Thomas Edison

Contributor: Roxann Penny. Lesson ID: 12899

Ever see a cartoon where a light bulb goes on over the head when someone has an idea? Wonder what the cartoonist drew before Thomas Edison had the genuine "light bulb" idea? Study this great inventor!


Scientific Method, United States

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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This former homeschooled student once famously said, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."

  • Who was he?

Thomas Edison was a great American inventor, innovator, and entrepreneur (business person).

During his lifetime, he obtained a record number of patents for his inventions — over 1,093 patents!

His most noted inventions include the phonograph, the Dictaphone, the storage battery, the incandescent light bulb, and one of the earliest motion picture cameras. However, of all his inventions, his most famous was undoubtedly the incandescent light bulb.

Take a look at the following video presentation for a closer look at the life of Thomas Edison. As you watch's Thomas Edison - Mini Biography, make note of the following questions:

  1. Where was Thomas Edison born?
  2. What was his first job?
  3. What was his first invention?
  4. What was the name of his laboratory?
  5. What is one way in which Thomas Edison changed society (past and present)?
  6. In what year did Thomas Edison die?

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Next, before moving on to the Got It? section, take a few minutes to review some facts about Thomas Edison using the following interactive:

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  • What facts about Thomas Edison's life do you find most interesting?

Thomas Edison was an iconic inventor and business leader. His inventions, particularly the light bulb, changed the way in which people interacted with their environment.

  • How do you think this particular invention changed the way people lived during Thomas Edison's time?

Continue to the Got It? section to test your knowledge about the life and inventions of Thomas Edison.

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