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HISTORY/LANGUAGE ARTS
Inventions for the 21st Century

 
Photo: PhotoDisc

OTHER MINI-LESSONS

• What Is An Invention?

• Inventions All Around Us!

• Top 10 Inventions

• Inventions for the 21st Century

Activity: Groups will focus on innovations in the following fields: communication, transportation, medicine, sports, and games. They'll choose important inventions in that field and look at how these inventions have changed the way we live. They'll consider how our world may change in this new century and what changes may require new inventions. Finally, they'll imagine new inventions for the future.
  1. Divide the class into four groups and assign each group one topic: communication, transportation, medicine, sports, and games. Tell students they will be looking at important inventions in each area, then imagining inventions for this new century.
  2. Each group should use the related Web sites below to complete their assignment. First, they should review the inventions featured in the Web sites. Then have them choose five important or interesting inventions in that area. For each invention, the group should write the answers to the following questions.
  3. • In what ways do you think our world will change in this new century?
    • How does it change the way we live? (How does it help people make their lives better, easier, healthier, or more enjoyable?)
  4. Then ask groups to break into pairs and talk about what kinds of inventions will be needed in the future. Have them consider the following questions
    • What does this invention do?
    • What new things will people need to be able to do?
  5. Have each pair imagine a completely new invention that would help meet the needs of the 21st century. They should give this invention a name, describe what it does, and how it will improve people's lives. Have students create a poster with these facts and an illustration of their invention. Partners should present their posters to the class.

USEFUL WEB SITES
Communication
The Evolution of Communication
http://library.thinkquest.org/26451/?tqskip1=1&tqtime=0613


Zoom Inventors and Inventions: Communication
www.enchantedlearning.com/inventors/communication.shtml


Transportation
Zoom Inventors and Inventions: Transportation
www.enchantedlearning.com/inventors/transportation.shtml


Technology in Motion
http://library.thinkquest.org/C006235/?tqskip1=1&tqtime=0613


Medicine
Zoom Inventors and Inventions: Medicine
www.enchantedlearning.com/inventors/medicine.shtml


Medicine Through Time: The Modern World
www.bbc.co.uk/education/medicine/nonint/menus/modtmenu.shtml


Games and Sports
Zoom Inventors and Inventions: Fun
www.enchantedlearning.com/inventors/fun.shtml


General

The Future
library.thinkquest.org/C001694F/