Monday, February 2, 2015


by Alison Ashley Formento

Machines are an important part of our lives and they are usually built using rocks and minerals, as I learned in researching my book These Rocks Count! We use computers, phones, and televisions on a daily basis. Doctors and dentists use machines to help keep us healthy. Cars, buses, planes, and trains are machines to help us get where we need to go each day. In winter, we rely on snowplows to help keep our roads and highways clean of snow and ice. Early snowplows were wooden and attached to horse drawn wagons to help push snow aside. In the early 1900’s, engineers wanted a way to help New Yorkers in the winter and designed a shovel type blade, strong and wide enough to clear city streets.

Most great inventions, like the snowplow began with an idea. Some ideas start as drawings scribbled on paper. Many inventions are the result of careful planning and experimentation, like the light bulb. A machine is usually useful, but it is often fun, too, like a giant roller coaster.

Machine Dreams: Writing Prompt

What machine do you wish existed? What if there was a machine to brush your teeth or make your bed? Or one to bring you ice cream just by thinking of your favorite flavor? Use your imagination to write about the machine of your dreams.

• What machine would help you in your daily life?

• Draw a sketch of the machine you imagine building.

• Name your machine.

• What exactly does your machine do?

• Write a description of your machine. Is it made of metal or plastic? Or some other material? Is it a particular color? Does it have many pieces to make it run?

• How does your machine operate? Does it have buttons, levers, or a keypad?

• Is your machine useful for everyone or only something you will use?

• How will your machine help you and others who use it?

1 comment:

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