Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Bay District Schools
How can simple machines affect our health and lifestyle? Students use their knowledge of simple machines to build their unique machines. Their written reports explaining their machines will be published as web pages.
The student writes for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes (for example, letters to invite or thank, stories or poems to entertain, information to record).
The student uses electronic technology to create, revise, retrieve, and verify information (including but not limited to word-processing software, electronic encyclopedias).
The student attempts to focus on an expository topic with little or no irrelevant or repetitious information.
The student develops supporting ideas with information that relates to the focus.
The student knows the six types of simple machines (screw, inclined plane, wedge, pulley, lever, and wheel and axle).
The student uses reference materials to obtain information related to science concepts.
The student understands how scientific discoveries have helped or hindered progress regarding human health and lifestyles.
- Videodisc, Coronet Videodisc
[Simple Machines], Volume 1 and Volume 2. Northbrook, IL.: Coronet Videodisc, 1991. (optional)
- Laser disc player (If Videodisc above is located.)
- Student Web Lesson, How Can We Move Our Principal? (See Weblinks.)
- Rubric for Summative Assessment #3, one per student and a transparency available from the unit's associated files (See Extensions.)
- Summative Assessment #4, one per student and a transparency available from the unit's associated files (See Extensions.)
- SiteMaker parent permission form from associated files, one per child
- Models of the writing process from the associated files (a transparency and/or one per child)
- SiteMaker, a web-authoring tool available from Beacon Learning Center
- A variety of simple machines to be used as examples, such as:
* Lever (can opener, bottle opener, tab top of drink can, seesaw, car jack, etc.)
* Pulley (visit to flagpole to view pulley, blind pulley, any pulley you can find or make)
* Wheel and axle (matchbox car, skate, doorknob, fishing reel, etc.)
* Inclined plane (ramp, scissors, various screws with different thread widths)
- A variety of reference materials, including, but not limited to, encyclopedias, electronic encyclopedias, and library books, such as the following references:
* Wells, Robert E. [How Do You Lift a Lion?] Morton Grove, IL.: Albert Witman & Company, 1996.
* Catherall, Ed. [Exploring Uses of Energy]. Austin, TX,: Steck-Vaughn, 1991.
* Taylor, Barbara. [Fun With Simple Science, Machines, and Movement]. New York: Warwick Press, 1990.
* Horvatic, Anne. [Simple Machines]. New York: E.P. Hutton, 1989.
* [McGraw-Hill Science]. New York: McGraw-Hill Science, McGraw-Hill School Division, 2000.
* [Silver, Burdett, and Ginn Science]. Lexington, MA.: 1987.
* Glover, David. [Pulleys and Gears]. Crystal Lake, IL.: Rigby Interactive Library, 1997.
* Glover, David. [Levers]. Crystal Lake, IL.: Rigby Interactive Library, 1997.
* Glover, David. [Ramps and Wedges]. Crystal Lake, IL.: Rigby Interactive Library, 1997.
* Glover, David. [Screws]. Crystal Lake, IL.: Rigby Interactive Library, 1997.
* Glover, David. [Wheels and Cranks]. Crystal Lake, IL.: Rigby Interactive Library, 1997.
- A collection of items that may be of use in building simple machines, such as the following items: blocks, tongue depressors, string, tin cans, rubber bands, thread spools, straws, sticks, dowels, etc.
1. If you havenít already, register to use SiteMaker. This web authoring tool is available through your account with Beacon Learning Center. All teachers using SiteMaker must register in advance, so even though SiteMaker will be used toward the end of the lesson, early registration is necessary.
2. List each student on the SiteMaker tool. Once the teacher is registered, each student must be listed and given a password.
3. Preview SiteMaker, the web-authoring tool available from Beacon Learning Center located at http://www.BeaconLearningCenter.com. Click the SiteMaker link.
4. Locate and preview the Coronet Videodisc, [Simple Machines], Volume 1 and Volume 2. (See Materials List.)
5. Locate and learn to operate the laser disc player.
6. Preview the Student Web Lesson, How Can We Move Our Principal.
7. Download, print, and duplicate the rubric for Summative Assessment #3 from the unit's associated files. (See Extensions for a link to the unit.) You need one per student and a transparency.
8. Download, print, and duplicate Summative Assessment #4 from the unit's associated files. (See Extensions for a link to the unit.) You need one per student and a transparency.
9. Download, print, duplicate, and distribute SiteMaker parent permission forms, one per student. This form is available from this lesson's associated files.
10. Download models of the writing process from the associated files. Make a transparency and a copy for each student.
11. Collect for display, a variety of simple machines to be used as examples. Suggestions include, but are not limited to the following items:
Lever - can opener, bottle opener, tab top of drink can, seesaw, car jack, etc.
Pulley - visit to flag pole to view pulley, blind pulley, any pulley you can find or make
Wheel and axle Ė matchbox car, skate, doorknob, fishing reel, etc.
Inclined plane Ė ramp, scissors, various screws with different thread widths.
12. Collect a variety of reference materials including, but not limited to encyclopedias, electronic encyclopedias (such as Microsoft Encarta), and library books. Use Sunlink to locate books from your district. (See Weblinks.) Suggested books are listed in the Materials section of this plan.
13. Collect items that may be used by students as they are building machines, such as blocks, tongue depressors, string, tin cans, rubber bands, thread spools, straws, sticks, dowels, etc.
Note - This is part 2, the final lesson plan for the unit, How Can We Move Our Principal? During Part 1 - Day 7 of the unit, associated with the lesson plan, An Invitation to Simple Machines, Summative Assessment #2 was completed. This lesson plan, My Machine, also begins on day 7 of the unit.
1. Review all six simple machines using the bulletin board, machines that have been on display, vocabulary cards, and any references that the teacher deems appropriate.
* Be sure to elicit responses from the students when identifying machines and explaining how these machines can affect human health or lifestyle. This serves as a formative assessment of the studentís knowledge of the six simple machines and how they affect health and lifestyle.
* Corrective and affirmative feedback should be given to correct any misconceptions and to affirm any correct responses. Examples include, but are not limited to: Right, the pulley can be used in hospitals when a patient needs to strengthen a muscle. or I don't understand. Tell me more about how a lever could help a person.
* An excellent and enjoyable review of simple machines is the Coronet videodisc [Simple Machines, Volume 1 and Volume 2]. This laser disc gives a good explanation of the various simple machines, as well a movie showing the use of different machines. This is a cartoon style videodisc. Talk to your media specialist about locating this videodisc or a similar visual media from your school district.
2. Give instructions for the final project. Students are to create their own simple machines that can affect the principal's health or lifestyle.
* This is to be a simple machine made by the student. This should be an in-class project, but it could be assigned as homework if necessary. (Teachers donít have the ability to guide students' learning when projects are completed at home. Too often parents talk students into completing tasks that are not what the teacher has described.)
* Students begin work on their machines tomorrow, so they should make all decisions as to what machines they are making and what materials are needed. Tomorrow they should come to school with all necessary items to begin work on creating their machines.
3. Begin the Student Web Lesson, How Can We Move Our Principal? This Web Lesson gives students an opportunity to integrate technology with the curriculum. A link to the Web lesson is available in the Weblinks section of this lesson plan.
* The interaction with the lesson allows students to practice their ability to identify the six simple machines and to show their knowledge of how the various machines affect human health and lifestyle. This lesson contains teaching, practice, feedback, and assessment.
* The Web lesson is most efficiently used by a pair of students. This grouping causes interaction between students, which cements learning. The more students must explain the content, the better they learn the content. Pairing of students also allows for assistance for those with technology, reading, or focusing difficulties.
* If the number of computers in the classroom will not permit this activity as described, a hard copy of the lesson can be printed and discussed as a class activity while one student at a time is selected to actually be on the computer performing as the class directs.
4. Introduce SiteMaker to the students. Show reports that are already on the site. Explain that by the end of the week, each student will have a report about his or her simple machine on a Web page using SiteMaker. Send the SiteMaker parent permission form to parents. This form is available from the associated files.
5. Give instructions for the final report that will be published on SiteMaker.
* This report is to be an expository writing explaining the student-made simple machine. For example, if the student is making a pulley to lift the principal's covers over the bed when making the bed, the report should explain pulleys and how they are operated. It should include vocabulary specific to the chosen machine, and how it could affect the health or lifestyle of the principal with a hurt foot.
* References used should be listed.
* More examples may be provided by the teacher, however, remind students that they may not copy your example, but must think of their own uses for their machines and how it will help the principal. Students should not share their ideas with anyone except the teacher at this point to encourage students to think of original ideas. Share Assessment #4, What Kind Of Machine? so that students know exactly what they will be expected to do at the end of this activity.
6. Review -
Students using the Student Web Lesson are getting a review of the six simple machines, however, other students are not. A daily review of machines and the vocabulary associated with the machines can be accomplished using the vocabulary cards from last week.
1. Yesterday students decided what machines they will be making and the reason for the machine, so they are now ready to begin writing about their machines. Model prewriting with the students. An example of a prewrite is available in the associated files. Teach focus on expository topic and supporting ideas with information that relates to the focus.
2. Review the rubric for Assessment #3 with the students. A copy of the rubric should be given to the students. Using the rubric transparency, be sure to point out how similar this rubric is to the one they used last week when writing the invitation. Be sure to point out that another standard has been added. Students will be expected to include their references used.
3. Encourage students to use reference materials available in the classroom. These should include, but are not limited to, references from the library, such as encyclopedias, electric encyclopedias, and Internet sites (See the suggested list in the Materials section of this plan and the Weblinks attached to this plan.)
4. Students write their prewrite on the form provided in the associated files.
5. Students work in class on their machines. Students who did not bring materials from home as requested yesterday must use items available in the classroom. The teacher can collect and share items that may be of use, such as blocks, tongue depressors, string, tin cans, rubber bands, thread spools, straws, sticks, dowels, etc. Remind students that the purpose of the machine is to affect human health or lifestyle.
NOTE: All students should write during writing time and work on their machines during science time; otherwise, the noise level gets too loud for writers to concentrate.
6. Continue the Student Web Lesson.
1. As a group, review the rubric for Assessment #3, and utilize the expository pre-write handout to review focus on expository topic and supporting ideas with information that relates to the focus. Use this review as a formative assessment giving individual corrective and affirmative feedback, using the rubric to help guide student learning. Be sure to give examples and non-examples of focus, such as: When writing about a lever, the fact that your cat likes to play on the see-saw does not stay with the focus. Even though a see-saw is a lever, your cat playing on it does not focus on what is a lever and how it helps people.
2. Students write the draft of the report. Reference materials should be readily available for use by the students. Additional modeling may be necessary for those students who appear to struggle with the task. Provide additional assistance where needed.
3. Students continue construction on their machines. Continue provding individual feedback to students utilizing the appropriate assessment as your guide. All feedback to students should guide student learning. When students know exactly what is expected and how it will be assessed, success follows.
4. Students continue the Student Web Lesson.
1. As a group, review the rubric for assessment #3, and utitilize the expository pre-write handout to review focus on expository topic and supporting ideas with information that relates to the focus. Use this review as a formative assessment giving individual corrective and affirmative feedback using the rubric to help guide student learning. Be sure to give examples and non-examples of focus.
2. Students edit their reports. Model editing procedures of using peers to read and discuss how to improve the report and using a spelling dictionary. I like the ďask 3 then meĒ rule where students ask 3 classmates to proof their writing before bringing it to me for consultation. (Refer to the lesson plan, An Invitation to Simple Machines, for more information on peer editing.) In this editing stage, the rubric provides guidance and is used for self assessment. If you normally use a peer editing checklist, it would be appropriate for the peer editing with this activity.
3. Students should be finishing their work on their machines. Remind students of the importance of explaining how their machines can be used to affect the health and lifestyle of humans.
4. Students continue the Student Web Lesson.
Writing and Science Integration
1. As a group, review the rubric for assessment #3, and utilize the expository pre-write handout to review focus on expository topic and supporting ideas with information that relates to the focus. Use this review as a formative assessment giving individual corrective and affirmative feedback using the rubric to help guide student learning.
2. Students write the final copies of their reports to be turned in. Make a copy of this final writing to be used as summative assessment #3. This assessment is scored using the rubric. The original is used by the student while typing for SiteMaker.
3. Students begin typing their reports for SiteMaker. These can be typed on any computer, as one of the SiteMaker features is the ability to accept copied and pasted text. My students typed on computers inside my classroom and outside of my classroom and saved to disks. Then it was quick work to copy and paste the report into the SiteMaker program. Since all the actual writing that is to be assessed was completed in class, students could take their completed reports home to type on their home computers and save on a disk. Alpha Smarts and similar word processors work fine for typing these reports. For precautionís sake, I would make a copy of the completed report before allowing it to leave the classroom.
4. To assure variety in the SiteMaker reports, and to make the actual SiteMaker process quicker, all graphics available from SiteMaker should be made available to the students before they actually are at the computer. They should know exactly which graphic is for their use. Print each graphic, and allow students to view the printed graphics and write their names on the graphic that is most appropriate for their reports. Then when the student is actually building the SiteMaker report, all the graphic decisions have been made and the process moves along quickly.
1. Complete the SiteMaker activity.
2. Review for the final Summative Assessment #4. Show the students the document that they will be using while viewing the machines and reports during the culminating activity. Using demonstration machines from the room, model how to write the responses on the rubric transparency.
Note: You may need to re-invite the principal.
1. Students present their machines.
2. Students present their reports.
3. As each student presents the machine and report, all other students mark What Kind of Machine?, their final summative assessment document.
Summative Assessment #3 - Machines Helping Man.
Students write an expository report explaining the simple machines they made and how their machines affect their principal's health or lifestyle. References and location of references will be sited. A rubric will be used to score the studentís ability to write this report. This assessment is being constructed during writing class for the last four days. The final copy that is to be scored should be completed on Day 11 of the unit.
Summative Assessment #4 - What Kind of Machine?
Students complete the form while viewing classmates' machines and reports. Students will denote type of machine, how it could affect health or lifestyle, and where information about this type simple machine can be found. This assessment will be graded on the percentage correct.
Additional information on these summatives can be found in the Unit Plan, How Can We Move Our Principal? (See Extensions.)
Daily - Formative assessment should be continuous and thought provoking. See the Procedures section for examples in how to provide affirmative and corrective formative feedback with the formative assessment.
1. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/search/details.asp?item=2950. Once you select the unitís link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, ďAssociated Files.Ē This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).
2. Read [Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel] by Virginia Burton. Identify the simple machines from the story. Discuss how these simple machines affected the health and lifestyle of humans.
3. These computer software programs would make a nice extension to the lesson:
* Kindersley, Dorling. [The Way Things Work]. 2.0 Version. New York: DK Multimedia, 1996.
* Gutlohn, Linda. [Gizmos and Gadgets]. Fremont, CA.: The Learning Company, 1994.
4. The expository writing can take the form of a newspaper article or advertisement rather than a report.
Students learn about the six simple machines then use their knowledge to assist their principal.How Can We Move Our Principal?
This is an excellent student resource to use during research on simple machines.Simple Machines
This site is a reference for student research of simple machines.Inventor's Toolbox
This site, used by students for research, is the beginning of a search for information on the simple machines. The student must type "simple machines" in the search box. Encarta
This is a good site for student research on the simple machines.Dirtmeister's Science Reports
This teacher resource gives additional lesson ideas.Marvelous Machines
This site allows teachers to search Florida Public School's media centers for books on specific topics or by specific authors. Searchs are by school districts and results indicate which school in the district has a copy of the desired book.SunLink
This student search tool is useful in student research.Fact Monster
SiteMaker Permission Form
†††††File Extension: pdfExpository Writing Form
†††††File Extension: pdf