An Idea That Stuck

article by Anne Renaud , illustrated by Tohby Riddle

Learning intention

I am learning to identify elements used in informative texts to meet the purpose of the text.

Success criteria

  • I can identify elements featured in an informative text.
  • I can collaborate to invent an item to tackle a real-life.
  • I can compose an element of an informative text.

Prior to partaking in an in-depth reading, scan the information included with An Idea that Struck and discuss whether students predict it is an imaginary, informative, or persuasive text. Highlight elements such as, the word ‘article’ under the heading, the image of an advertisement with a caption detailing that it is an original ad and the diagram of the patent. Ensure students correctly conclude that An Idea that Stuck is an informative text. Discuss what students might expect to see in an informative text, ensuring students cover elements such as:

  • Factual information (ensuring students are aware that facts are provable as opposed to opinions which are not)
  • A detailed explanation of the information
  • Diagrams/illustrations

Read the article, An Idea that Stuck, and discuss the key points of information included. Sample responses have been provided:

  • Why Earle Dickson invented Band Aids
  • What the first invention looked like
  • How Band Aids came to be sold in shops
  • How much the invention is now worth
  • Types of Band Aids available

Discuss the additional information provided by the illustrations, ensuring students’ note the following:

  • That they provide visuals of how the original Band Aids looked (featured in the photos on the advertisement)
  • They provide a detailed diagram of how Band Aids work
  • The illustration shows the inventor coming up with the idea for the invention

Inform students that they will be creating their own invention and composing an information report to share information about it.

Identify the reason why Earle Dickson invented Band Aids (to overcome a challenge experienced by his wife).

Discuss challenges students encounter, providing examples such as their socks getting wet on rainy days or their sandwiches becoming soggy in their lunch boxes. List students ideas on the board for them to refer to later.

Place students in groups. Instruct them to make a list of possible challenges from their lives that they would like to overcome.  Once students have had time to suggest some draft ideas, allocate them a couple of minutes to decide on one idea. If students are having challenges deciding on one idea, instruct them to vote on the most popular idea amongst their group.

Discuss potential ideas for students to overcome the challenges they have selected. Provide examples such as, a little fan heater that slips inside the shoe and dries one section of the sock at the time. Instruct students to discuss with their group potential inventions for them to overcome their chosen challenge. Once students have decided on an invention, allocate each group member a task from the following:

  • creating a diagram of the item
  • sketching an advertisement for the invention, outlining its features
  • composing the article (allocate at least two students from each group to this task)

Tell students the article only needs to be brief and that the main elements they need to include are:

  • how the idea for the invention came about (for example, multiple days sitting in class all day with cold, damp socks)
  • how the invention works (e.g. a little fan heater)

Allow time for students to compose all elements of their articles. Pair groups with each other and instruct them to share their articles, diagrams and advertisements with their peers.