American Inventors

American Inventors

Pairs of students present the name of their inventor and the invention in a short program for the classes in the school, families, and staff. Students devise props to represent or show the invention involved as part of their presentation. The teaching artist uses drama games to help students prepare to give their presentations. The focus is on speaking loudly, clearly and confidently, and making eye contact with the audience. Listening skills are also addressed for being part of the audience.

Grade 1
Content Area Social Studies
Key Benchmark SS 1.3.2: Describe the lives of people who significantly impacted American history.

LA 1.6.6: Adjust volume and intonation for content and purpose
Art Form Drama
Art Benchmark LA 1.6.5: Use basic listening skills to focus attention on a speaker
School Year 2007-2008
Artist Cherokee Shaner
Unit Plan

Lesson Plans

LP1 Drama Basics

Students gather in a circle sitting on the floor to listen as Samuel Todd's Book Of Great Inventions by E. L. Konigsburg is read aloud. The book, an introduction to the drama unit, and the purposes of the theater games are discussed, and then 2-3 games are taught. These help students learn to make eye contact, interact in a specific manner with another “character,” focus their attention during a group activity, and speak loudly and clearly.

LP2 Building Drama/Presentation Skills

Students play the Inventor Game, Eagle Eye Switch, and Guess The Leader. The Machines Game will be introduced to begin to get students used to group presentations. Listening skills are discussed and practiced.

LP3 Practicing Presentations

Students will do warm-up games and then practice the presentation of their inventors to the class. The “audience” practices good listening skills. When students have trouble with being a presenter or an audience member, students make suggestions on how to solve these problems, using ideas discussed in previous sessions.

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Lesson 3
Lesson 3