Famous Inventors Series: FREE Printables, Unit Studies and Hands-On Activities – James Watt

This is part of the Famous Inventors Series <--Click to view all posts in this series!

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This is the fifth post in our Famous Inventor Series.

James Watt
If you enjoy unit studies in your homeschool you will love this series on famous inventors. Inventions are fascinating and inventors are so much fun to learn about. It is a great conversation when you talk to your kids about the inventions that were created and what our world would be without these things. Makes for a great history lesson and a lesson on appreciating what we have!

In this series I will be highlighting some well known inventors with free printables, unit studies and hands-on activities that pertain to the particular invention the inventor created. Your kids will love learning about these famous inventors and their inventions that have made a huge impact on how we live our lives today!

This week we are learning about James Watt.

James Watt was born on January 19, 1736 in Greenock, Scotland. He grew up watching his carpenter father building ships in a shipyard. He grew up to become a mathematical instrument maker and later improved the Newcomen steam engine which made it more efficient. The improvement of the steam engine helped Great Britain become the world’s first industrialised society, leading to an unprecedented pace of economic growth and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

FREE Printables:
James Watt Reading Comprehension Worksheet
James Watt Fact Sheet
James Watti Biography, Inventions and Accomplishments Quiz
James Watt Trivia Facts on the Industrial Revolution

Lesson Planet has a page full of printable Lesson plans on James Watt and the steam engine and the Industrial Revolution.

Unit Studies and Websites:
James Watt and the Invention of the Steam Engine free living book from The Baldwin Project
James Watt and the Steam Engine Unit Study from Home Hearts
James Watt Biography on Surf Net Kids
Background and Overview of the Industrial Revolution from Thought Co.
The Steam Locomotive Unit Study from Home Hearts
James Watt: Inventor of the Modern Steam Engine from Thought Co.
Steam Machine from Nova Online

Hands-On Actvities:
James Watt and Steam Power Classroom Activity from Spartacus Educational

Human Power Hands On Activity from Teach Engineering

Build a Simple Steamboat from Sci Toys

Here are some fun videos that would go along great with a study of James Watt:

Absolute Genius: James Watt

James Watt and The Steam Engine

James Watt – 18th Century Scientist and Revolutionary Player

Written by Sarah


Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Granola Mama to 4 children ages 16-5. She is a Charlotte Mason style homeschooler and has been homeschooling for 13 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, Coffee and Green Smoothies!

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