1.)Teacher will introduce the lesson by telling a brief story about a little known African-American scientist. The teacher may want to do a retelling or read it from a hard copy or a website using the computer projector. Time should be spent discussing the importance of scientific discovery and invention to everyday life and society.
2.)After a class discussion about famous African-American scientists and inventors, take the students to the computer lab to research one of interest. The teacher should provide an information sheet for each student to fill in the information they find(see attachment). This step should be done in one trip to the computer lab unless the students need an introduction to the Internet.
(The Faces of Science:
)This website explores a great number of African American scientists and inventors. It divides them by specialty as well as notes gender.
3.)Students will meet back in the classroom and share their findings with the class through class discussion and a question/answer session.
4.)The teacher will explain about plagiarism and review the elements of good writing. The students will then take the information collected and write a quality paragraph about the one inventor/scientist they researched.
5.)Each student will be compile a list of five African-American inventors or scientists about which to make a slide show scrapbook for presentation to the class. The students must have access to library resources including biographies or other books and may research Internet websites. The teacher may allow library or computer lab time for this component, or provide a weekend and assign this portion as homework. Help should be made available before and/or after school. Preferably, students should not choose the same inventors or common ones such as George Washington Carver to present. (Class sizes and total number of students may require some duplicates.)
6.)After the teacher has approved each student's list, students are given a handout of the requirements for the assignment (see criteria attachment).
7.)Typically, one class period is dedicated to discussing presentation techniques and showing sample presentations from previous years to the students. The teacher should have the classroom ready for the presentations by having all equipment properly connected and tested prior to the students' arrival. By using a projection device, the class can see the slideshow as it appears on the computer screen (see attachment for sample slide show).
8.)Students will fill in the slideshow storyboard to determine how their presentation will look. By completing a storyboard, the teacher can make suggestions and answer questions prior to the student going to the computer lab. Allow students to share their storyboards with peers for feedback and constructive criticism (see attached storyboard).
9.)The lesson culminates with the student presentations. Students are graded using the attached rubric. Allow peers to use rubrics to score student presentations.
10.)Following is a link to an extension activity on related topics that allows further practice with the Internet or other multimedia.
(Treasures of African-American History
)An Internet search activity for students while studying African-American history.
11.)Due to high interest in inventions, the teacher may sometimes want to add an activity involving the preparation of invention brochures. In this assignment each student selects one invention and explains how it works. This reinforces informational writing and practice with word processing software. Design and layout of a brochure can also be taught or reviewed with the use of this extension exercise. I have included a sample rubric in the attachments section to illustrate what to look for when assigning the optional brochure.