Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-12, students explore BrainPOP resources to learn about the world-famous botanist George Washington Carver and how his ideas and inventions solved a range of problems. Then they will conduct further research on one of Carver’s inventions or ideas, identifying the problem it solves, and presenting their findings to the class.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Take notes about George Washington Carver using a 5Ws and H graphic organizer.
  2. Use the Make-a-Map tool to identify George Washington Carver’s inventions and ideas.
  3. Identify the problems solved by Carver’s inventions and ideas.
  4. Conduct research on one of Carver’s invention or ideas and present to the class.

Materials:

Vocabulary:

agriculture botany depletion nutrient resourceful rotation

Preparation:

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Ask students to brainstorm inventions they use every day. Remind them that even simple things, like a pencil, is an invention. As they respond, write their ideas on the interactive whiteboard or the chalkboard.
  2. After everyone has had a chance to share their invention ideas, point out that people invent things to solve problems. Give an example, such as the car was invented as a way for people to get from one place to another quickly. Have students identify what problems the inventions they brainstormed solve.
  3. Tell students that today they will learn about a scientist and inventor named George Washington Carver, who faced many challenges to become a world-famous botanist. Read aloud George Washington Carver Background to the class.
  4. Distribute the Ws and H Chart and show the movie George Washington Carver on an interactive whiteboard or other large display to the whole class. Pause as needed for students to take notes on the graphic organizer.
  5. Next, if you have access to multiple computers, divide the class into pairs and have them open the Make-a-Map feature on individual computers. (Note: If limited access to computers, pairs can do this step with paper and pencil).
  6. Pairs watch the movie again within the Make-a-Map feature. As they watch, tell them to pay close attention to Carver’s inventions and ideas and create a concept map identifying the inventions. Suggest that they pause the movie as they create their concept maps and remind them they can incorporate clips from the movie into their maps.  When they are done, have each pair share their maps with another pair to ensure that they captured all the information.
  7. Distribute one or both of the Problem/Solution Graphic Organizers to each pair. Instruct them to select one of Carver’s inventions or ideas they learned about in the movie. It’s okay if more than one pair selects the same invention or idea. Have them use one of the problem solution graphic organizers to identify the problem the invention or idea solves and how.  
  8. Now have pairs conduct further research about their chosen invention or idea. Challenge them to learn more about the problem, such as what caused it and who or what it affected, and delve deeper into how Carver’s invention or idea solved the problem.
  9. Finally, invite pairs to present their research to the class. Encourage them to use visual support with their presentations, such as diagrams, illustrations, etc. They may create a multimedia presentation if they like.

Extension Activities:

Have students complete Draw It and/or Further Research in the George Washington Carver Activities.
Filed as:  3-5, 6-8, 9-12, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.5, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.5, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.5