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It's About Time!

Subject: World History
Grade: 6-8

Brief Description

Students trace the historical development of a single product or category of product.


Students understand that innovation can be both the development of a new product and the improvement of an existing product.


invention, time line

Materials Needed

Lesson Plan

  • Invite students to explore one or two Web sites or print resources that trace the history of a single product, such as a toaster (see The Cyber Toaster Museum) or the development of a category of products, such as communication devices (see The Evolution of Communication).
  • Organize students into groups, and ask each group to research the development of a different product or category of products, such as the telephone, the computer, transportation, space exploration, and so on.
  • Have each group create an illustrated and captioned time line showing the development of their product or category of products and write a report explaining what led to the refinement(s) of the selected products.
  • Ask a volunteer from each group to present the report to the class.


Evaluate students on the accuracy of the information in their time lines and the quality of their reports. Some appropriate rubrics for this task might include
Timeline Evaluation
Frederick Douglass Timeline Rubric
Research Report Rubric, and
Report Rubric.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Linda Starr

National Standards

Social Sciences: