Education:People’s Choice Awards -Telecommunications Inventors




Time Required for Completed Lesson

2-3 Days





Common Core State Standards

RH.11-12.2. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and idea

RH.11-12.3. Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.

RH.11-12.7. Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

RH.11-12.9. Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources


1. Computers 2. Powerpoint 3. Fact Sheets (if not using computer lab)

Anticipatory Set

Ask students think about how inventions/innovation in telecommunications impact the way we interact with each other today. Poll students and see how many of them have cell phones, text message, utilize email/internet. Have students think about the role of these methods of communication in their lives.


1. Think/Pair/Share: How do current advances in telecommunications impact distance decay between people or groups of people? Where did these innovations begin? Have students write down the progression of an innovation they use today and have them share with a partner and the class.

2. Split class into groups, assign them one telecommunications inventor from the late 19th, early 20th century to look at together. Give students fact sheets about the inventors or allow them access to a computer/computer lab in order to create a presentation about their inventor. The presentation should include their background, what they created, how they created it, and its significance. Give directions for People’s Choice Awards activity and let students know which awards they may be nominated for (most creative/original idea, most impact on their time period, most impact on today, most perseverance, supporting roles, etc) to help them prepare a more persuasive presentation. Students must incorporate images of the invention into their presentation in order to discuss how the telecommunication invention works.

3. Students present to class. At the end of presentations, individual students submit their nominations for each award based upon the presentations about each inventor.

4. In between lessons, tally up votes to let students know at the beginning of the following lesson the 4 inventors nominated for each award.

5. Extension: Students write acceptance speeches explaining why they have won the award. (Must prepare a speech for each nomination in case they win).

6. Moderate awards ceremony, but have students present the awards to groups. If the extension assignment is done, have students read their acceptance speeches to the class.

7. For homework, have students spend one day without telecommunications (no cell phone, internet, ipad, etc). Students should complete a reflection on how their day was impacted by not having these devices, and how 2 inventors discussed in class have impacted the way they communicate today (i.e. without the phone, there would be no cell phone).


1. Readings can be scaffolded to meet the needs of varying ability levels.

2. If students struggle with independent research, teacher can provide a framework for sites to explore. Students may also need more assistance creating Powerpoint presentations.

3. If students are older or G&T, have students complete the extension assignment.

4. Reflection paper can be adapted by changing length and requirements to fit the needs/skills of students.


Students will be assessed on their presentations, contribution to their group, and participation in the class award show. Students will also be assessed on their reflection papers on the impact of telecommunications.



Work assignment on use of telecommunications devices in everyday life.


Submitted by Lisa Rocco- Social Studies Teacher- Randolph High School