Title: Communication Evolves

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Teacher: Carla Chapin

Title: Communication Evolves

Subject: Soc. Studies

Topic: Alexander Graham Bell

Grade: 5th

Lesson Duration:

School: KMS

Education Designs Lesson/ Unit Plan

Lesson Summary:

(A short 3-5 sentence summary of the lesson and how it will be delivered)

Communication progressed from the telegraph to the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell patents the first successful telephone. This contribution to technology opens the door to hearing the human voice at long distances and creates faster communication.

National Standards for History Era: Link

Era 6
The Development of the Industrial United States (1870-1900)

Standard 1: How the rise of corporations, heavy industry, and mechanized farming transformed the American people


State, Local or National

  1. Investigate how human technology and nature alters the environment. (G, H, C)

    1. Analyze the effects of different types of technology on places (e.g., railroads in the 19th Century, satellite communications in the 20th Century, etc.).

    2. Use social studies tools to determine how changing technology has affected the relationship between people and places.


Communication in the 19th Century

Essential questions

(2-5 questions)

(What you want the students to know)

Who patented the first successful telephone?

What led him to invent the telephone? What were some of Bell’s other inventions?

What type of long distant communication was used prior to the telephone?

How did the telephone change the world at that time?

Elements (What you want the students to understand)

Alexander Graham Bell changed the world with the invention of the telephone. It's hard to imagine life without it. We even carry one in our pockets. But in 1877, no one could have imagined how this electronic device would be so integrated into our daily lives.

Alexander Graham Bell was committed to the deaf community . His research lead him to create the telephone in 1876. Until the the invention of the telephone, the telegraph was the primary tool for person-to-person, long distance communication.

Launch Activity


Video clip

Knowledge & Skills
(People, Places, times and vocabulary-what the student should be able to do. What skills will they use?)

People: Alexander Graham Bell

Places: Boston,Mass.


Vocabulary: telegraph scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone.

Dates: 1876


Identify Alexander Graham Bell

Investigate Bell’s invention of the telephone

Analyze the effects of Bell’s invention to the progress of technology

Lesson Methodology (How will you conduct the lesson; activities…?)

After reading the bellwork question aloud the teacher will allow 5 minutes for students to answer the question. Next, the teacher will call on students to discuss the correct answer.

The teacher will introduce the lesson by asking the students who invented the telephone. Next, the teacher will ask for volunteers to share their answers aloud.

The teacher will show a short clip about Alexander Graham Bell.

After discussing the video, the teacher will remind students of the prior major events in history that took place before the invention.

Next, the teacher will divide the class in groups of 4. Given a handout about Alexander Graham Bell’s Invention of the telephone. The teacher will distribute a graphic organizer (activity sheet) to each group and read the directions aloud.

The students are instructed to compare and contrast how life before and after the invention of the telephone changed the world .

Next, the teacher will review by asking students how the invention of the telephone contributed to the technology that we use today.

Last, the teacher will instruct students to choose from a rubric of activities for a test grade.

Assessment Evidence: What evidence will show that students met the learning goal?

Traditional Assessment (Quizzes, Test, Selected Responses)

Teacher observation, Teacher made worksheet,

Authentic Assessment (Performance Tasks, Rubrics, Projects, Dialogues, Portfolio, etc.,)

Rubric as a Test grade

Student Self-Assessment

Teacher made Bellwork question written on the board

Differentiation Associated with this unit

Above Grade Level students: group together and use a Venn diagram to compare/contrast Graham’s invention with prior and modern technology

On Grade Level students: use visual and teacher handouts to complete the graphic organizer worksheet.

Below Grade Level Students: these students will use a word bank, story handout of Alexander Graham Bell and visual aids to help them complete the graphic organizer handout.

Resources and instructional tools: (Including Video Sources, Text Resources, Research Strategy)Teacher-made worksheets, White board

www.havefunwithhistory.com Far Speaking - History of the Telephone (1935) - 11 minn Mr. Bell - Alexander Graham Bell (1947) - 30 min The teacher will use the e-ebeam and laptop using the internet websites listed : Wikipedia, Alexander Graham Bell947) - Mr. Bell - Alexander Graham Bell (1947) - 30 min 30 min

Education Designs

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