Inventions conversation questions
These inventions discussion questions make for an enjoyable speaking activity. It is a topic about humankind’s creativity and adaptability as it has developed over time.
This is quite an advanced topic for ESL learners to talk about. Although the vocabulary is not overly challenging, you may want to go over these words before starting the conversation – recently, famous, medical, well-educated, life-changing, entertainment, protect, time machine, modern, and development.
The inventions conversation questions are –
What do you think is the greatest invention of all time? How did it change the world?
Do you know the history of any inventions? What do you know about them?
What is something that you wish had never been invented? Why don’t you like it?
Have you heard of or seen any silly inventions? What were these inventions for?
What would you say are the 5 most helpful inventions that you use most in daily life?
Are there any inventions you have heard about recently that you think are interesting?
What is something that could be invented that would make your life a lot easier?
Does your country have any famous inventors? What things did they create?
What is an invention that you could not live without? Why is it so important to you?
Can you imagine any new inventions that may exist in 100 years time from now?
In what year do you think the wheel was invented? What year was the internet created?
What are some kinds of medical inventions that have truly helped human society?
What do you think life was like before the invention of plastic? Was it better or worse?
What invention in your home makes you feel the most relaxed or comfortable?
Who do you think was the greatest inventor to ever live? Where were they from?
What kind of people do you think become inventors? Must they be well-educated?
Do you think that we will someday have flying cars? In what year will this happen?
What do you think was the most life-changing invention for people 100 years ago?
What are some inventions that have been created only for people’s entertainment?
Can you think of 5 inventions related to the weather? What are they used for?
How can a person protect their invention from being copied and made by others?
Do you think that a time machine will ever be invented? Would it be good or bad?
Which country do you think is inventing the most new things in modern times?
How do you believe that the development of new inventions will affect travel in space?
Invention expressions and idioms
You can introduce these related invention idioms and expressions to your students once they have completed discussing the inventions conversation questions.
When a person reinvents the wheel, they are wasting their time by doing something that has already been done, creating a thing that already exists, or starting to do something from the very beginning when there is no need to.
The expression “necessity is the mother of invention” means that during difficult times people create new things in order to make life easier.
To say that somebody “didn’t invent gunpowder” is to say that they did not do anything of major importance in their lifetime.
Something that is cutting edge is the latest in technology.
Further inventions activities
Here are some more ideas for activities you can do to follow up on the inventions discussion questions.
A fun activity which you can turn into a group game or race is to get student to make a list of inventions for each letter of the alphabet. Ask tour class to write the letters A through to Z on a sheet of paper and see if they can think of and write an invention that starts with each letter.
For more writing tasks have a look at the invention writing activity worksheets. This page has several ideas for writing about this topic.
Finally, there is also the fun inventions ESL game for intermediate-level students and above. In this card game, players must guess the dates that certain things were first created.