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Part 1 Unit Organizer

Grade: 4th

Program Model: General Ed./ESL

Theme: Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Rationale for Theme: 4th graders will learn about a number of renowned inventors and
inventions through literature, research, and inquiry-based math and science activities. The unit
focuses on inventions from a variety of cultures, celebrating cultural and linguistic diversity. We
will discuss how students lives might be different without particular inventions, such as
electricity, underscoring the practicality of invention. Students will learn that people invent in
order to solve problems, then use this knowledge to create their own inventions to solve a
problem they have identified. The unit will culminate in an Invention Convention where students
present their inventions to their peers, families, and the school community.

Read Aloud Books:


1. Ellen Ochoa: First Latina Astronaut by Lila and Rick Guzman
Vocabulary: astronaut, persevere, patent, optical
2. What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors by Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar, Raymond Obstfeld, Ben Boos, and A.J. Ford
Vocabulary: microphone, light bulb, telegraph, innovation
3. Cang Jie: Inventor of Chinese Characters by Li Jian
Vocabulary: Record, symbol, language, research
4. Mistakes that Worked by Charlotte Foltz Jones and John Obrien
Vocabulary: Mistake, patent, discovery, risk
5. Quines fueron los hermanos Wright? By James Buckley Jr. and Tim Foley (parent read
aloud)
Vocabulary: Glider, biplane, engine, machine

Additional Books for Student Reading:


1. Quin fue Alexander Graham Bell? by Bonnie Bader and David Groff
Vocabulary: Telephone, telegraph wire, transmit, deaf
Purpose: Bilingual partner read aloud; independent reading for Spanish-speaking students,
reference for research project
2. You Wouldnt Want to be Sir Isaac Newton by Ian Graham and David Antram
Vocabulary: Gravity, telescope, physics, astronomy
Purpose: Independent reading, reference for research project
3. Louis Braille: The Boy Who Invented Books for the Blind by Margaret Davidson and Janet
Compere
Vocabulary: Braille, blind, raised print, system
Purpose: Independent reading, reference for research project
4. Del big bang electricidad by Biblioteca Interactiva
Vocabulary: Electricity, electromagnetism, nuclear, technology
Purpose: Independent reading and reference for Spanish-speaking students, reference for
research project
5. A Weed is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver by Aliki
Vocabulary: Reconstruction, crop, agriculture, experiment
Purpose: Independent reading, reference for research project

Poems/Songs:
1. Mother Necessity from Schoolhouse Rock -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OLWJ1TMuNE&ab_channel=uschronicle
Vocabulary: Necessity, Cotton gin, Morse code, Invention
2. Velcro from Incredible Inventions by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Vocabulary: Velcro, fasteners, zipper, grip
3. Tooth Fairy Forklift from Heres What You Do When You Cant Find Your Shoe by Andrea
Perry
Vocabulary: Pulleys, levers, forklift, extract
4. Walt Tells it Like it is from Eureka! Poems about Inventors by Joyce Sidman
Vocabulary: Aerodynamics, Patent
5. This is My Life from Eureka! Poems about Inventors by Joyce Sidman
Vocabulary: Nobel Prize, Microscope
Graphic Organizers or Technology:
1. KWL chart for generating research questions - Social Studies

Source: http://www.teachersnotebook.com/product/tameemo/kwl-chart-freebie
2. I-Chart for recording questions and sources - Social Studies

Source: http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/printouts/Inquiry%20Chart.pdf
3. Mass conversion and weight on the moon - Math
4. Forces of motion recording sheet - Science

Source:
http://www.bsisd.esc18.net/documents/Lesson%20Ideas/LESSONS%20&%20RESOURCES/SC
IENCE/4th%20Gr/Science_Grade_04_Unit_03_Exemplar_Lesson_02__Testing_Force.pdf
5. Inference and Evidence Graphic Organizer - Language Arts

Source:http://schools.nyc.gov/documents/teachandlearn/Poems_to_Play_With_in_Class_
final.pdf
Lesson Plans:

1. Introductory Lesson: Why Invent?


TEKS: 110.15.(29), 113.15 (23 A)
ELPS: 74.4 (3 D), 74.4 (3 E), 74.4 (5 B)
Vocabulary: invention, inventor, problem, solution, telephone, light bulb, airplane, velcro

2. Science Lesson: Investigating Forces of Motion


TEKS: 112.15 (6 D), 112.15 (3 D), 112.15 (2 A), 112.15 (2 B)
ELPS: 74.4 (2 I), 74.4 (3 D), 74.4 (3 E)
Vocabulary: push, pull, force, gravity, friction, magnetism, motion, properties, investigation

3. Social Studies Lesson: Research Famous Inventors


TEKS: 110.15 (23 A), 110.15 (29), 113.15 (22 D)
ELPS: 74.4 (2 I), 74.4 (3 G), 74.4 (5 B)
Vocabulary: Brainstorm, research question, source, research plan

4. Language Arts Lesson: Exploring Inventions Through Poetry


TEKS: 110.15 (4), 110.15 (18 C)
ELPS: 74.4 (2 I), 74.4 (3 E), 74.4 (4 D), 74.4 (4 H), 74.4 (5 B)
Vocabulary: Inference, evidence, stanza, rhyme, line break, lyrical poetry, free verse

5. Math Lesson: Gravity, Mass, and Weight


TEKS: 111.6 (8 A), 111.6 (8 B), 112.15 (2 B), 112.15 (3 D), 112.15 (4 A)

ELPS: 74.4 (1 E), 74.4 (2 I), 74.4 (3 C), 74.4 (3 E)


Vocabulary: Gravity, mass, weight, heavy, light

6. ESL Lesson: Invention Convention


TEKS: 110.15 (26), 110.15 (27 A), 110.15 (28), 113.15 (22 C)
ELPS: 74.4 (3 D), 74.4 (3 E), 74.4 (3 I)
Vocabulary: confidence, rate, volume, enunciation, formal, feedback, constructive criticism
Introductory Lesson
Theme: Why Invent?
Grade: 4th grade
Class: Gen. Ed/ESL

TEKS:
110.15 (29) - Listening and Speaking/Teamwork. Students work productively with others in
teams. Students continue to apply earlier standards with greater complexity. Students are
expected to participate in teacher- and student-led discussions by posing and answering questions
with appropriate detail and by providing suggestions that build upon the ideas of others.
113.15 (23 A) - use a problem-solving process to identify a problem, gather information, list and
consider options, consider advantages and disadvantages, choose and implement a solution, and
evaluate the effectiveness of the solution;

ELPS:
74.4 (3 D) speak using grade-level content area vocabulary in context to internalize new English
words and build academic language proficiency;
74.4 (3 E) share information in cooperative learning interactions;
74.4 (5 B) write using newly acquired basic vocabulary and content-based grade-level
vocabulary;

Objectives
Language: Students will define and use key vocabulary terms in group and partner discussions
as well as in writing.
Content: Students will be able to explain that inventions are created to make peoples lives
easier. Students will identify a problem and brainstorm inventions that address the problem.

Key Vocabulary: invention, inventor, problem, solution, telephone, light bulb, airplane, velcro

Materials:
Light bulb
Cell phone
Toy airplane
Velcro
Pictures of old telephones and planes
Overhead or document camera to play video
Post-it notes
Index cards

Motivation:
1. The four items light bulb, phone, airplane, and velcro will be sitting at the front of the
room.
2. The teacher will hold up each item and ask students to identify it. Students will be asked to
turn and talk with their partner about what these objects have in common. The teacher will play
the Schoolhouse Rock video, promising that it will shed some light on the objects.

Presentation:
1. After watching the video Mother Necessity, the class will discuss the inventors and
inventions depicted in the video. Key questions: How did these inventors get their ideas? What
does "necessity" mean?
2. The teacher will guide students in coming to the conclusion that inventions are created to
solve a problem.
3. In their table groups, students will brainstorm a list of problems that people encounter in daily
life.
4. Each student will choose one idea to write on a post-it and stick on the board.
5. The teacher will read some of the ideas to the class, then share her own problem and an idea
for an invention that presents a solution.

Practice/Application:
1. On an index card, students will write their chosen problem and brainstorm a list of solutions or
inventions.
2. The teacher will inform the students that they will spend the remainder of the unit learning
about inventors and inventions as well as preparing their own inventions for the final project.
They should continue thinking about inventions that might be able to solve their problem.

Review/Assessment:
The index card students filled out with their problem and solution will serve as an exit ticket.

Extension:
Some students may decide on an invention quickly. They will be given resources to begin
planning their invention in more detail.
Social Studies Lesson
Theme: Research Famous Inventors
Grade: 4th grade
Class: Gen. Ed/ESL

TEKS:
110.15 (23 A) g enerate research topics from personal interests or by brainstorming with others,
narrow to one topic, and formulate open-ended questions about the major research topic
110.15 (29) - Students work productively with others in teams.
113.15 (22 D) create written and visual material such as journal entries, reports, graphic
organizers, outlines, and bibliographies; and

ELPS:
74.4 (3 G) - express opinions, ideas, and feelings ranging from communicating single words and
short phrases to participating in extended discussions on a variety of social and grade-appropriate
academic topics;
74.4 (5 B) - write using newly acquired basic vocabulary and content-based grade-level
vocabulary;
74.4 (2 I) - demonstrate listening comprehension of increasingly complex spoken English by
following directions, retelling or summarizing spoken messages, responding to questions and
requests, collaborating with peers, and taking notes commensurate with content and grade-level
needs.

Objectives
Language: Students will collaborate with peers using grade-level content area vocabulary.
Content: Working in groups, students will draw upon prior knowledge to formulate research
questions and generate a research plan about a famous inventor.

Key Vocabulary: Brainstorm, research question, source, research plan

Materials:
Copies of KWL Chart for each student
Copies of I-Chart for each student
Procedures for research project for each student

Motivation:
Ask students to name inventors they are familiar with and what they invented. Make a list on the
board. Add names to the list that students may not have heard of.

Presentation:
1. Explain that students are about to begin a group research project about a famous inventor.
They will be assigned roles within their group, make a research plan, use books and the internet
to do research, and compile their findings into a presentation of their choice. The presentation
can be a skit, a rap, a graphic novel, a powerpoint, or anything else they can think of, as long as it
is approved by the teacher.
2. Each table group must discuss and vote upon a first and second choice of topic. If two groups
have chosen the same topic, the teacher will flip a coin and the losing group will default to their
second choice.
3. Once topics have been chosen, model filling out the first two columns of the KWL chart and
recording questions on the I-Chart. Review expectations for group work.

Practice/Application:
1. Each group will fill out the first two columns of the KWL chart pertaining to their inventor.
They will discuss what they already know about this person, and then brainstorm and record
things that they would like to know.
2. Groups should narrow down their list of questions to four and write them on the top row of the
I-Chart.
3. The teacher will supervise groups and address any issues that arise.

Review/Assessment:
1. The KWL and I-Chart will be turned in by each student.
2. On two post-its, students will write something they know and something they want to know
about their inventor. They will place the post-its in the appropriate columns of a KWL display in
the classroom.

Extension:
1. Students will be grouped by ability level so that they can extend their research or receive
support as needed.
2. Groups that finish early may begin doing research using books in the classroom library or
on the internet.
Language Arts Lesson
Theme: Exploring Inventions Through Poetry
Grade: 4th grade
Class: Gen. Ed/ESL

TEKS:
110.15 (4) Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Poetry. Students understand, make
inferences and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of poetry and provide evidence
from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to explain how the structural
elements of poetry (e.g., rhyme, meter, stanzas, line breaks) relate to form (e.g., lyrical poetry,
free verse).
110.15 (18 C) write responses to literary or expository texts and provide evidence from the text
to demonstrate understanding.

ELPS:
74.4 (4 D) - use prereading supports such as graphic organizers, illustrations, and pretaught
topic-related vocabulary and other prereading activities to enhance comprehension of written
text;
74. 4 (3 E) - share information in cooperative learning interactions;
74.4 (5 B) - write using newly acquired basic vocabulary and content-based grade-level
vocabulary;
74.4 (2 I) - demonstrate listening comprehension of increasingly complex spoken English by
following directions, retelling or summarizing spoken messages, responding to questions and
requests, collaborating with peers, and taking notes commensurate with content and grade-level
needs.
74.4 (4 H) - read silently with increasing ease and comprehension for longer periods;

Objectives
Language: Students will collaborate with peers using grade-level content area vocabulary.
Content: Students will work independently and with a partner to make inferences about a poem,
providing evidence from the text for their conclusions.

Key Vocabulary: Inference, evidence, stanza, rhyme, line break, lyrical poetry, free verse

Materials:
2 copies each of nine poems from Incredible Inventions by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Incredible Inventions by Lee
Bennett Hopkins

Motivation:
Read the poem Velcro from Incredible Inventions by Lee Bennett Hopkins out loud.

Presentation:
1. Display the poem on the overhead. Ask a student to name their favorite part. As a class,
discuss the meaning of this section of the poem.
2. On the overhead, model recording evidence, linking it to prior knowledge, and making an
inference on the graphic organizer. Ask students for their input.
3. Pass out copies of the nine poems. Explain that everyone has a buddy somewhere in the room
who has the same poem as them, but they will read the poem by themselves first. Explain
procedures for the activity.

Practice/Application:
1. Each student will read the poem they have been given and make as many inferences as
possible, recording evidence and prior knowledge for each one.
2. When prompted, students will find their poem buddy and compare their responses. They will
be given time to discuss the poem and add to their list of inferences based on the discussion with
their partner.
3. The teacher will facilitate discussions between students and provide support to anyone who is
struggling.

Review/Assessment:
1. The teacher will choose one or two pairs to share their poems and responses with the class on
the overhead. The class will discuss the poem and the invention it describes.
2. The graphic organizers will be turned in so the teacher can assess students work.

Extension:
Each student will be paired with someone at roughly their ability level so they can extend each
others thinking. If any pairs feel that they are done analyzing their poem, they can switch with
another pair and continue reading and responding to other poems.
Incredible Inventions will be available for students to peruse during free time, along with two
other poetry books about inventions: Heres What You Do When You Cant Find Your Shoe by
Andrea Perry and Eureka! Poems about Inventors by Joyce Sidman.
Science Lesson
Theme: Investigating Forces of Motion
Grade: 4th grade
Class: Gen. Ed./ESL

TEKS:
112.15 (6 D) - design an experiment to test the effect of force on an object such as a push or a
pull, gravity, friction, or magnetism.
112.15 (3 D) - connect grade-level appropriate science concepts with the history of science,
science careers, and contributions of Scientists.
112.15 (2 A) - plan and implement descriptive investigations, including asking well-defined
questions, making inferences, and selecting and using appropriate equipment or technology to
answer his/her questions;
112.15 (2 B) - collect and record data by observing and measuring, using the metric system, and
using descriptive words and numerals such as labeled drawings, writing, and concept maps;

ELPS:
74.4 (2 I) - demonstrate listening comprehension of increasingly complex spoken English by
following directions, retelling or summarizing spoken messages, responding to questions and
requests, collaborating with peers, and taking notes commensurate with content and grade-level
needs.
74.4 (3 E) - share information in cooperative learning interactions
74.4 (3 D) - speak using grade-level content area vocabulary in context to internalize new
English words and build academic language proficiency;

Objectives
Language: Students will collaborate with peers using grade-level content area vocabulary.
Content: Students will work in groups to plan and implement an investigation to test magnetic,
gravitational, and frictional forces on an object.

Key Vocabulary: push, pull, force, gravity, friction, magnetism, motion, properties,
investigation

Materials:
Toy car
Wood block
Rubber ball
Rock
Stapler
Plastic cup
Magnet
Books (4-5 per group)
Aluminum foil (1 piece per group)
Wax paper (1 piece per group)
Sandpaper (1 piece per group)
Meter sticks (1 per group)
Stopwatches (1 per group)
String (1 piece per group)
Spring scale (1 per group)

Motivation:
On the overhead, show a few pages of You Wouldnt Want to Be Sir Isaac Newton to lead into
discussion of force. Activate prior knowledge from the previous science lesson. What are force
and motion? Discuss examples of a gravitational, frictional and magnetic force.

Presentation:
Explain procedures for the investigation:
1. Each group will choose one object to test, investigating the following forces: magnetic force,
gravitational force, and frictional force. They will record their observations and measurements on
the graphic organizer.
2. Allow each group to choose an object and plan how they will test each force on it in the left
column of the graphic organizer. Each student in the group should record observations on a
separate paper.
3. Whole group discussion of challenges they may encounter in their experiments. Review
procedures and expectations for group work. Model completion of the graphic organizer on the
overhead.

Practice/Application:
Each group implements their investigation based on the plan they have made with their group.

Review/Assessment:
The graphic organizer will be turned in so the teacher can assess students work.

Extension:
Any groups that complete their investigations early can begin answering the reflection questions
on the handout. They may collaborate with their group members to answer the questions.
Math Lesson
Theme: Gravity, Mass, and Weight
Grade: 4th grade
Class: Gen. Ed./ESL

TEKS:
111.6 (8 A) - identify relative sizes of measurement units within the customary and metric
systems;
111.6 (8 B) - convert measurements within the same measurement system, customary or metric,
from a smaller unit into a larger unit or a larger unit into a smaller unit when given other
equivalent measures represented in a table;
112.15 (2 B) - collect and record data by observing and measuring, using the metric system, and
using descriptive words and numerals such as labeled drawings, writing, and concept maps;
112.15 (3 D) - connect grade-level appropriate science concepts with the history of science,
science careers, and contributions of scientists.
112.15 (4 A) - collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including calculators,
microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, mirrors,
spring scales, pan balances, triple beam balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, hot plates, meter
sticks, compasses, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks;

ELPS:
74.4 (3 C) - speak using grade-level content area vocabulary in context to internalize new
English words and build academic language proficiency;
74.4 (3 E) - share information in cooperative learning interactions;
74.4 (1 E) - internalize new basic and academic language by using and reusing it in meaningful
ways in speaking and writing activities that build concept and language attainment;
74.4 (2 I) - demonstrate listening comprehension of increasingly complex spoken English by
following directions, retelling or summarizing spoken messages, responding to questions and
requests, collaborating with peers, and taking notes commensurate with content and grade-level
needs.

Objectives
Language: Students will apply content-level vocabulary in group and partner discussions as well
as in writing.
Content: Students will work independently to measure the mass of objects using a digital
balance and record results in both grams and kilograms.
Key Vocabulary: Gravity, mass, weight, heavy, light

Materials:
Digital balances
Scale
Recording sheets for each student
Bins with a number of objects for each student.
Ellen Ochoa: First Latina Astronaut by Lila and Rick Guzman

Motivation:
Read Ellen Ochoa and discuss briefly. What sort of things do you need to know to be an
astronaut?

Presentation:
1. Connect Ellen Ochoa discussion to the concept of gravity. Emphasize that gravity is different
in outer space and changes an objects weight. To demonstrate, step on the scale, record weight
on Earth, and calculate weight on the Moon (multiply by 0.17). Allow a few student volunteers
to step on the scale and convert their weight as well.
2. Discuss the difference between mass and weight. Mass is always the same, but weight can be
changed by gravity.
3. Model procedures for the investigation. Discuss safety when using equipment. Students
should not put anything on the balances other than the objects at their table.

Practice/Application:
Students will work independently to measure objects mass on the balances, record the mass in
both grams and kilograms, and use a calculator to determine the objects weight on the Moon.

Review/Assessment:
1. Turn and talk to a partner about what they learned during the lesson.
2. Complete an exit slip by writing one thing they learned and one question they have.
3. Turn in graphic organizer.

Extension:
Students at higher levels of math ability will be challenged to determine the mass x gravity =
weight equation without using a calculator.
ESL Lesson
Theme: Preparing for the Invention Convention
Grade: 4th grade
Class: Gen. Ed/ESL

TEKS:
110.15 (27 A) - listen attentively to speakers, ask relevant questions, and make pertinent
comments;
110.15 (26) - Research/Organizing and Presenting Ideas. Students organize and present their
ideas and information according to the purpose of the research and their audience.
110.15 (28) - Listening and Speaking/Speaking. Students speak clearly and to the point, using
the conventions of language. Students continue to apply earlier standards with greater
complexity. Students are expected to express an opinion supported by accurate information,
employing eye contact, speaking rate, volume, and enunciation, and the conventions of language
to communicate ideas effectively.
113.15 (22 C) - express ideas orally based on research and experiences;

ELPS:
74.4 (3 E) share information in cooperative learning interactions,
74.4 (3 D) speak using grade-level content area vocabulary in context to internalize new English
words and build academic language proficiency;
74.4 (3 I) adapt spoken language
appropriately for formal and informal purposes;

Objectives
Language: Students will use formal language and elements of effective speaking to orally
express ideas.
Content: Students will practice their invention presentations and give specific feedback to peers
in preparation for the Invention Convention.

Key Vocabulary: confidence, rate, volume, enunciation, formal, feedback, constructive


criticism

Materials:
Peer review sheets
Students should bring their inventions to school and have presentations prepared
Motivation:
Remind students that this is their final chance to get feedback and make changes before the

Invention Convention. It is also an opportunity to practice their presentations one last time.

Presentation:
With a student volunteer, model an appropriate peer review interaction. Ask students for
examples of appropriate and inappropriate feedback, as well as the proper ways to receive
feedback.

Practice/Application:
1. Students will pair up within their table groups to present their inventions to one another, give
feedback, and ask questions.
2. Students should take notes during the presentation using the review sheet.
3. They should then use the two stars and a wish approach to giving feedback: two positive
comments and one constructive criticism.
4. They can also ask questions and demonstrate their inventions for one another.
5. Students will rotate several times to observe multiple presentations.

Review/Assessment:
1. As a class, discuss what students noticed that was effective about others presentations.
Discuss anything that could be improved (not naming names).
2. On an index card, each student will write one thing they did well and one thing they can
improve upon for their presentation.
3. Give details about times and procedures for the Invention Convention.

Extension:
1. Students have the option to include supporting documents, like blueprints and extra research
they have done, in their presentation.
2. Students who feel extremely confident in their public speaking skills can present their
inventions to the entire class for feedback.
Presentation: Pinterest Board

https://www.pinterest.com/jessijedi/thematic-unit-necessity-is-the-mother-of-invention/