Thank You, Thomas

Thank You, Thomas lesson plan

Hear, read, write, draw and talk about scientist and inventor Thomas Alva Edison.

  • 1.

    Research the outstanding genius of Thomas Alva Edison and the more than 1000 inventions he patented. Compile a class list of some of the more important inventions. How does his ingenuity affect your life?

  • 2.

    Create "Thank You, Thomas" artwork. Use a dark Crayola® Crayon to draw the outline of a light bulb in the center of construction paper. Use thick lines, pressing hard with the crayon.

  • 3.

    Around the light bulb, write a thank you message to Edison in bold, heavy crayon. Add small "wallpaper" crayon designs in any open space.

  • 4.

    Cover your work area with newspaper. Use a Crayola Paint Brush to paint the light bulb with yellow Crayola Washable Paint. Wet the paint brush with clear water and smooth the yellow paint out from the light bulb to simulate glowing light. Wet the brush again and continue the yellow wash out to the borders of the paper, across the lettering. Dry.

  • 5.

    Cut white construction paper into a wide arc with a straight top and rounded bottom (a wide lamp shade shape) with Crayola Scissors.

  • 6.

    Decorate the lamp shade with crayon. Vary the pressure on your crayon to create lighter or deeper colors in your design.

  • 7.

    Attach the lamp shade to the light bulb picture with a line of Crayola School Glue on each side, ballooning the lamp shade out for a three-dimensional effect.


  • Students hear, read, write, and talk about scientist and inventor Thomas Alva Edison in historical context.
  • Students find and report on examples of how Thomas Alva Edison's technological inventions help people today.
  • Children create original art featuring one of Edison's most important inventions and thanking him for his accomplishments.


  • Turn Thank You, Thomas artwork into covers for student-authored books about Edison's accomplishments.
  • Children make book covers using the same techniques and ideas, but with different inventions of their choice.
  • Older students might create a lift-a-flap lamp shade by gluing only one side down, tucking the other into a slit cut into the wallpaper area. Add filaments, wires, spacers, and electrodes to light bulbs, labeling all parts. Attach reports on how a light bulb makes use of electricity to the bottom of the artwork for display and assessment.