Mothers of invention Featured

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Ada Lovelace        Women who changed the world with their inventions and discoveries.

Mother's Day is celebrated next Sunday. As a way to honour our mothers as well as all those mothers who, throughout history, have created a better world for all of us, I have designed the following activity suitable for my A2+ students. (It can be easily adapted for B1/B2 by changing the language cues). I hope this activity also encourages our daughters to pursue their dreams, whichever field it may lead them to... (View the article on how to encourage your daughters by reading).

Title: Mothers of invention

Description: Students search the Internet to find inventions created by women or discoveries made by them. The teacher provides them with a few useful links (see below) that can help them with their search, though they should also be encouraged to look for additional sites with information. They should work in teams to help each other understand the information on the different websites. They should be reminded they are not expected to understand everything but to get the gist and essential information, which they will use to write their post on the wall.

Once they have read about several inventions and discoveries, each of the students in the group has to choose one and create a post on the Padlet wall designed for the activity. They should give information about her place and year of birth, her job, her discovery/invention and what it was or is used for. They should pay special attention to the language, particularly to passive sentences and past tenses.

Students are encouraged to illustrate their post with an image representing the woman and/or her invention or discovery.

Skills: Reading, Writing, Critical thinking

Final Product: Collaborative wall (Padlet) compiling inventions and discoveries made by women.

Target language: Passive (Review) and the past (irregular verbs review here and here).

Useful phrases:

  • [Invention/Discovery] was invented/ discovered by [Name].
  • [Name] was born in [city/country/year].
  • She was a [occupation].
  • In the past [tool, object, material...] was used to + verb
  • In the past [tool, object, material...] was used for + noun phrase
  • Today [tool, object, material...] can be used/ is used to + verb
  • Today [tool, object, material...] can be used/ is used for + noun phrase

Useful links:


The rubric will use the following criteria:

  • Adequacy (refers to the number of points mentioned in the description of the activity, including the image, that have been included on the post)
  • Cohesion and coherence (refers to whether the text can be easily read and understood; and to how the punctuation marks as well as all the cohension and cohesive devices have been used)
  • Correction (refers to the absence or presence of mistakes in grammar structures, vocabulary choices, spelling)
  • Richness (refers to the variety of grammar and vocabulary suitable to the level)

The levels of achievement that will be distinguished for each criteria are:

  • Great (3 points)
  • Good (2 points)
  • Needs improvement (1 point)
  • Try again (0 points)

Example on the wall:

Post about Ada Lovelace


Ada Lovelace's image from

About Ada Lovelace:


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