Grade 3 Houghton Mifflin Reading

Design a Problem-Solving Invention


Teams of students will identify a problem that can be solved with a simple invention, and then design the invention.

What You Need

  • Poster paper
  • Pencils, colored pencils, and colored markers
  • Rulers

What To Do

  1. Divide the class into small teams of students. Ask each team to brainstorm a list of common, everyday problems that might be solved with simple inventions. Encourage students to list problems they have personally encountered. You may want to use these problems as examples:
    • keeping shoelaces tied
    • trouble giving a pet a bath or a pill
    • struggling to move a heavy object
    • keeping wild animals out of a trash can or a vegetable garden
  2. Have the teams select one particular problem that they think they can solve with a simple invention. Prompt students to be as imaginative as possible when devising their solutions. Then tell them to design their inventions, sketching them on poster paper. Have students give their inventions names and label all the important parts in their sketches.
  3. When the sketches are finished, ask the teams to present them to the class. Remind students to describe the problem before they begin pointing out the different features of their inventions.