Inventing in Science, Featuring 6th Graders

What is invention?  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, invention is a product of the imagination.  I think we invent all of the time!  It is within our human nature to invent, and thus I think we learn best through invention.

I firmly believe my students learn best when they invent.  Through invention, they make that connection between something completely foreign to them and their imagination.

This week my 6th graders are learning about the different physical layers of Earth’s interior.  We spent about 30% of class time taking notes on the different layers, and chemical composition of Earth.  I supplemented my lecture with fun interactive games and visuals.  I tend to start feeling like Charlie Brown’s teacher after 15 minutes of talking, so I try to give my kids little brain breaks in between notes.  These breaks include getting them out of their seats and “acting out” what they have learned, or watching quick 1-2 minute visual representations.  A two minute brain break usually gets them back into the engaged learning state, and away from perpetual boredom.

Where does the invention come in?  Right where my kids are starting to comprehend the material is the optimal time for me to incorporate a fun project.  This week they are creating movie posters with “Journey to the Center of the Earth” themes and writing out a short movie synopsis for their “movie trailer”.   They instantly start using their new-found knowledge to create, and this is where the real learning begins…

I leave you with my favorite Einstein quote.

Imagination encircles the world.


2 thoughts on “Inventing in Science, Featuring 6th Graders

  1. Great activity! I like the way you incorporated a variety of teaching methods to deliver your lesson. Love the “brain breaks”; students need them. Sometimes they are just as important as the lesson itself.


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