Alexander Graham Bell

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I’m thrilled to announce I’m hosting my third, annual, nation-wide Homeschool Art Contest!   Artwork must be postmarked by Saturday, April 30th!  Click HERE for contest details.

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Week 11: Alexander Graham Bell


Read K – 1:  Alexander Graham Bell by Nest Entertainment 

2 – 3:  Ahoy, Ahoy! Are you there? – A Story of Alexander Graham Bell by Robert Quackenbush AND (Optional) Alexander Graham Bell by Nest Entertainment 

4 – 6:  Alexander Graham Bell and the Telephone by Christine Webster 

7 – 8:  Who Was Alexander Graham Bell? by Bonnie Bader



  • When he moved to Boston, what type of school did Bell teach at? (school for the deaf)
  • Who was Bell’s assistant? (Thomas Watson)
  • What were Bell and Watson trying to invent before inventing the telephone? (harmonic telegraph: able to send many messages over 1 wire) 

Questions for Grades 2 & up:

  • What did Alexander’s father invent? (visible speech)
  • What was visible speech? (pictures and symbols showing how words are spoken)
  • Where was Alexander Graham bell born? ( Scotland)
  • Where did he move to when he was 24? (Canada)
  • Why? (Brothers had died of Tuberculosis; Parents thought cleaner Canadian air would be good for Alexander)
  • What did he teach at the school for the deaf? (His father’s visible speech)
  • How did tutoring children actually help him? (He fell in love with a girl he was tutoring and the girl’s father and another child’s parent helped him pay for his experiments)
  • What was the 1st telephone company called? (Bell telephone company)
  • T/F Bell invented many other things besides the telephone. (T)
  • What was the name of Bell’s wife? (Mabel)

Questions for Grades 4 & up:

  • What handicap did Alexander’s mother have? (hearing impaired)
  • What special skills did Watson bring to their partnership? (experience working with electrical instruments)
  • What was the Centennial Exposition? (Great exhibit of new inventions to celebrate the 100th birthday of the United States)
  • Describe Alexander’s experience at the fair?(At first, no one noticed him.  Then the emperor of Brazil, who had met him at the Boston school for the deaf, noticed him.  He was impressed by his telephone and made sure the other judges saw his display.)
  • How did telephones become popular in England? (Bell showed Queen Victoria his telephone.  She was very impressed with it and ordered one.  Many others in England began to order telephones because of her.)

Questions for Grades 7 & up:

  • How did Alexander come up with the idea for the telephone? (By reading information about a German scientist’s experiments.  He didn’t understand German very well and thought that the scientist was sending sounds over wires.)
  • Did Mr. Hubbard & Mr. Sanders, Bell’s sponsors, like the idea of sending human voice over wires? (no)
  • How did Alex come to get the patent for the telephone? (Mr. Hubbard & Mr. Sanders filed for him and just in time.  Another inventor, Elisha Gray, tried to claim the same patent 2 hours later.)
  • Did Alexander want to go to the Centenial Exhibition? (no)
  • Why? (Busy, knew Gray would be showing off his multiple telegraph invention)
  • T/F Once the telephone became popular, many women became telephone operators. (T)
  • T/F  Bell had to go to court many times in order to defend his inventions. (T)
  • Name some of Bell’s other inventions.  (metal detector, breathing machine, kite that people could glide in)
  • What famous magazine did Alex’s father-in-law start that celebrated science & technology? (National Geographic)
  • What did Alex believe was his most important work? (working with the deaf)


K – 3:

4 – 6: Do the following:

7 – 8:   Write an essay on the one of the following:

  • “Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone made the world a smaller place.” Do you agree with this statement?  Why or why not?  Write a short essay to defend your answer.
  • View this image of the evolution of the telephone. Write an essay describing the look and features of early telephones, cell phones today, and what you imagine phones will be like in the year 2045.

Copyright April 29th, 2016 by Gwen Fredette

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Filed under Charlotte Mason, Post Civil War Era

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