Free Teaching Tips will be available on a monthly
basis, courtesy of Freda J. Glatt, retired teacher. Please modify
them for different age groups and use them as suggestions to inspire your
own creative thinking.
Celebrating Black History Month
What do Sarah Boone, Alexander Miles, Garrett Morgan, Robert F. Flemmings,
and John Standard all have in common? They were all African-American
inventors! As part of Black History Month, have your children learn about
them and their inventions.
African-American Inventors and Their Inventions
1. Sarah Boone - ironing board 2. Alexander Miles - elevator 3. Garrett Morgan - traffic signal 4. Robert F. Flemmings - guitar 5. John Standard - refrigerator 6. George T. Sampson - clothes drier 7. D. Johnson - lawn mower 8. Bessie Blount - a device that allows amputees to feed themselves 9. Otis Boykin - a variable resistor used in guided missile parts 10. George Grant - world's first patent for a golf tee 11. John Lee Love - pencil sharpener rotated by hand 12. Richard Spikes - automobile directional signals 13. William Purvis - self-inking hand stamp 14. Kevin Woolfolk - hamster workout wheel 15. Patricia Bath - first African-American woman doctor to receive
a patent for a medical invention, a method for removing cataract lenses
using a laser device 16. W. A. Martin - lock 17. G. W. Murray - planter 18. F. M. Jones - air conditioning unit 19. A. C. Richardson - bottle 20. E. R. Robinson - electric railway trolley 21. J. R. Winters - fire escape ladder 22. B. H. Taylor - rotary engine 23. Donald Cotton - propellants for nuclear reactors 24. Norbert Rillieux - a method for refining sugar 25. Emmett W. Chappelle - techniques for the detection of bacteria
in urine, blood, drinking water, and foods 26. J. W. Smith - lawn sprinkler 27. W. U. Moody - game board design 28. A. L. Cradle - ice cream mold
1. Research other inventions by African Americans. 2. Find the dates of these inventions and make a timeline of them. 3. Discuss how life would be very different without these
inventions. 4. Discuss the process of inventing something and have your
students come up with their own inventions. They should give their
inventions a name and write a description. 5. Classify these inventions into such categories as Things Around
the House and Things for Safety. 6. Alphabetize the inventors' names. 7. Have some children cut out pictures of the inventions and paste
them on the left side of index cards. Have other children use sticky
labels to write or type the invention and paste them on the right side of
the index cards to match the pictures. Make puzzles by cutting down the
center of these cards using different patterns. You can also use craft
scissors which come in a variety of patterns. 8. Create a criss-cross puzzle or a word-find puzzle with these
inventors' last names.
I hope these ideas are useful and have inspired your own creative
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Freda J. Glatt,
MS, is a retired K-6 teacher. Helping others
reinforce reading comprehension through FUNdamental Reading Activities,
including games and worksheets, is her new educational goal. Visit her
site at http://sandralreading.com.