Simple Machines

Contributor: Victoria Surface. Lesson ID: 10420

You will explore the six types of simple machines, examples of simple machines in everyday life, and how they make work easier through online resources and activities, and hands-on projects.

categories

Physical Science, Science

subject
Science
learning style
Visual
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

How did the Egyptians' laborers build the Great Pyramids thousands of years ago without modern tools such as cranes and trucks?

Simple machines help make work easier. They allow us to change the size and direction of forces. In this lesson, you will explore the six types of simple machines, examples of simple machines in everyday life, and how they make work easier. 

The six types of simple machines include: lever, inclined plane or ramp, wheel and axle, screw, wedge and pulley. Each simple machine is designed to make work easier. 

1. As you work through this lesson take notes using the Graphic Organizer – Notes  found in the Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. Read about each type of simple machine on PowerKnowledge Physical Science All About Simple Machines. Click on each type of simple machine: lever, inclined plane, wheel and axle, screw, wedge and pulley. As you take notes, think about the following questions. 

  • What is the definition of each simple machine? 
  • What is the simple machine designed to do? 
  • What are the parts of the simple machine? 
  • What are some examples of the simple machine? 

2. Watch Bill Nye - Simple Machines. As you watch, pause the video to take notes using the Graphic Organizer - Notes. Use the questions below as a guide to assist you in note taking. 

  • Why is a roller coaster a simple machine? 
  • What are examples of simple machines? 
  • What do simple machines do? 
  • How does a pulley work? 
  • What do levers allow us to do? 
  • What does the fulcrum of the lever do? 
  • What examples of levers were used in the Bill Nye – Simple Machines video? 
  • How many parts does a lever have and what are they called? 
  • What are some common types of levers? 
  • What happens when you push down on one side of a lever? 
  • How does a ramp make things easier to lift? 
  • What is a screw? 
  • What types of simple machines are on a bike? How are they used? 
  • How does a prosthetic arm or leg work? 
  • What types of simple machines do movers use and how do they use them? 
  • What does a pulley do? 
  • What are some examples of how pulleys are used in everyday life? 

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