Grab a Free Growth Mindset Escape Room for grades 4-8.

Your students are creators, innovators, and collaborators. Unfortunately, if we don't give them opportunities to unleash their creativity in the classroom, we won't see it! Giving your students opportunities to share their passions is the first place to start. There are so many ways to encourage your students' inventive spirit in the classroom without sacrificing your curriculum requirements or standards. Here are a few ways to help your students showcase their innovation!

Passion Projects

First, one way to encourage your students' inventive spirit is with Genius Hour or Passion Projects. To begin, Genius Hour starts with a question your students want to explore. This can be a group question or an independent project. The key is that the question needs to be something that requires in-depth research. It can't be answered with a simple Google search. Next, your students will research the question using online, text, and even in-person (i.e. experts) resources. Finally, the students will create something. This may be a presentation but it could also be something physical. Here are some examples of Passion Projects that encourage students' inventive spirits!
      • How do I build a robot?
      • What are some gluten-free recipes I can make for my family?
      • How do I raise money for the homeless?
      • What are the steps to adopt a rescue dog?
      • How can I start a recycling program in my school?
The topics for Passion Projects are as varied as your students' interests. Block off at least an hour a week to explore these questions. At the end of the semester or year, have a celebration of their success! Invite parents and the community to learn more about your students' inventive creations and passions.

Read About Kid Inventors

In history/social studies class, we talk so much about inventors of the past! What about the kid inventors that have made a difference? Here are some amazing inventors that made a difference before adulthood. Share their stories to inspire your students.

Louis Braille

When Braille was 12, he had an infection in his eye that caused him to become blind. Adapting a military communication method, Braille created today's "Braille" system that uses raised dots for blind people to read. This method changed communication for those with visual impairments, and Braille did it when he was only 12 years old!

Frank Epperson

Thank you, Frank Epperson! You may not know this child inventor's name, but you've probably been a consumer of the product he invented. At 11, Epperson accidentally left his sugary drink in the cold overnight. So began the invention of the popsicle. Years later, Epperson marketed his invention and it became what we know as the modern-day popsicle.

Sarah Buckel

At 16, Buckel had an idea while standing at her boring high school locker. Rather than tape up and potentially destroy pictures and decorations in her locker year after year, she came up with the concept of magnetic locker wallpaper. With a million dollar patent to her name, Buckel's idea changed high school hallways everywhere! Share these stories with your students to let them know a simple idea can showcase their own inventive spirit!

inventors and inventions scavenger hunt

Get your students excited to learn about inventors from the past! This inventors and inventions scavenger hunt shares fact about the following inventors:

  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • George Washington Carver
  • Thomas Edison
  • Louis Pasteur
  • Henry Ford
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Robert Fulton
  • Johannes Gutenberg
  • Eli Whitney
  • the Wright Brothers
As your students work through the scavenger hunt, they'll read engaging passages about each of these inventors then use task cards to complete activities. The scavenger hunt pack comes with everything you need to engage your learners! You'll get these materials:
  • Inventors and Inventions Fact Cards (10) to hang around the room. Each Fact Card contains a small reading passage, title and a picture.
  • ELA Task Cards (8) for reading and comprehension skills
  • Math Task Cards (4) using basic addition and subtraction
  • Timeline Task Cards (4) to reinforce text features and reading a timeline
  • Writing Task Cards (2) with open-ended, creative prompts
  • Drawing Task Cards (2) focusing on reading comprehension through visualization
  • Recording Sheets (2) including questions or a blank option
  • Teacher Answer Key
  • Blank Task Cards (4)
Finally, one of the most important ways to unleash your students' inventive spirit is by letting them play and explore! If your students have an idea for a cool project or an innovative idea, give them a voice. Let them have some time to research, create, and share their voice with the class or even the world (online)! What can you do to help share your students' innovative ideas with the world?
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Grab a Free Growth Mindset Escape Room for grades 4-8.

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