Days 6 & 7

Objective:   To provide activities to introduce the simple machines:  lever and inclined plane.

Materials: large board, brick, pencils, ruler, dictionary, variety of objects to push or pull down an inclined plane, hand trucks and a variety of levers, chart paper, pulleys

Large group science activity:

• Provide a large board and a brick.
• Ask students to come up in small groups to predict and experiment ways to lift the teacher.
• Discuss this process as using a lever.
• Write the terms on the board and discuss meanings.
Center activities:
Explain and demonstrate each center activity and allow students to explore each center.
• Center 1: Getting a Little Leverage.  Provide three rulers made into a triangle.  Ask students to predict best way to lift a large dictionary with the connected rulers.  Show how to move fulcrum to change ease of operation.

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• Center 2:- Keep on Truckin'.  Use hand trucks and different items to move up an inclined plane such as a wheel chair ramp.  Ask students to explain how this simple machine makes work easier (because the load is moved over a greater distance, less force is needed).

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• Center 3: Roll With It.   Use a variety of objects to push or roll down an inclined plane. Use different fulcrums to note difference.

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• Center 4: Moving to New Heights.  Move the inclined plane to different heights to note ease of operation. Have students predict and then check to see what type of inclined planes are the easiest and most difficult to move up.  Ask students to use what they learned to make generalizations about ramps for wheel chairs.

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• Center 5:  Our Levers Have Class. Provide different kinds of levers for students to discuss uses: teeter totter, nutcracker, broom, and shovel.  Ask students to discuss and write uses of the lever.

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• Center 6: Build a Lever.  Provide materials for students to create levers and inclined planes.  Ask students to describe uses of their simple machines.
Language arts connection:
Social studies connection:
• Present the use of the inclined plane by ancient Egyptians in building the pyramids.
• Briefly discuss the civilization and locate it on the map or globe.
Math and science connections:
• Have students work in small groups to construct a playground for the Littles.
• Review how gravity, force, and friction all play a role in making these items work.
Language arts activity:
• Read and discuss chapter five and six of the novel.  Point out that the bicycle uses a wheel and axle.
• Ask students to use their "junk items" to create a trash city.
Fine arts connection:
• Explain why people use simple machines (to make work easier).
• Tell students that long ago when people had to work together to complete a task such as rowing or laying a railroad they would often sing to help everyone to move together rhythmically.  Some rowing teams still chant as they row.
• Have students listen to some of these rhythmic chants.
• Discuss what simple machines were used to lay the railroad track and how music helped to accomplish the task.
• Extend this activity by having students develop their own rhythmic pattern.
Assessment:
To determine student assessment about knowledge of levers, ask each group to fill in a chart such as the one below:
A Hundred Ways to Lever Your Lever
 Task Best Tool Where is the Force Applied? Nail Puller Open the Can Lifter Uplifting Levers

 Day 8

 Day 9

 Objective:   To provide activities to introduce concepts about the wedge.  Reinforce the simple machines with continued activities.   Materials:  kitchen tools, Doctor DeSoto by William Steig, scavenger hunt sheet, musical instruments   Large group activity:    Explain to the class that a wedge and screw are variations of the inclined plane.  Show examples and discuss uses of the wedge and screw.  Tell the class that in nature water frozen in a rock acts like a wedge forcing the rock to break apart and weather.  Early man's first weapons were wooden spears hardened by fire.  Later people developed their skills and began working weapons out of stone.  Hand held axes were used to dig up roots, carve wood, and prepare game animals.  Wedges provide an effective instrument for dividing materials because it exerts a great deal of sideward pressure in both directions as it enters an object.  Certainly, one of the most important uses for the wedge is the plow (Paul, 1983).   Small group activity:   Show and briefly discuss varied kitchen tools.  Let students divide into cooperative groups to identify the simple machines and discuss uses of the kitchen tools.   Language arts connection:   Present the book Doctor DeSoto by William Steig.  The book has many simple machines including pulley and lever.   Large group activity:   Have a simple machine scavenger hunt to culminate review of the simple machines.  Let students go in pairs or small groups to list simple machines.  The classroom, school, and playground would be good locations for the hunt.   Centers:   Use the varied kitchen tools that are simple machines to create some cooking centers and/or a play kitchen center using the kitchen utensils.   Language arts activity:   Read and discuss the conclusion of the book.  Chapter nine involves the making of paper airplanes.   Science connection:   Discuss how a paper airplane is a type of wedge.  Have students predict which will travel further: a pointed nose or flat nosed airplane.  Discuss the use of the wedge to reduce friction.   Musical connection:   Have a variety of musical instruments.  Ask students to identify what simple machines are present in these instruments.  Make a list of each instrument and the simple machines that are evident.   Social studies connection:   Examine how wedges have aided man historically.  Examples are stone knife, arrow heads, wooden stakes to stretch hides.  Ask students to list the many varied and unusual ways that wedges were used in the past.  Compare this list with today's uses.

 Day 10