

Set up your research sheets by following these steps.

Go to Inventor Research Sheet. Copy this page, you will need four copies.

Create your own timeline using larger paper. Make sure to use a ruler and do a neat job!

Special note

To do your research sheets on the computer using the wordpad or notepad features go to the following special instructions.


 Read all directions before you click.

 In the classroom:

 Create a timeline using construction or poster paper. Make sure to use a ruler and add other events to make your timeline interesting.

Prepare your oral presentation. Work with a partner or in a small group and practice what you will say to a group of students that do not know about these inventors. Can you explain and show an example of the invention? For example, if you chose Thomas Edison you bring a light bulb in "show" and maybe have a poster of the parts of the light bulb to show the students how Edison created the light bulb.

Resources: Museum site -Inventors' hall of fame African-American Inventor's site the Smithsonian Institution site of American inventors use 1851-1900 for inventors in that time period

For more resources go to your school's media specialist or to the public library. Many schools have entire sets of Inventor's Encyclopedias. Your media specialist may have videos of famous inventors you can check out or your teacher can check out. A recent video you may want to see is October Sky, a story of a young man who becomes a rocket scientist.


 There are three components to the evaluation: the four Research Sheets, the timeline, and the oral presentation. Use the following criteria for the evaluation


 Students will learn about the lives of famous inventors and inventions and use the information to place these events in history. Students will take the knowledge they gain to teach others. Through the process students will use their creativity and presentation skills to present their ideas.

This webquest was created by Lisa Parker Advanced Learner Teacher at Archer Elementary School .

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