3rd Grade Inventors Solve Problems Creatively

It all began with a group brainstorming session.  We sat around tables with sticky notes.  Inspired by, the Klutz Book of Brilliant Ridiculous Inventions, we agreed to a few basic rules:

  • all ideas are welcome
  • more is better (go for quantity not quality)
  • sugar is helpful to maintain good spirits and energy
  • sticky notes + permanent markers = easy to write & read

Our first two sessions we spent thinking of all the things that nag and bug us in our daily lives.

  • brushing our teeth when we’re tired
  • not able to stay up late and read/write
  • when our moms yell at us
  • annoying sibling…

Once we had spent a significant amount of mental power on problems, we switched our brains to think up solutions. 
Once the Magical Minds had chosen one solution/invention to pursue, their task was to create a diagram.  The goal was to create an image that would explain the different parts and pieces of their invention.

Nathan researching the size of different electronic devices for his "Huge Wallet"


The last week of our unit on Inventions was spent building models/prototypes of our inventions.  We used materials that were available to us, cardboard, fabric, old bottles, cushions and toys.    The final products were astoundingly creative.  Most impressive were the number of adjustments and changes each child made to his or her invention.  There were many challenges, and like true inventors, the Magical Minds dealt with each one as part of the process.  In the end, we had a magical collection of inventions.
Back Row: Henry’s Pencil Lamp, Josephine’s Learning Ball, Alexandra’s Pencil Ball, Klara’s Brother BeGone Spray, Viola’s Pencil Lamp.
Front Row: Sophie’s Pencil Pillow, Nathan’s Huge Wallet.
For more information about these inventions and more, check out their Invention Book.

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