Use these FREE printable Black history activity pages to learn about African American inventor, Elijah McCoy!
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “The Real McCoy?” Did you know that the phrase dates back to African American inventor and engineer, Elijah McCoy? Believed to have been born in Canada on May 2, 1844 to escaped slaves, Elijah McCoy was notable for over 50 patented ideas!
As a young man, McCoy went to Scotland to apprentice as a mechanical engineer. After returning to his family in Michigan, the best job he could get was as an oilman and fireman on a steam-powered locomotive.
Using his expertise, McCoy solved a common problem faced by the railroad system during his time. He created an oil cup that allowed an engine to remain in motion and receive constant lubrication, as opposed to regularly stopping the train to manually lubricate it.
McCoy’s invention was such a success that when ordering the part people insisted that they receive McCoy’s lubricator and not an inferior substitute.
Buyers began to ask for “the real McCoy,” popularizing the expression that is still used today!
Books About Elijah McCoy:
Want to learn more about Mr. Elijah McCoy? Be sure to take a peek at some of the books below.
FREE Elijah McCoy Printable Activities:
Want to go even further? Check out the activity pages I have created for our unit study on Elijah McCoy! And, they are completely FREE!
“The Real McCoy” Synonyms & Antonyms:
The first activity is “The Real McCoy” Synonyms & Antonyms. Simply print and cut out the words on the first “Real McCoy” page.
Decide if the words are synonyms or antonyms of the phrase “The Real McCoy” and glue/tape them onto the appropriate box on the second “Real McCoy” page.
Elijah McCoy Vocabulary:
The second activity is all about vocabulary relating to Elijah McCoy. There are two ways to use the vocabulary pages.
Option 1: Write the definition of each vocabulary word. Notice that each rectangle on the vocabulary page contains both a word to define and lines to write the definition.
Cut out each rectangle and attach them to the blank vocabulary page. Print as many of the blank pages as needed. Students can add illustrations if desired.
Option 2: Or, simply define the words provided on the vocabulary pages without cutting them out.
Ready to download the FREE printable Elijah McCoy activity pages? Click the button below to get access to the printable pdf file.
This post was originally published on May 1, 2012.