Explain to the class that, for the next few class sessions, they will be researching the life and work of an important American inventor, Eli Whitney. Their job is to make the case for his inclusion in the Top Ten List of American Inventors.
1. Divide the students into 4 groups, considering how well students will work together.
2. Assign, or allow groups to choose, one of the following sections of the case:
- Biography of Eli Whitney
- Cotton Gin (clear explanation of exactly how it worked)
- Impact of the cotton gin on the South
- Importance of the invention to the economy of the United States
3. Have each group create a way to visualize their research findings.
4. Have each group present their portion of the case.
Eli Whitney, the Inventor
Inventors Hall of Fame
Inventor of the Week Archive
This lesson was developed by Bette Brooks, Kent State University.