What is something you could do to try to set a Guinness World Record?
Are you surprised that a book about world records has been a best-selling publication for nearly sixty-five years? Why or why not?
According to the article, the Guinness Book of World Records started out as promotional stunt. Does this surprise you? Why or why not?
According to the article, the Guinness Book of World Records receives around 1,000 applications for new records each week. If you worked for this publication and it was your job to pick applications for the next book, what criteria would you use to make your selections?
- Prior to conducting this activity obtain a copy of the most recent Guinness Book of World Records. If possible, obtain several copies of the book.
- As a class, in small groups, or with a partner, have students browse through the book, identifying what they think are the most amazing world records. Encourage them to identify one current world record to investigate further.
- Give students time to conduct research to learn more about that world record. If it's a new record for a pre-existing item, how and why has the record changed over time? If it's a brand-new record, what new inventions or ideas made it possible and where did they come from?
- Challenge them to compile facts and photos to show what they learned. Have students use those materials to create a timeline of the world record.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
Read this article from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to learn about the female whale shark that swam for 20,142 kilometers (more than. 12,000 miles), completing the longest whale shark migration route ever recorded.
In 2014, Alan Eustace set the world record for the highest altitude jump at 135,899 feet. Learn about his journey and find out about the daredevils who preceded Eustace in this National Air and Space Museum video.
Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa had to conquer PTSD before he was ready to break Garrett McNamara’s world record. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn all about it.
The secret lies in the design, but having a football quarterback on hand to throw the plane might help you break records. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn more.
From a very young age, Amelia Earhart knew she wanted to do something different. Visit this National Air and Space Museum site to learn how she became enamored with aviation, and from the very beginning set flight records.
For Oklahoma City and its surrounding suburbs, May 3, 1999 began like any other spring day. By the evening, a deadly tornado of unprecedented ferocity had wreaked havoc, claiming a total of 36 lives. Watch this Smithsonian Channel video to learn all about it.