African American Inventors in History

A two-part lesson introduces young historians to the work of famous African American inventors. Groups first research and develop a presentation of an inventor that includes biographical information and information about one of their patents. For part two, pupils examine patents filed by African American inventors, the patent process, and consider how inventions are created. Finally, participants develop their own inventions, draw diagrams or create three-dimensional models, and present their ideas to the class.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Have class members engage in a gallery walk, modeled after a science fair, where inventors present their devices to the class or the community
Classroom Considerations
  • Pupils require access to devices with an internet connection
  • Requires additional prep time to collect the necessary materials and make copies
Pros
  • Links are provided to Google Patents, The Black Inventor Online Museum, and to biographical information of many of the inventors
  • Also included are discussion questions and likes to additional resources
Cons
  • None