Young Thomas Edison

This book chronicles the boyhood life of famous inventor, Thomas Edison. Students learn how young Thomas fascination with all things mechanical and scientific led him to invent products that helped ordinary people live a better life.

Interested in using this resource in your classroom? Check out the posters that go along with this book: Goods and Services, Income, Producer, Consumer, Entrepreneur

Comprehension Questions

What is income? At age 12, how did Thomas Edison earn income to buy lab equipment for his experiments?

Income is the money one earns by producing and selling a good or service. Thomas earned income by selling newspapers.

In economics, we call the knowledge, skills, and experience that people gain human capital. As a young boy in Detroit, how did Thomas increase his human capital?

He read for many hours in the library. By doing so, he gained much knowledge.

What was the next job that Thomas had to earn income?

He was a telegraph operator.

What is an invention? Why are they important in an economy?

Inventions are new, very innovative products (goods or services) that are created by scientists and entrepreneurs. Successful inventions are sold by producers and improve the lives of ordinary people (consumers).

What were some of the inventions that Thomas Edison created? How did they help people?

Carbon transmitter: This device amplified the human voice and helped make the telegraph possible.

Phonograph: This was a machine for recording and playing sounds. This led to the development of the early record players that brought the enjoyment of recorded music to people.

Electric light bulb: This amazing invention gave people clean, cheap lighting for homes and factories.

Motion picture: This invention/technology led to the development of motion pictures, which bring enjoyment to many people.

The story tells us that at one point, Thomas Edison had 250 people working for him on 45 new inventions. What does this tell us about another way that successful inventions help our economy?

They provide jobs for people! This is why it is important to encourage inventors and entrepreneurs in our economy

Author: Michael Dooling
Published: 2005
Grade Level: 2+
Accelerated Reader Level/Points: 0.5
Publisher: Holiday House