Фрагмент учебного пособия «A First Look at Science: Focus on Things that Changed the World – Inventors and their Inventions»

Разделы: Иностранные языки

Invention is the creation of a new device, process, or product. Inventions have given people enormous control over the environment and enabled to live better, easier, and happier lives. If people could not invent, they would be at the mercy of the climate and the land. Inventions have enabled people to survive the hazards of the environment and develop a civilized society.

Down through history, inventions have changed the way people live. Little by little, they have helped determine where people live and the kind of work they do. Inventions have also helped determine what people eat and wear and how they play and relax. Many thousands of years ago, people lived by hunting animals and gathering wild plants. To find food, people had to move from place to place. About 9000 B.C., people began to grow their own food and raise livestock. The invention of agriculture meant that people no longer had to wander about in search of food but could settle in farm villages. Then came the Industrial Revolution in the 1700's, with such inventions as spinning and weaving machines and the steam engine. These inventions produced another great change in the way people lived, as people flocked to the cities to work in factories.

An invention differs from a discovery, but they are closely related. A discovery occurs when something that exists in nature is observed or recognized for the first time. An invention is the creation of something that never existed before. For example, people discovered fire. But they invented the match to start a fire.

Invention is also related to innovation. Innovation is a change made in an established way of doing something. An innovation can make an invention more accessible to people, thereby increasing the use of invention. Henry Ford, who founded the Ford Motor Company, was an outstanding innovator. Ford did not invent the automobile, but he brought several innovations to the manufacture of automobiles. These innovations included assembly line method of production, and having the company make, rather than buy, automobile parts. Ford's innovations enabled the company to slash the price of its automobiles, putting them within reach of the average family.

Although most inventions have benefited people, some inventions, such as weapons of war, have been harmful. Certain other inventions have been both beneficial and harmful. The automobile, for example, has given us a fast, convenient means of transportation. However, it has also contributed greatly to air pollution.

Air pollution is only one of the many problems that people face today. Large numbers of cities are overcrowded. More than half the world's people do not have enough to eat. Heart disease and other illnesses kill countless millions every year. To solve these and other problems, people must rely largely on their ability to invent.


Skim through the text. Mark all the words unknown to you. Try to guess their meaning. Check yourself using a dictionary.

Draw a line to connect the words that go together:

enormous 1. the mercy of smth.
Civilized 2. food
to grow 3. livestock
to survive 4. control
weaving 5. the use of smth.
to be at 6. way
steam 7. society
established 8. machine
to increase 9. engine
to raise 10. The hazards

Write the correct word in the blanks:

An innovation makes an invention more________________ to people.

Today people____________ many problems.

An invention differs from a discovery but they are closely__________.

Henry Ford brought several innovations to the ___________of automobiles.

The automobile has also contributed greatly to ____________.

Most inventions have _____________ people.

An innovation _____________ the use of the invention.

Innovations help to ____________the price of the production.

Some inventions may be ________________.

Henry Ford was an outstanding ______________.


A. Skimming

Circle the letter of the best answer:

1. Invention is

  • the observation of something new.
  • the investigation of nature.
  • the creation of a new device, process, or product.

2. Discovery is

  • observation or recognition of something that exists.
  • the creation of something that never existed.
  • a new way to do something.

3. Innovation is

  • the process of observation.
  • the creation of something unusual.
  • a change made in an established way of doing something.

B. Scanning

I. Circle T if the statement is true. Circle F if the statement is false:

1. Inventions make life better, easier and happier.

2. People invented fire.

Invention is related to innovation.

Inventions were of great importance for development of a civilized society.

Henry Ford invented automobile.

Most inventions have benefited people.

The ability to invent is of no help to solve the problems people face today.

Innovations make productions more expensive.

An innovation makes an invention more accessible to people.

Some inventions may be both harmful and beneficial.


Answer the following questions. Work in pair or groups:

What is invention?

How do inventions influence our life?

What have inventions enabled people to do?

What did the invention of agriculture mean?

Which inventions of the Industrial Revolution produced another great change in the way people lived?

How does a discovery differ from an invention?

What is the relation between an invention and innovation?

What are the results of innovations?

Arc there both beneficial and harmful innovations?

What is the role of inventions in the solution of the problems that people face today?

Speak about inventions using the questions of Ex.1 as a plan. Add some other facts known to you. Express your own opinion.

Discuss the answers to these questions with your classmates:

1. Can the story of human civilization be also considered the story of inventiveness?

2. Which inventions should be named among the most important? Why?

3. What inventions would be very helpful in the solution of the problems that people face today?


Fill in the table. Compare it with those of your classmates:


Beneficial Harmful Both beneficial and harmful


Which inventions do you use every day?

Find out: How do they affect you?

Tell your classmates about your ideas.