The American Journey © 2007

Chapter 19: The Growth of Industry

Web Lesson Plans

In this chapter students have read about the many inventions that changed American life during the last half of the nineteenth century. Some of these inventions made travel easier. Others improved communication. The electric lightbulb helped all areas of society. Inventors like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Henry Ford became well known for their contributions to American life. Others who were not as well known also created important inventions that increased the safety of Americans. In this activity students will learn more about one of these inventors, Elijah McCoy.

Lesson Description
Students will visit the Lemelson-Mit Program Web site. They will read about Elijah McCoy, answer questions about his life and contributions to society, and create a 3- to 5-minute presentation about another inventor of their choosing to share with the class.

Instructional Objectives
  1. The learner will be able to define important points in McCoy's life.
  2. The learner will be able to describe the importance of McCoy's first patent.
  3. The learner will be able to prepare a short presentation about another inventor to share with the class.
Student Web Activity Answers
  1. His parents were slaves in Kentucky and had escaped to Canada via the Underground Railroad.
  2. Scotland
  3. It is believed that the phrase "the real McCoy" arose when engineers would ask for McCoy's automatic oil cup instead of a competitor's version. They wanted the best product-the real thing.
  4. more than 50
  5. Students' presentations will vary but should accurately reflect information gathered from the Web site.
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