Review: This is only about electricity in part of the story, when Leigh builds an alarm
for his lunch box. However, his successful design, in which a bell goes off when the box is opened, attracts much attention. Other students want one and teachers are impressed. His father is impressed, too, and this is important for Leigh. His parents are divorced and his father is seldom around, yet when the father sees the lunch box and reads a story that Leigh has written, he praises his son for the first time. The author's use of letters and diary entries for much of the story make for interesting reading.
Batteries & Bulbs is a classic unit for teaching students about electrical circuits. It first appeared as a unit in the Elementary Science Study (ESS) curriculum. This adaptation of the unit is closely aligned with the vision of science teaching espoused in the National Science Education Standards. You'll see that the unit responds to individual student experiences, focuses on student knowledge and its application, includes students being involved in extended inquiry, involves continual assessment of student understanding, and it's fun!
Circuit City is an interdisciplinary unit based on electricity concepts that has been very successful in my self-contained fourth grade classroom. We began the unit with basic circuit building and progressed to wiring a cardboard house. In between, the students worked on activities in language arts, math, writing, literature, and social studies.
The Young Inventors Fair Program, in its eleventh year, is the brainchild of a group of educators who were looking for ways to stimulate higher level thinking, and to encourage students to identify real problems and to solve them creatively. The inventing process seemed to accord that challenge. Hence the year-long program had its genesis.