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Here’s a well-written full unit on the 6 Simple Machines

Subject:

Science  

Grades:

4, 5, 6  

By – Jessica Koon
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects - 
Grade Level – 4-6

The following worksheets, rubrics, etc. will be used with this unit. They are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format and you will need Acrobat Reader (a free download) to view them if you don’t already have it.

Day 1

Prior Knowledge:
I will assess my students’ prior knowledge of machines by listening the their stories of how they will move a large animal from the zoo.

Objective:
After sorting, categorizing, and defining simple machines, the students will be able to identify the 6 basic simple machines with complete accuracy.

Assessment:
The students will be assessed by group participation. This will be keep record on the student checklist. The students will be assessed based on their responses to my questions and the simple machines worksheet that will be completed for homework.

Materials:
50 objects with simple machines
Transparency of definitions
Definition worksheet
Simple Machine Field Trip worksheet.

Special Arrangements / Alternatives:
Space for groups to work

Establishing Set:
1. Raise your hand if you have ever been to a zoo?
2. What are some of the largest animals you saw while at the zoo?
3. Imagine the zookeeper came up to you and said they need your help figuring out how to move one of the largest animals. What would you tell them to do?
4. Think about it first.
5. Now share it with the person beside you.
6. What are some of the ways you would suggest to the zookeeper?

Sequence of Activities:
7. Some of you suggested the use of a machine to help move the animal.
8. What do you think of when you hear the word machine?
9. Why do we use machines?
10. All machines are designed to make work easier.
11. And all machines regardless of their complexity are in some ways based on simple machines.
12. Does any one know what a simple machine is? “Simple machine- is a machine made up of one or more parts that make work easier.”

13. There are six basis simple machines and as a class we are going to sort objects into these categories. Define the 6 basis simple machines making sure to list examples.

Lever- a board or bar that rests on a turning point.
Fulcrum- the turning point of a lever.
Examples: seesaw, hammer, crowbar

Inclined plane- flat surface that is higher on one end. You can use this machine to move an object to a lower of higher place making work of moving things easier.
Examples: ramp, slanted road, slide, path up a hill

Wheel and Axle- an axle is a rod that goes through the wheel. This lets the wheel turn. It is easier to move things from place to place.
Examples: cars, roller skates, wagons, doorknobs, gears

Screw- simple machine made from another simple machine. It is actually an inclined plane that winds around a nail. Some screws are used to lower and raise things. Others are used to hold things together.
Examples: jar lids, light bulbs, stools, clamps, key ring

Wedge- simple machine used to push 2 objects apart. A wedge is made up of 2 inclined planes. These planes meet and form a sharp edge that can split things apart.
Examples: nail, fork, knife, axes

Pulley- make up of a wheel and rope. The rope fits on the groove of the wheel. One part of the rope is attached to the load. When you pull on one side of the pulley the wheel turns and the load will be moved. Pulleys will let you move loads up, down or sideways. Pulleys are good for moving objects to hard to reach places. It also makes the work of moving heavy loads a lot easier.
Examples: crane, flag poles, clotheslines

14. Have student write down definitions and examples on definitions worksheet.
15. I am going to give each of you two simple machines that I would like you to examine. Look at them and try to figure out how they make work easier.
16. Model Thinking
17. Why should we think about how they make work easier?
It is how the simple machines are classified.
18. Once you have examines your simple machine, when I tell you to, find a partner to compare simple machines with. Look at how they are alike and different. Think about what type of simple machine you have.
19. So there are 2 people and how many simple machines? 4
20. When I tell you to, you and your partner will find another group of 2 students and compare simple machines.
21. There are 4 people and how many simple machines? 8
22. At this point it would be a good idea to start dividing them into the 6 simple machine categories. Look at how they make work easier.
23. You will have 8 people, how many simple machines? 16
24. Before we start, I want to remind you that when working in groups we need to listen to everyone’s ideas. We need to take turns talking.
25. Also it is important that we are careful with the objects I am passing out to you. They are not toys. Some of them have sharp edges and you can get hurt if you are not careful. There will be no playing around with this activity. If you are playing, you will have to sit and watch. You will not be able to touch any of the simple machines.
26. Are there any questions about what you are going to be doing?
27. I will be walking around to answer any questions that may pop up during the activity.
28. Pass out objects.
29. Student will observe individually.
30. Tell students to find a partner and compare.
31. Have students make groups of 4 and compare objects. They should start making categories.
32. Combine groups of 4 so that there will be 2 large groups in the classroom. Students should compare objects dividing them into the 6 basic simple machine categories.
33. Let students know that I will be picking six people at random to be the presenter of the group. Each person will be responsible for reporting what objects are in each of the simple machine groups. They will make a list of levers, pulleys, wedges, inclined planes, wheel and axles, and screws on the board.

Closure:
34. Compare lists of examples from each group.
What objects do they have in common?
Did you put similar object in the same simple machine category?
35. Looking that each of the lists, why do we use lever? Wedges? Inclined planes? Screws? Pulleys?
36. Why do we use simple machines?
37. What is a simple machine?

Assignment:
38. Please take out your agenda to write tonight’s assignment.
39. Tonight, you are going to go on a simple machine field trip around your house. You need to find example of each simple machine and answer two questions: What room in your house has the most simple machines and what room in your house has the least simple machines?
40. Are there any questions?
41. Also please keep your definitions worksheet in a safe place.
42. Tomorrow, you will need your supplies box so please bring it.

Day 2

Prior Knowledge:
Students need to know the six basic simple machines and why we use simple machines. This has been covered in prior class periods.

Objective:
The students will prove that each of the six simple machines make work easier through the use of the simple machines and provided objects.

Assessment:
The students will be assessed by group participation. This will be keep record on the student checklist. The students will complete worksheets at each station, which will be evidence of students’ understanding.

Materials:
Station guides with all materials
Station worksheets
Definition worksheet
Construction paper
Makers/colored pencils/crayons
Pencils

Special Arrangements:
Set up stations
Groups

Establishing Set:
1. Take out your simple machine field trip.
2. How was your field trip?
3. What room did you find the most simple machines? Least?

Sequence of Activities:
4. Why do we use simple machines?
5. Machines make work easier by creating a force that is a push or pull that make an object move.(Students should record this definition on worksheet.) So a simple machine makes work easier by changing the direction of a force, the size of the force or both.
6. The object being moved is called the load. Write definition on worksheet.
7. Today we are going to prove that each of the 6 basic simple machines makes work easier.
8. Around the room there are six stations with simple machines and objects that will help you and your group prove that the simple machine makes work easier. So there is a lever station, wedge station, inclined plane station, wheel and axle station, pulley station and a screw station. (Tell students where they are set up.) See attached Station guide.
9. At these stations, I did not give you any directions so you and your group need to do some thinking. At the stations, there are hint cards to help you. If you need more help, I will be around to answer your questions.
10. You will be working in groups of 4 that I have picked.
11. There are more stations than groups so not all stations will be filled at one time. This way once your group has completed a station and you prove to me that the simple machine makes work easier, you can move to another station. Before you move make sure you put things the same way you found them.
12. You need to visit all of the stations. If you do not complete all the stations don’t worry because we will have time tomorrow.
13. If you are waiting for a group to finish at a station you need to go to, there are other projects you can work on.
Portfolio Cover- Students will take a large sheet of construction paper and fold it in half so it is like a folder. One the front of the fold students need to write the title, “Simple Machines,” their name, class and number and date. Show example. Write rubric on the board. See rubric
Concept map of simple machines- students will make a map of their knowledge of simple machines on a piece of notebook paper. Show example. See rubric
14. These projects are individual projects that everyone needs to complete.
15. Do station work before you complete these other projects.
16. Are there any questions?
17. Tell students what group they are in and what station they will be starting at.
18. Students will get to work!

Closure: (5 minutes left in class)
19. Please finish what you are writing, clean up the station and return to you seat. You have one minute.
20. I know that you did not get through all the stations. We will finish the remainder of them tomorrow.
21. Can some one please remind me why do we use simple machines?
22. How do they make work easier?
Change the direction and/or size of the force.

Assignment:
23. Please take out your agenda to write tonight’s assignment.
24. Inventors make machines to make work easier. Before they could invent something, they had to notice that there was a problem or situation that needed to be made easier.
25. Tonight, I would like for you to think about a problem or situation that you think a machine could make easier.
26. Tomorrow you need to bring you supply box.

Simple Machine Station Guide

Lever- The students will make a lever out of the given materials and explore the relationship of the fulcrum to the load. The students will discovery that it is easier to move an object when the fulcrum is closer to the load.

Materials:
Wooden ruler
Object to lift
Tape
Can or toilet paper roll
Lever Worksheet
Hint:
Move the fulcrum closer to the load.
Move the fulcrum away from the load.

Inclined Plane- The students will make inclined planes with boards varying the slope of the board. There will be rubber bands around the book. The students will tie the string to the rubber bands and pull the books up the different inclined planes. They will also pull the books straight up without using the inclined planes. The students will find that it take more work to move an object up an inclined plane with the steepest slope.

Materials:
2 Boards varying in lengths
String
Rubber bands
Ruler
Heavy Book
Inclined Plane worksheet
Hint:
Look at the stretch of the rubber bands
Straight up compared to different inclined planes.

Wheel and Axle- The students will push one car on its side and the other on its wheels. They will note the difference in distance traveled.

Materials:
2 matchbox cars
Rulers
Wheel and Axle Worksheet
Hint:
Try one of the cars on its side.

Screw- The students will make a screw out of an inclined plane. Student will cut the square diagonally to make an inclined plane. Tape one of the short edges of the triangle to a pencil. Wrap the triangle around the pencil. They will actually see the inclined plane as part of the screw.

Materials:
9 inch Paper Square
Tape
Pencil
Scissors
Tabletop
Screw Worksheet
Hint:
What is a screw made out of?
How can you make an inclined plane with the given materials?

Wedge- The students will cut paper with both sharp scissor and dull scissors. They will observe that the sharp scissors will cut better than the dull scissors.

Materials:
Paper
Dull Scissors
Sharp Scissors
Wedge Worksheet
Hint:
How are the cuts different?

Pulleys- The students will make a pulley with a sewing spool, string, and a pencil. They will use this pulley to lift an object. They will compare lifting the object with the pulley and without the pulley. They will find that it is easier to lift an object with the use of a pulley.

Materials:
Sewing spool
String
Pencil
Object to lift
Pulley worksheet
Hint:
Compare using the pulley and not using the pulley.

Day 3

Prior Knowledge: 

Students need to know the six basic simple machines and why we use simple machines. They accomplished this in prior class periods.

Objective:
The students will prove that each of the six simple machines make work easier through the use of the simple machines and provided objects.

Assessment:
The students will be assessed by group participation. This will be keep record on the student checklist. The students will complete worksheets at each station that will act as evidence of students’ understanding of how each simple machine makes work easier.

Materials:
Station guides with all materials
Station worksheets
Construction paper
Makers/colored pencils/crayons
Pencils
Project rubrics

Special Arrangements:
Set up stations
Groups

Establishing Set:
1. Today we need to finish our stations proving how simple machines make work easier.
2. But first remind me, what are the 6 basic simple machines?
3. How do they make work easier?

Sequence of Activities:
4. Before I let you get to work, what are you suppose to be doing?
5. Once your group is all done with the stations, return to your seats and finish all of the individual projects. I will put them up on the board again.
6. Let the students get to work.

Closure:
7. When all the groups are seated talk about the stations.
8. What did they learn?
9. Was anything surprising?

Assignment:
10. Please take out your agenda to write tonight’s assignment.
11. The assignment is the same as yesterday.
12. Inventors make machines to make work easier. Before they could invent something, they had to notice that there was a problem or situation that needed to be made easier.
13. Tonight, I would like for you to think about a problem or situation that you think a machine could make easier.
14. Please bring your supply box to class tomorrow.

Note:
If the class finishes early or they do not need second day to prove that simple machines make work easier, move on to Day 4.

Day 4

Prior Knowledge:
Students need to know the six basic simple machines and why we use simple machines. They have demonstrated this knowledge in prior class periods.

Objective:
After a discussion on compound machines, the students will be able to invent their own compound machine.

Assessment:
The students will be assessed by class participation. This will be keep record on the student checklist. The students will be assessed by their development of a compound machine using simple machines.

Materials:
Definition worksheet
Markers/colored pencils/crayons
Rulers
Paper
Project Description sheet

Special Arrangements:

Establishing Set:
1. How many of you have seen a bike?
2. What simple machines are on a bike?
Wheel and axles, screws, lever
3. What simple machines are in scissors?
Wedge, lever, screw

Sequence of Activities:
3. Scissors and bikes are compound machines
4. A compound machine is a machine made up of 2 or more simple machines.
5. Does any one know why we use compound machines?
6. Just like simple machines, compound machines make work easier.
7. Can anyone think of some examples of compound machines?
8. Generate a class list.
9. The last 2 nights, I asked you to think of a problem that a machine could help you fix.
10. My problem is that my phone sits on my dresser that is across the room from where I am studying. When my phone rings, I have to get up and walk across the room to get it, which causes me lose my place in my book.
11. What we are going to do is develop a compound machine to help us solve the problem.
12. What is a compound machine?
13. So our machine needs to have 2 or more simple machines.
14. What are the 6 basis simple machines?
15. You need to draw a picture the machine you invent and label the simple machines you use. You need to color it and write a short description of your machine.
16. Show my example.
17. Make sure to answer the following questions in your short description:
What is the name of your machine?
What problem does it solve?
How does it work?
18. So my machine is going to get my phone to me without me having to get up from my study spot and loss my studying place.
19. Are there any questions?
20. Monday, we are going to share our inventions with each other.
21. Pass out paper and have students begin.

Closure: (5 minutes left in class)
22. You have a minute to find a good ending spot and have you stuff put away.
23. How are your machines coming?
24. What are compound machines?

Assignment:
25. Please take out your agenda to write tonight’s assignment.
26. This weekend, you need to finish you compound machines.

Day 5

Prior Knowledge:
Students need to know the six basic simple machines and why we use simple machines. They need to know what a compound machine is. They have gone over this in prior class periods

Objective:
The students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of simple and compound machines through a presentation of a machine they have invented.

Assessment:
The students will be assessed on their picture, short description, and presentation of their compound machines. The students will also turn in a portfolio of all assignments. See rubric.

Materials:
Students’ compound machines
Portfolio cover
All completed worksheets
Notebook paper
Pencil
List showing order of papers in portfolio

Special Arrangements:
Stations to present compound machines

Establishing Set:
1. This weekend, you finished you compound machines.
2. I am really looking forward to hearing and seeing your inventions.
3. Before we start, what is a compound machine?

Sequence of Activities:
4. I will draw numbers at random to pick the order of presenters.
5. There will be 4 presenters placed around the room. Students will be able to walk around and look at people’s invented compound machines.
6. Students will walk around for about 8 minutes and then the presenters will switch.
7. While walking around, the students will be making a list of products they would consider buying.
8. Once all of the students have had a chance to present, we will regroup as a class.
9. We will talk about what compound machines they would consider buying and why.

Closure:
10. To conclude our unit the students will put together their portfolios that will contain all of the worksheets and projects.
11. The final page of the portfolio will be a student reflection of the unit. The students will write what they liked and disliked while studying simple machine. They will write about what they learned.
12. Collect the portfolios.

Assignment:
None!

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