George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. Lesson Plans

There are so many wonderful directions you can go with a study on George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr.!  Our top recommendations are to study his life and the story of his invention of the Ferris Wheel.  It’s also a great jumping off point to study Ferris Wheels around the world or a study of various inventors and inventions.  Here are a few ideas to get you started in those areas!

Don't have the letter yet?  You can grab the snail mail version here or the digital version here!

To get your free downloads go here!

For All Ages


Actual Footage of the 1893 Ferris Wheel in motion

Brain Bubble Video on the 1893 Ferris Wheel

Lego Reproduction of the 1893 Ferris Wheel


“The Song of the Ferris Wheel” by George Schleiffarth

Sheet Music for “The Song of the Ferris Wheel” by George Schleiffarth


Visit a local fair, an amusement park, anywhere that has a Ferris Wheel and take a ride!  If you can, find out how tall the Ferris Wheel is so you can compare it to how large George Washington Gale Ferris. Jr.’s wheel was.


Ferris Wheel Model Kit--we used this one



Bookscape Board Books: Fun at the Fair: (Lift the Flap Book, Block Books for Preschool) by Ingela P. Arrhenius


Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis, illustrated by Gilbert Ford

The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: The Story of Inventor George Ferris by Betsy Harvey Kraft and Steven Salerno

George Ferris' Grand Idea: The Ferris Wheel (The Story Behind the Name) by Jenna Glatzer and Stephanie Dominguez

George Ferris, What a Wheel! by Barbara Lowell

Middle School/High School & Beyond

Great Inventions and Their Inventors by Frank P. Bachman (this book does not cover the Ferris Wheel, but it is a good read on several important inventions and their inventors) 
ebook version available here

Chicago's 1893 World's Fair (Images of America) by Joseph M. Di Cola and David Stone

Electricity at the World’s Fair of 1893 Columbian Exposition by John Barrett

The Chicago World's Fair of 1893: A Photographic Record by Stanley Appelbaum

One Week with George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr.

Day 1: Learn about George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. and the Ferris Wheel

  • Read the Heritage Letter from George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr.
  • Read books about George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. (depending on how many books you have available or the length of the books you could space them out over the week)

Day 2: See it in action

  • Watch a video from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair showing the Ferris Wheel in action and the other videos on the Ferris Wheel linked above.
  • Complete the Character Map on George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. in our free downloads here.

 Day 3: Ferris Wheel Anatomy

  • Learn about the Ferris Wheel using our Ferris Wheel Anatomy poster.
  • Complete the Invention Map on the Ferris Wheel. Both are available in our free downloads here.

Day 4: Build or Draw a Ferris Wheel

  • Build a model Ferris Wheel with Legos, K’NEX, Ice Cream Sticks, etc. or grab a model kit and put it together…here’s the one we used.
  • Draw or Paint a Ferris Wheel.
  • You can find ideas for all of these on our Pinterest Board for the Ferris Letter

Day 5: Ride on a Ferris Wheel

  • If you can, take a field trip to ride a Ferris Wheel or even just drive by one an study how it’s designed.



 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Back to blog


help your children fall in love with America one letter at a time!