Wonderful Wedges

Contributor: Elephango Editors. Lesson ID: 11838

What do an ax, snowplow, door stop, and your front teeth have in common? They all use or are simple machines; in this case, wedges! Find and experiment with simple wedges around your learning space!


Physical Science

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Watch this video of basketball star Steph Curry making a hole-in-one in golf.

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That was so exciting!

  • But what does it have to do with wedges?

Curry made that shot with his pitching wedge, a type of golf club. Wedges are a useful — and FUN — simple machine!

Simple machines are objects that work without electricity or technology!

From golf clubs to needles to door stops, wedges can be found everywhere.

A wedge is a simple machine used to separate two things, like a door and its frame.

door stop holding door open

Another example of a wedge is an axe that splits a piece of wood into two pieces.

splitting wood with an ax

Wedges are simple machines that help make a job easier. For example, wedges like shovels and snow plows are a huge help to people in places with a lot of snow.

Look at the shape of the shovel and the plow. Although they may be rounded, they still work as a wedge.

A wedge sometimes starts as a point but becomes thicker. This design is used to separate something into pieces or move something, like snow, to another location.

Look at the picture below.

  • Do you recognize what it is?

white cruise ship from the front

  • Did you guess that it was the front of a ship?

If you did, then you are correct!

As a ship's bow, this wedge separates the water to make room for the ship. It is another example of a wedge that starts as a point and becomes much bigger.

Another example of a wedge is a knife. Think about cutting your meat with a knife that has no sharp edge or is dull.

  • A sharp edge cuts much more easily, right?

That is an example of how a wedge needs to have a tapered edge or come to a point to be successful at its job.

seven kitchen knives mounted on the wall

Another example of a wedge is a needle.

When you or your parent sew something together, a needle has to be used. This needle must also have a sharp point because that is the only way it will wedge through the material.

Wedges are always used to make jobs a little easier. There are many uses for simple machines like wedges.

In the Got It? section, display your knowledge of wedges and their uses.

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