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Non-Fiction Book Club/Craft

Non-Fiction Book Club/Craft: Thomas Edison

(Grades 2-3)

Number of Attendees:

15 children. This was a monthly book club, so registration was required.


How long did you need to prep for the program?

A few hours (2-3) to do some research and to locate and purchase the materials and to set up

How long did the actual program take start to finish?

45 minutes


  • Balloons
  • Aluminum cans
  • Potato clock
  • Potato
  • Apple
  • Soda
  • Foam bookmarks and stickers
  • Markers
  • LED lights

Description of Program:

Over the previous week, the children read the book, “Wizard from the Start, The Incredible Boyhood and Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison” by Don Brown. We discussed the book and facts about Thomas Edison as a group.

We talked about electricity. To demonstrate static electricity, the children 'raced' their balloons by first rubbing them on their hair or clothes, then placing them behind an empty aluminum can. If you do it right, the can should move (some did, some didn't, but the kids liked it).

We moved on to energy, and used the potato clock we already had to demonstrate energy from fruits and vegetables. (We also used water and soda).

They then made their own LED bookmarks (instructions included). We already had foam letters so I used those to place the light through. The children decorated their bookmarks with markers.


  1. If you have a potato clock, the instructions are provided there, but you can substitute different items if you want.
  2. Instructions for the bookmarks are found at this website: http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Bookmark-1/


  • Balloons - (we had them but maybe $2-3)
  • Potato clock - if you don't own one (but can definitely be used over and over and is a good investment) $10 on Amazon
  • Foam bookmarks - $2 for 18 bookmarks on Amazon
  • Foam stickers - $7.75 for 1040 which you can use for other programs
  • LED Lights - $10 for 50 lights on Amazon
  • Coin Cell Batteries - $8 for 20 on Amazon

Total cost - approximately $50 depending on what you already have in your library


The children enjoyed the program and loved the bookmarks. However, some of the children just did not have the dexterity or the ability to place the legs of the LED light onto the battery and tape it down and needed significant help. Some of the LED lights did not work or only worked when touched. This made the program last about 5-10 minutes longer than it was supposed to since we had to fix some of the LED lights. However, all of the children came upstairs loving their bookmarks and were literally intrigued by the potato clock.

If I could do anything different, it would be to spend more time on the bookmarks since they had difficult with it. Other than that, I would definitely run this program again.

Submitted by:

Mary DeNunzio - mary.denunzio@uppersaddleriver.bccls.org

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