History KS1 / KS2: Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell tells the story of his life and describes how he invented the telephone.

Told in the first person, and brought to life with a mix of drama, music and animation.

As a boy, Bell was fascinated by sound; he grew up with a mother who was almost deaf, and a father who helped deaf people to speak.

He and his brother came up with a machine that could (almost) replicate the human voice.

When he was asked to work on ways to improve the telegraph machine, Bell hit upon another idea.

He thought that rather than sending a code along an electrical wire, it might be possible to send the actual sound of a human voice along a wire.

With the help of a man called Watson they built a device that just might work.

An accident proved him right, and the telephone was born.

This clip is from the series True Stories.

Teacher Notes

This clip could be used to provide the content for a group role-play activity on the life of an inventor, Alexander Graham Bell.

The groups could be given a storyboard while watching the film to plot each key stage of an inventor's life.

Pupils could then use this to prepare and rehearse a play on the making of an inventor and perform to the class.

This would help pupils to empathise with an historic character and engage with the finer details of the era.

Curriculum Notes

This clip would be relevant for teaching History at KS1 and KS2 in England and Northern Ireland, Foundation Phase in Wales and First and Second Level in Scotland.

More from the series True Stories

History KS1 / KS2: Florence Nightingale
History KS1 / KS2: Harriet Tubman
History KS1 / KS2: Isambard Kingdom Brunel
KS1 / KS2: Mary Anning
History KS1 / KS2: Edward Jenner
History KS1 / KS2: Elizabeth Fry
History KS1 / KS2: Grace Darling
History KS1 / KS2: Rosa Parks
History KS1 / KS2: Thomas Barnardo