Tag Archives: inventions

Today’s Pre-Invention Convention Read Aloud

23 Apr


Reading about Chester Greenwood yesterday got the kids thinking about things they use that can be improved. Today, our read aloud looks at Ben Franklin inventions that are still around because the basic design was good. His ideas have just been improved.

Now & Ben : The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin, written and illustrated by Gene Barretta, features two page spreads that show a modern invention on the left and the Ben Franklin original on the right.


The text explanations are simple but point out how Ben Franklin is still relevant today.The end pages playfully depict various inventions of Franklin and the year that they were invented.

This book is an excellent tool to add to an inventor’s toolbox.

Crazy inventors

5 Sep

When I was in teacher’s college, we had an “Invention Convention”, the 80’s alternative to the Science Fair. I innovated Band Aids for my teapot that were placed around the spout to catch drips. Very practical.

The main characters of 2 new books are a little less practical.


Poco Loco, by J. R. Krause and Maria Chua, tells the story of a rat who invents things by combining two seemingly unrelated items into unique but practical creations. This book is fun for a number of reasons. First, there are the wacky inventions like salt & pepper gloves, vacuum cleaner socks and yo-yo pants. Secondly, it incorporates Spanish vocabulary into the text. A glossary of terms used in the story appears before the story begins, but the context clues often help readers decipher the meaning of the Spanish words without needing to consult the glossary. This would be a fun read aloud, or an inspiration for crazy things kids could invent and write about.

The wacky inventor in What Floats in a Moat?, written by Lynne Berry and illustrated by Matthew Cordell, is a goat name Archimedes.


Archie wants to cross a moat with out taking the drawbridge, as suggested by his friend, Skinny the Hen. Rhyming text introduces readers to the principles of buoyancy and the scientific method.  The author also includes a description of the real Archimedes’ experiment about water and displacement. A fun read that will encourage young scientists to persevere “in the name of science!”

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