Beacon Lesson Plan Library

An Invitation to Simple Machines

Sandi King
Bay District Schools

Description

The principal with a hurt foot needs our help! Students are challenged to devise ways to move the principal around the school by exploring simple machines. They then write an invitation for parents to come view the simple machines and web page reports that students create.

Objectives

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.

Materials

- Teacher Web resource, Simple Machines Made Simple, from the Beacon Learning Center, Student Web Lessons links for from Weblinks below

- Diagnostic Assessment, How Can We Move Our Principal?, Diagnostic Assessment from the unit's associated files

- Rubric for Assessment #1 from the unit's associated files

- Summative Assessment #2 from the unit's associated files

- A variety of simple machines to be used as examples. Suggestions include, but not limited to:
(Day 3) Lever - can opener, bottle opener, tab top of drink can, seesaw, car jack, etc.
(Day 4) Pulley - visit to flag pole to view pulley, blind pulley, any pulley you can find or make
(Day 5) Wheel and axle – matchbox car, skate, doorknob, fishing reel, etc.
(Day 6) 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. * 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.

- Transparency of Summative Assessment #1 rubric from the unit's associated files

Preparations

1. Locate and become familiar with various reference materials with information about simple machines. These references should include non-fiction books, encyclopedias, electronic encyclopedias, and Web sites identified in this lesson plan. Using the Sunlink site is an excellent way of locating books in your district (see Weblinks). Bookmark the Web sites for easy location. Reference books may include, but are not limited to the books in the Materials List.

2. Locate various simple machines to be used as demonstrations. Suggestions include, but are not limited to:
(Day 3) Lever (can opener, bottle opener, tab top of drink can, seesaw, car jack, etc.)
(Day 4) Pulley (visit to flag pole to view pulley, blind pulley, any pulley you can find or make)
(Day 5) Wheel and axle (Matchbox car, skate, doorknob, fishing reel, etc.)
(Day 6) Inclined plane (ramp, scissors, various screws with different thread widths, a wedge to hold open a door)

3. Locate and preview the teacher Web resource, Simple Machines Made Simple.

4. Download and duplicate the Diagnostic Assessment, How Can We Move Our Principal? from the unit's associated files. You will need one per student.

5. Download and duplicate the rubric for Assessment #1,You Are Invited, from the unit's assoicated files. You need one per student. Also create a transparency of this rubric.

6. Download and duplicate Summative Assessment #2, Simple Machines, fromthe unit's associated files. You will need one per student.

7. Locate and display an appropriate bulletin board. This can be a store bought bulletin board or a self-made bulletin board using the posters from the associated files.

8. For more hands-on activities, see Extensions. Depending on the activities chosen, additional materials and duplication may be necessary.

9. Register to use SiteMaker. This Web-authoring tool is available free through Beacon Learning Center. All teachers using SiteMaker must register in advance, so even though SiteMaker will be used towards the end of the unit, early registration is necessary.

Procedures

Day 1

1. Distribute the Diagnostic Assessment. Explain to students that this is not a graded test, but rather a tool for the teacher to use while planning what to teach. Students complete this assessment with no teacher assistance other than normal testing modifications regularly given to students.

* Do not allow students to become frustrated over this assessment. Most students will not know the correct answers as this is a diagnostic of material yet to be taught. Assure students that it is all right not to know answers and they should skip any questions that are too difficult at this time.

Day 2

Introduction

Science

1. Introduce the scenario of the principal hurting his/her foot and now needs the class’s help in getting around the school. How will the principal get up on the stage, out on the playground, into a tall chair or stool, etc.? Many principals enjoy being included in class activities. If your principal is one of these active participants, you may want to discuss just how the principal can fit into your plans for the unit. If your principal chooses not to participate, you may be able to recruit the P.E. teacher, librarian, or others at your school.

2. Introduce the following vocabulary words using the attached vocabulary cards: work, force, load, distance, energy, machine, and simple machine These words will begin the unit word wall.

3. Give a quick overview of the six simple machines using graphics provided in this lesson plan attachment or similar graphics owned by the teacher. Appropriate bulletin board materials should be displayed. One that I’ve found useful and appropriate is [Simple Machines] by Trend Enterprises. Inc.

4. Discuss the culminating plan of inviting parents/ visitors to come and view students' homemade machines and the accompanying reports that will be published as a Web page. (Don’t let the thought of “Web page” scare you. Beacon has a tool, Sitemaker, which makes Web page authoring a breeze for third graders . . . and for you!)

Writing

5. Prewrite an invitation to the culminating activity. Model prewriting procedures of gathering accurate information, organizing information, and deciding on a style. The prewrite must include when, where, and reason for the activity. The reason will be in paragraph form with details given to support the explanation.

* Since the culminating activity will allow viewing of all six types of machines, the main idea and details will be about the general activity, not about a specific machine or report. The fact that students do not yet know much about various machines should not keep them from writing a paragraph describing the general activity of parents coming to school to view student-made machines and Web page reports.

* A sample prewrite form is available in the associated files.

6. Using a transparency, view the rubric from the unit's associated files that will be used for Summative Assessment #1, You Are Invited. By reviewing the rubric, students know exactly what will be assessed on their finished invitation. Post and give individual copies of the rubric to students after discussing it from the transparency.

* Encourage students to self-assess their invitation using the rubric while writing the invitation.

Day 3

Science

1. Begin the study of the individual simple machines with levers. Have a variety of levers available for demonstration. These may include the tab on a drink bottle, a bottle opener, a screwdriver in the top of a paint can, etc. These are all available “real world” levers.

2. As you demonstrate each of the examples collected, pass them to the students for a hands-on exploration.

3. Be sure to use the correct terminology associated with levers (work, force, lever, load, fulcrum) while demonstrating. When a new word is used, add the vocabulary card and definition to a pocket chart or word wall. These will be used each day while reviewing.

4. Use the teacher Web resource, Simple Machines Made Simple. The lever link will give a definition and multiple examples of a lever. Be sure to use the correct terminology associated with levers (work, force, lever, load, fulcrum).

5. Have multiple references available for further research of levers. Model for students, how to find science information using various references.

* Elicit responses from students as to how the information from the different sources compared. Student responses may include the idea that some references are easier to read, pictures make machines easier to understand, or computer programs helped the student learn how to use the machine.

* Be sure to use books, encyclopedias, electronic encyclopedias, and the Internet. A list of suggested Internet sites is available in the Weblink section of this lesson plan.

* By previewing these sites and bookmarking them in your browser, they are easily accessible for this activity.

6. Model and discuss how a lever could affect the health or lifestyle of individuals. Some examples are: 1. Using a lever affects our health as a lever allows us to lift heavy objects without as much force so we don’t hurt our backs. 2. Using a lever to open a Pepsi can affects our lifestyle because it allows us to open the can anywhere and without any special tools.

* Remember to include how the machines may hinder health and lifestyle. Examples may include the following injuries. Back injuries can occur if attempting to lift a load too heavy, even with a lever. Children are injured falling from see-saws.

7. Elicit suggestions from students as to how a lever could affect their health or lifestyle.

* Elicit suggestions for how to use a lever to help the principal with the hurt foot get around the school. When might a lever be used in helping the principal?

Writing

8. Draft an invitation to the culminating activity. Model draft procedures by using the prewrite from yesterday to write an invitation. The draft must include when, where, and reason for the activity. The reason should be in paragraph form with details given to support the explanation. A sample draft is available in the associated files.

9. Review the rubric that will be used for Summative Assessment #1, You Are Invited. (See Extensions for a link to the unit's associated files.) While reviewing the rubric as a class, look at the first standard, "The student writes for understanding by an adult audience." Ask questions such as: Who is the audience? Will an adult understand this invitation? Students respond with thumbs up if yes, thumbs down if no.

* Continue in this manner, asking specific questions about the model invitation using the wording from the three standards on the rubric.

* Individual students should use the rubric to self-assess their drafts.

Day 4

Science

1. Review the scenario of the principal hurting his/her foot and now needs the class’s help in getting around the school. Orally review lever, force, load, work, fulcrum using pictures, demonstration models, and vocabulary cards. This review is to be used as a formative assessment with affirmative and corrective feedback. Feedback. such as, “Right, a lever must have a fulcrum,” and “What we are moving isn’t called stuff. Do you remember the word we used yesterday for the stuff we are moving?” These questions cause students to become involved in the discussion and also cements learning.

* Specifically, formative assessment should include vocabulary, examples of the machines, use of the machines, and types of machines studied to this point.

2. Continue the study of the individual simple machines with wheel and axles. Have a variety of wheel and axles available for demonstration. These may include a matchbox car, skate, doorknob, fishing reel, and etc. These are all available “real world” wheel and axles.

3. As you demonstrate each of the examples collected, pass them to the students for a hands-on exploration.

4. Be sure to use the correct terminology associated with wheel and axles (work, force, load, wheel, axle) while demonstrating. When a new word is used, add the vocabulary card and definition to a pocket chart or word wall. These will be used each day while reviewing.

5. Use the teacher Web resource, Simple Machines Made Simple. The wheel and axle link will give a definition and multiple examples of a wheel and axle. Be sure to use the correct terminology associated with wheel and axles (work, force, load, wheel, axle).

6. Have multiple references available for further research of wheel and axles. Review your modeling from yesterday of using various references to find science information.

* Have students use the reference materials available to find information on wheel and axles. This can be done individually, but peer groups allow for interaction and peer teaching peers. Anytime a student teaches another student, the learning by the teaching child is cemented. For more information on using peer groups, see the link in the Webink section of this lesson plan.

* Elicit responses from students or groups as to how the information from the different sources compared. Be sure to use books, encyclopedias, electronic encyclopedias, and the Internet. A list of suggested Internet sites is available in the Weblink section of this lesson plan. By previewing these sites and bookmarking them in your browser, they are easily accessible for this activity.

* Daily rotation of the various reference materials ensures that all students can have an opportunity to use all references.

7. Model and discuss how a wheel and axles could affect the health or lifestyle of individuals. Some examples are: 1. Moving heavy things, such as a refrigerator, using a dolly. 2. Fast movement from one place to another using skates or a bicycle.

* Elicit suggestions from students as to how a wheel and axle could affect their health or lifestyle. Elicit suggestions for how a wheel and axle could be used to help the principal with the hurt foot get around the school.

* Remember to include how the machines may hinder health and lifestyle. Examples may include: The use of wheels could cause people to become lazy and overweight.

Writing

8. Edit the invitation to the culminating activity. Model editing procedures of using peers to read and discuss how to improve the invitation and using a spelling dictionary. I like the “Ask 3, Then Me” rule where students ask three classmates to proof their writing before bringing it to me for consultation. Remind peers that the rubric is the tool to use when discussing the writings. Only constructive comments are to be given. The writer has the final decision on revision that will be made. Peer editing should be a positive experience for both the writer and the editor. (If more information on peer grouping is needed, please see the Weblinks section.)

9. Remember the importance of reviewing the rubric for Summative Assessment #1, You Are Invited. Using your model, question students as to whether the model meets the standards from the rubric. Remind students that the writing must be focused and there can be little or no information that does not match the main idea. Ask: What is the main idea? Then, after reading each sentence, ask if it matches the main idea. If students answer, "no" to any sentence, ask for suggestions as to how the sentence can be edited so that it does match the main idea.

* In this editing stage, the rubric can provide guidance for peer editing. If you usually use a peer editing form, it would be appropriate to use it with this assignment. Students should specifically look for the criteria listed on the rubric.

Day 5

Science

1. Review the scenario of the principal hurting his/her foot and now needs the class’s help in getting around the school. Review lever, force, load, work, fulcrum, wheel, and axle using pictures, demonstration models, and vocabulary cards.

* Review how these machines can affect health and lifestyle. This review is to be used as a formative assessment with affirmative feedback, "Right, the wheels are connected to the axle, and it all turns the same direction." Also give corrective feedback, "Remember that the force and the load are moving in the same direction when a wheel and axle is used."

* Specifically, formative assessment should include vocabulary, examples of the machines, use of the machines, and types of machines studied to this point.

2. Continue the study of the individual simple machines with pulleys. Have a variety of pulleys available for demonstration. These may include a spool with string around it, or pictures of a patient in traction, or a visit to the flag pole to view the pulley used to raise the flag, etc. These are all available “real world” pulleys.

3. As you demonstrate each of the examples collected, pass them to the students for a hands-on exploration.

4. Be sure to use the correct terminology associated with pulleys (work, force, load, pulley, wheel) while demonstrating. When a new word is used, add the vocabulary card and definition to a pocket chart or word wall. These will be used each day while reviewing.

5. Use the teacher Web resource, Simple Machines Made Simple. The pulleys link will give a definition and multiple examples of a pulleys. Be sure to use the correct terminology associated with pulleys (work, force, load, pulley, wheel, force moves the load in an opposite direction).

6. Have multiple references available for further research of pulleys. Review your modeling by using various references to find science information. Have students use the reference materials available to find information on pulleys. Elicit responses from students or groups as to how the information from the different sources compared.

* Teacher discretion may be used when deciding the appropriate review procedure for the class. Teachers may ask for group discussions as a review, or the teacher may conference with individual students as a review. Be sure to use books, encyclopedias, electronic encyclopedias, and the Internet.

* Daily rotation of the various reference materials ensures that all students can have an opportunity to use all references.

7. Model and discuss how pulleys could affect the health or lifestyle of individuals. Some examples may be the following things: 1. Moving heavy things, such as a heavy cooler up the stairs. 2. Opening and closing the drapes in your home. Elicit suggestions from students as to how a pulley could affect their health or lifestyle. Elicit suggestions for how a pulley could be used to help the principal with the hurt foot get around the school.

* Remember to include how the machines may hinder health and lifestyle. Examples may include the following accidents: Fingers or clothing can get caught in the pulley. Pulleys have caused the death of young children when they get caught in the rope of a window blind and strangle.

Writing

8. Complete the invitation to the culminating activity. Remember the importance of reviewing the rubric for self-assessment and for preparation for Summative Assessment #1, You Are Invited.

9. Use the rubric to score the final invitations. Because these invitations will be taken home to invite guests, no -grading- marks should be on the invitation. Make a copy of the invitation to mark and attach to the rubric, but send the original home. This completes summative assessment #1.

Day 6

Science

1. Review the scenario of the principal hurting his/her foot and now needs the class’s help in getting around the school. Review all previous simple machines using pictures,demonstration models, and vocabulary cards.

*Review how these machines can affect health and lifestyle. This review is be used as a formative assessment with affirmative "Yes, a pulley does have a wheel with a grove in it to hold the rope," and corrective, "A pulley must have a special kind of wheel to hold the rope. Do you remember what is special about the wheel?" feedback is given.

* Specifically, formative assessment should include vocabulary, examples of the machines, use of the machines, and types of machines studied to this point.

2. Continue the study of the individual simple machines with the inclined plane. The inclined plane group contains ramps, wedges and screws. A wedge is two inclined planes together. A screw is an inclined plane wrapped around a center post. The longer the inclined plane, the less force that is necessary to do work.

3. Have a variety of inclined planes available for demonstration. These may include a ramp, picture of an ax, a variety of screws, a wedge that holds a door open, etc. These are all “real world” inclined planes.

4. As you demonstrate each of the examples collected, pass them to the students for a hands-on exploration.

5. Be sure to use the correct terminology associated with inclined planes (work, force, load, center post, wedge, screw, ramp, center post, inclined plane) while demonstrating. When a new word is used, add the vocabulary card and definition to a pocket chart or word wall. These will be used each day while reviewing.

6. Use the teacher Web resource, Simple Machines Made Simple. The inclined plane link will give a definition and multiple examples of an inclined plane. The screw link will give a definition and multiple examples of a screw. The wedge link will give a definition and multiple examples of a wedge. Be sure to use the correct terminology associated with inclined planes (work, force, load, inclined plane, wedge, screw, threads, bolt, center post).

7. Have multiple references available for further research of inclined planes, screws, and wedges. Review your modeling of using various references to find science information. Have students use the reference materials available to find information on inclined planes.

* Elicit responses from students or groups as to how the information from the different sources compared. Teacher discretion may be used when deciding the appropriate review procedure for the class. Be sure to use books, encyclopedias, electronic encyclopedias, and the Internet.

* By daily rotation of the various reference materials, all students can have an opportunity to use all references.

8. Model and discuss how inclined planes, including screws and wedges, could affect the health or lifestyle of individuals. Some examples are: 1. Moving heavy things like a heavy cooler into the back of a truck. 2. Chopping wood for the fireplace. 3. Doctors inserting a plate and screws to hold a broken bone together. Elicit suggestions from students as to how an inclined plane, screw, and wedge could affect students' health or lifestyle. Elicit suggestions for how an inclined plane could be used to help the principal with the hurt foot get around the school.

* Remember to include how the machines may hinder health and lifestyle. Examples may include: An accident could occur if an item on a ramp is not controlled. It may slide down the ramp and injure workers. A knife could be used as a weapon rather than a helpful tool.

9. Review all 6 simple machines and how they affect health and lifestyle. Review the use of the reference materials. This review prepares students for Summative Assessment #2, -Simple Machines- that will be administered on Day 7.

Day 7

1. Give Summative Assessment #2, Simple Machines.

2. This completes the activities addressed in this lesson plan. However, Day 7 also contains activities from the lesson plan, My Machine, which is the second and final lesson plan in this unit.

Assessments

Information on implementing the assessments can be found in associated files to the unit plan, How Can We Move Our Principal? See Extensions for a link to the unit.

Day 1 - Diagnostic Assessment, How Can We Move Our Principal?
This assessment should be administered before any content instruction is given. Use the results from the diagnostic to plan your lessons.

Day 4 - Summative Assessment #1: You Are Invited.
Students write an invitation to their parents (or other possible visitors) to come to school and view the culmination activity. The invitation must include when (date and time), where (school and area used for the display), and an expository description of the activity they will be attending. A rubric is used to score the student’s ability to write this invitation.

Day 5 - Summative Assessment #2: Simple Machine.
Identified standards are addressed multiple times using both short answer and multiple choice. It is scored using the percentage correct.


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.

Extensions

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 unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, “Associated Files.” This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

2. This is lesson one of two lessons from the unit, How Can We Move Our Principal?

3. Before going to P.E., ask students to locate simple machines that are used in the P.E. area. They should be able to tell you the common name for the machine, the type of machine it is, and how it is used. For example, students may recognize a dolly as a lever that is used by the P.E. teacher to move the box of equipment.

4. If you have an agreeable principal or other well known faculty member, students could test their hypothesis as to how to move this adult using various simple machines.

5. Students can make a model of a screw by following the procedures in the associated files.

6. Students can experience the effects of a wedge by following the procedures described in the associated files for the activity, Corny Wedge.

7. Vocabulary cards can be used as manipluatives during review, with students matching words to definitions or words to descriptions.

8. Vocabulary squares can be used for students to draw a picture of each vocabulary word.

9. During reviews, students can use the transparencies to identify various machines and their parts.

10. An author's chair can be used for sharing completed invitations.

Web Links

This lesson is an introduction to the six simple machines. It is an excellent teacher resource as well as an instructional tool for students.
>Simple Machines Made Simple

This site has a variety of links to resources for student research.
Search results for simple machines

This site is a resource for student research of the various simple machines.
Simple Machines

This site is a good resource for student research into simple machines.
Inventor's Toolbox

Students can use this site to begin their search of simple machines. The words, simple machines, must be typed into the search box.
Encarta

This site is a good resource for student research of simple machines.
Dirtmeister's Science Reports

Teachers will want to use this site for additional activities. Various experiments using simple machines are presented.
Marvelous Machines

This teacher resource gives information on the teaching strategy of Think-Pair-Share.
Think-Pair-Share

This teacher resource aids in locating desired books from Florida public schools. Searches are conducted by county and results tell which schools in the selected county have a copy of the desired book. Books are located by subject, author, or title.
SUNLINK

This student search engine is useful for student research of simple machines.
Fact Monster

Attached Files

Vocabulary     File Extension: pdf

List of Standards Taught and Assessed     File Extension: pdf

Lever Poster     File Extension: pdf

Wheel and Axle Poster     ;File Extension: pdf

Pulley Poster     File Extension: pdf

Inclined Plane Poster     File Extension: pdf

Screw Poster     File Extension: pdf

Wedge Poster     File Extension: pdf

Invitation Prewrite     File Extension: pdf

Making a Screw Instructions     File Extension: pdf

Corny Wedges Instructions     ;File Extension: pdf

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