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Force Olympics Unit Share
Mystery 6 of 6
How could you invent a trap?
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Optional Activity: Be an Inventor

  1. An inventor is someone who comes up with ways to solve problems or make tasks easier. Watch this videoto learn about some inventors and their inventions.

  2. A woman named Joshephine Cochran invented the dishwasher so she didn’t have to do the dishes. Discuss: Do you have a chore that a machine could help you do?

  3. Choose a chore you want a machine to help you with. Then act it out — pretend to do the chore.

  4. Think about how a machine could help with your chore—or better yet, do the chore for you. Draw a picture of your machine.

  5. When your picture is done, find a partner. Tell your partner what your invention does and how it works.

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You've completed the Read-Along & Optional Activity!

If you have more time, view the extensions.

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Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration you just completed.
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Additional Activities

  • Find the Inventions All Around Us: Ask your students to walk around the classroom and look for inventions. Talk about the inventions they find. Inventions in your classroom may include paper and pencils; tape, pushpins, and crayons; staplers and hole punches; electric lights and the switches that turn them on and off, and so on.

  • Make an invention box for your classroom. This article from Modern Parents/Messy Kids provides ideas for what to put in the box and some prompts for tasks that the inventions could accomplish.

  • Invent a Backscratcher: For a hands-on activity, check out this Teach Engineering activity, in which students use simple materials to invent a backscratcher.

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Overview
Grade K
Topic Forces, Machines, & Engineering
Focus Forces & Engineering
Print Prep
Activity Prep

Switch to non-narrated version

In this Read-Along Mystery, twins Mimi and Lulu try different ways to catch a mysterious nighttime visitor…until they hit on just the right solution. The Mystery includes a short exercise where students imagine how to design a good monster trap, and then pretend to be sneaky monsters. You can extend the lesson with the optional activity, Be an Inventor, where students draw their own inventions for machines that do chores.

Preview optional activity

Number of students:
Blank Paper (8.5 x 11")
30 sheets
Crayons
30 crayons
Prep Instructions

As an optional activity, we suggest you have your students explore what it takes to be an inventor. Have them watch this short video about inventors to start them thinking about the inventions all around us.

Then each student will think about and act out a chore they do. You may have to remind them of possible chores, such as making their bed, feeding the cat, walking the dog, setting the table, or picking up their toys. After acting out a chore, students will think up a machine that could help with this chore and draw their machine. Finally, students will share their drawing with a partner and explain how their machine works.

Overview
Grade K
Topic Forces, Machines, & Engineering
Focus Forces & Engineering
Extensions