Having finished our Revolutionary War studies, we have marched through time in our history lessons. One more week of general world history, and then we will be learning in depth about Lewis and Clark's exploration. In the between time, we read about the French Revolution, Napoleon, the Haiti Revolution, and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in our history spine, The Story of the World, Volume 3.
Though not a war, the Industrial Revolution was a time of great changes in the world. We took the time to learn about several inventions that dramatically altered life. Some were the cotton gin, the steam engine, and railroads. We also learned a bit about the inventors themselves. The two we read more about were Eli Whitney and Robert Fulton. While reading about Whitney in SOTW, we learned about interchangeable parts and standardization.
Some of our resources were:
The Story of the World, Vol. 3 Chapter 27, by Susan Wise Bauer
Robert Fulton: From Submarine to Steamboat, by Steven Kroll
Robert Fulton: Boy Craftsman, by Marguerite Henry
Maker of Machines: A Story about Eli Whitney, by Barbara Mitchell
Afterwards, each of our children tried their hand at inventing. Using a suggestion in The Story of the World Activity Book, Vol. 3, Chapter 27, each child invented a device. They drew pictures and diagrams, depending on the child's age. Then, each child presented their invention and attempted to 'market' their invention to our family.
Their creative inventions included a snowball tank with snow plow, a portable refrigerated lunch pail, a large flat night sky light that hangs from a bedroom ceiling, and a convertible scooter/skateboard. Though some, or all, of these may already be invented somewhere in the world, each child put their own spin on their inventions making them unique.
It was a fun endeavor into the world of industry and inventions for our family.