Simple Machines

Students are fascinated with tools and machines. In the Simple Machines module, students see examples of how simple machines can make work easier by reducing the force needed to move an object over a distance.

Then, students use interactive activities to experiment with these simple machines: lever, pulley, wheel and axle, wedge, screw, and inclined plane. Hands-on activities are also available to give students actual experience with simple machines. By the end of this module, students will know just how to decrease the amount of force needed to move an object!

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Label It!

This Elaborate session allows students to practice and apply new terminology related to simple machines. In this session, students participate in a selection of activities that focus on the content vocabulary addressed throughout the module. To complete the session, students work independently, or with peers, to complete an offline activity that reinforces literacy skills.

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Work Smarter

This Elaborate session promotes the use of formal definitions and explanations in a format not traditionally used in science instruction. In this session, students view an animated literature piece and use their digital Notebook to record their ideas. Students also participate in a teacher-led discussion that emphasizes the science content. To complete the session, students participate in offline activities that reinforce the connection between science, literature, and the arts.

Simple Machines
Simple Machines module
At a Glance

Simple Machines

Work is made easy with simple machines; they reduce the force needed to move an object over a distance. This module introduces the six types of simple machines — lever, pulley, wheel and axle, wedge, screw, and inclined plane — as students explore what a simple machine is and how simple machines work.

Core Concept

Simple machines are used every day to make work easier by reducing the force needed to move an object over a distance.

Essential Vocabulary

simple machine, work, force, motion, reduce, inclined plane, lever, pulley, screw, wedge, wheel and axle

Science4Us provides the essentials that teachers need to confidently and effectively lead a classroom in any science lesson. This demo shows:

  • One section of the “Teacher Explain”
  • One of the 40 teacher support documents

Support Document

Teachers can expect a lot of support in the form of professional development, which will help when preparing, delivering the material and answering questions. Printable teacher guides allow you to expand on the online material and further student understanding of the different Simple Machines. These teacher guides include hands-on activities, discussion questions and more.

Teacher Lessons pave the way for a productive lesson. You’ll find all kinds of information specific to Simple Machines, such as best practices, content background, vocabulary extensions and more. One best practice for teaching Simple Machines that allows students to get hands-on is to have them experiment with a lever at snack time. Provide each student with a spoon and a scoopable food. Encourage students to notice the “bar”, the handle, of the spoon and the “fulcrum” the place where the spoon pivots.