That’s a Good Idea!

Information for Teachers

Curriculum links

This investigation is linked to the following Grade 4 Next Generation Science Standards.

ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints). The success of a designed solution is determined by considering the desired features of a solution (criteria). Different proposals for solutions can be compared on the basis of how well each one meets the specified criteria for success or how well each take the constraints into account. (3-5-ETS1-1)

ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

Research on a problem should be carried out before beginning to design a solution. Testing a solution involves investigating how well it performs under a range of likely conditions. (3-5-ETS1-1)

ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

Different solutions need to be tested in order to determine which of them best solves the problem, given the criteria and the constraints. (3-5-ETS1-3)

How to search the internet

1 Keep your request short

Fewer words will give a more accurate search.

2 Choose exactly what you want

For example: Arctic Circle Climate

3 Use quotes

Double quotes around a set of words tell the search engine to consider those exact words in that exact order without any change. For example: “Arctic Circle Climate”

4 Use the plus sign (+)

If you add a plus sign (+) between words, the internet will search for all the words. For example: migrate+birds+whales+mammal

5 Use the minus sign (–) to say what you don’t want

Use a minus sign (–) to show words you do not want to appear in your results. For example: if you search for burrowing animals and do not want mammals in your search,  –mammals will exclude mammals. Note that you need to put a space before the minus sign for the word to be excluded.

6 Be very clear about what you don’t want

Part 1
Ask questions and define problems

After reading That’s a Good Idea! you may have many questions about how inventions have changed the way we live.

List your questions

  • Compare your list with questions that others have.
  • Choose a question you would like to investigate.
  • You can work alone, with a partner, or in a small group.

You may want to choose one or more of these questions to investigate

Q1. How do inventions change our lives?

Q2. What do people need to know about to create new things?

Q3. What further questions do you have about everyday inventions and how they came about?

Q4. Which invention has most changed the world?

Go to Part 2 Investigate →

Part 2

Helpful websites

You can search using: Inventions that changed the world

Children’s Encyclopedias have lots of information about many different inventions. Students enter the words invention+kids.

They can find out about the development of an invention by searching _____ (invention name)+history or invention name, or inventor

Go to Part 3 Record data →

Part 3
Record data

Find a way of recording your information that will allow you to see any patterns in the data.

Data Chart for inventions

Download Chart
Go to Part 4 Organize, analyze, and interpret data →

Part 4
Organize, analyze, and interpret data

1. Look over the information you have gathered and the patterns you have found.

How has the invention changed our lives?

2. Search for other patterns.

Has the invention changed our lives in a positive way?

Has the invention changed our lives in a negative way?

3. Makes notes about what you find.

Go to Part 5 Present and share →

Part 5
Present and share

Use the information in the two charts to prepare a chart, poster, or slideshow about the invention. Use and adapt this plan to support your slideshow.

Compare the impact of the invention you have investigated with other groups.

Which invention has had the most impact?

What would the world be like without them?

Download Chart
← Return to menu