Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: A Picture Book of Thomas Alva Edison

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Introduction and Summary
A Picture Book of Thomas Alva Edison
, written by David A. Adler and illustrated by John & Alexandra Wallner, is about the life of Thomas Edison. Thomas was a very curious boy who asked lots of questions to everyone around him. He loved finding out answers himself as a child when someone else could not answer a question. For example, Thomas wanted to find out if HE could hatch eggs by sitting on them just like the mommy chickens. When Thomas sat on the eggs, he broke them all! Thomas learned from his experiment that he could not hatch eggs. As Thomas grew up, he continued to conduct experiments and eventually created inventions such as the light bulb, the stock ticker, and motion picture camera. He became known as the ” Wizard of Menlo Park”.

Curriculum Connections
This book could be used to introduce young elementary students to science experiments. It explores the concept how to observe then ask a question and discovering the answer (SOL K.1 G) (SOL 1.1 G).

Additional Resources

  • Thomas Edison Coloring Page from Crayola:  This page is a coloring page that has a paragraph to summarize Thomas Edison’s life at the bottom. It would be a great review of Edison’s life after listening to a story.
  • Menlo Park Museum :This site is about the home of Thomas Edison the “Wizard of Menlo Park”
  • Timeline:  Here is a timeline that chronologically displays the events of Edison’s life

Book: The Picture Book of Thomas Alva Edison
Author: David A. Alder
Illustrators: John & Alexandra Wallner
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 30 pages
Grade Range: Kindergarten-2nd grade
ISBN: 0-8234-1246-6