Smithsonian

Invention

This section is intended to supplement the curricula, textbooks, and materials you currently use for lessons on American inventions and innovations. The teacher-developed resources in the section will enhance the classroom experience for both you and your students. You might get started by showing the video, which traces the development of the electric guitar.

The lesson plans and DBQs are organized by grade level. The DBQ primary sources can stand alone in DBQ exercises. Images of the primary sources are independent of any extensive explanatory information, so that the images can be used as handouts.

Click on the links at right side of this page to find:

  • A middle school mini-DBQ on the changes that technology brought to workers and farmers between 1870 to 1920
  • Lesson plans on changes in the American office (1900-present) and nineteenth-century developments in photography