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Thomas Alva Edison, Grades 6-8

Explore Edison’s Life and Work in These Lessons, Activities, and Resources

Found in: Science, Social Studies

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) held 1,093 U.S. Patents including a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures. Explore his life and work in these lessons, activities, and resources.

And do not forget Nikola Tesla, who once worked for Edison and later became a business rival, along with George Westinghouse, in the War of the Currents.

Lesson Plans

Additional Lesson Plans

Unit Plan: Deaf Inventors ( PDF 33 pages, 1.98 MB)
Grade 8. Lessons 3 and 4 are about Edison.

Edison: Curriculum Materials

Thomas Edison, Electricity, and America

Changes in Lifestyle Due To Electricity

Teaching with Documents: Petition Signed by Thomas A. Edison for Sunday Openings at the World's Columbian Exposition

Background Resources

Inventing Entertainment: the Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies

Thomas A. Edison and the Menlo Park Laboratory

The Thomas A. Edison Papers
The Thomas A. Edison Papers Project comprises 5 million pages of documents chronicling the life and achievements of Thomas Alva Edison. The site includes other curriculum materials.

The Diary of Thomas A. Edison
Summer 1885

Edisonian Home Page
Photos and background on early light bulbs.

The American Experience | Edison's Miracle of Light
Companion website includes a teacher’s guide, timeline, and gallery.

Tesla - Master of Lightning
Companion website includes explorations of Tesla inventions and lesson plans for grades 6-8.

Edison Innovation Foundation

Lemelson-MIT Program: Celebrating Invention and Innovation

Inventor’s Handbook

Activities

The Invention Factory
Explore Edison’s process of invention and see if you can lead the Edison Team to success.

AC/DC: What's the Difference?
An animation demonstrating the difference between alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).

Tesla v. Edison Mad Lib

Games

Brain Drain
Play against the computer or challenge a friend to see who knows more about invention.

Invention Connection
Explore ten sets of inventions and trace the paths of invention.

Which Came First?
Each round has five questions, and each correct answer is worth 10 points. Play all four rounds and answer all questions correctly and you will be crowned "Invention Know-It-All."

Quizzes

Thomas Alva Edison

The Edison Test

Thomas Alva Edison Quiz Questions and Answers

Printables

Thomas A. Edison's Patent Application For an incandescent light bulb, 1879

Audio & Video

Audio

Video

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