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First we look back to before there were any “Machines,” and look at Simple Machines like Corkscrews and Screwdrivers


Art, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies  


3, 4  

Title – Simple Machines Unit lesson 1
By – Debbie Haren
Subject – Math, Science, Social Studies, Art, Language Arts
Grade Level – 3/4

Simple Machines Lesson 1


We are going to learn about Simple Machines. Imagine long ago before machines were invented. I wonder how life was back then and how much harder everyone had to work to get something done.
Lets read Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. What do you think this story might be about by looking at the cover?


Look at the items Do you know what these items are? (Display some simple machines such as a corkscrew, bottle cap with spirals and screwdriver. Can anyone tell me how they are used? Have children look at them and describe how they are used.


Write down in your journal your favorite part of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Would you like to be the person that operates one of the large pieces of machinery in the book? Why or why not?

Task 2:

Have students look at a poster of all the simple Machines that the teacher has made ahead of time. The poster should just list
the types of simple machines with a brief description for each one.
The poster should look something like this:

Lever: A stiff bar that rests on a support called a fulcrum. How Does It work? Lifts or moves loads. Examples are: Shovel, teeter totter, nutcracker, stapler and hammer.

Inclined Plane: A slanting surface connecting a lower level to a higher level. How Does It Work? Things move up or down it. Examples are: Slide, stairs, ramp, hill or roller coaster.

Wheel and Axle: A wheel with a rod, called an axle, through its center: both parts move together. How Does It Work? Lifts or moves loads. Examples are: Car, Wagon, windmill, helicopter, fishing reel and eggbeater.

Screw: An inclined plane wrapped around a pole.
How Does It Work? Holds things together or lifts. Examples are: Screw, jar lid, bolt, drill or corkscrew.

Pulley: A grooved wheel with a rope or cable around it. How Does It work? Moves things up, down, or across. Examples are: Curtain rod, tow, truck,flag pole, fan belt.

Wedge: An object with at least one slanting side ending in a sharp edge. How Does It Work? Cuts or spreads an object apart. Examples are: Knife, pin, nail, scissors, door, wedge, can opener.

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