We started a unit on Simple Machines several weeks ago. I thought I’d share the first set of hands on activities we did on levers and the three classes of levers.
We started our unit going over the six types of simple machines. Since I have kids of varying levels I made several sheets (matching, tracing and fill in the blanks). In the end, this turned out to be useful since we’ve spent so long on this unit. We’ve used all three sheets as review and they added them to their science notebooks.
The first book we read was How Do You Lift a Lion? (Affiliate link) It was a great way to introduce several of the simple machines (lever, wheel and axle, pulley)
We also did some readings from our science book and the kids did this matching page on the 6 types of Simple Machines (which is in the simple machines packet that I made):
We read about levers first from a science book and also read Scoop, Seesaw, and Raise: A Book About Levers (Affiliate Link)
The next day we talked about the different classes of levers on this sheet I made.
Then we went on to sort various things from around the house into the different classes:
- First Class Lever: A balance
- Second Class Lever: Nail Clippers, Nut Cracker
- Third Class Lever: Tweezers, Tongs, Fishing Pole
We talked about some of the terminology (fulcrum, load, effort) and the kids had to draw these in on one of the pages I made (you’ll find those simple machine worksheets here):
We spent another day doing some other activities relating to levers. We used a lot of ideas from the book, Janice VanCleave’s Machines (affiliate link). We talked about third class levers and did an activity trying to get the ring on the bottle. They liked that! Of course, I reinforced that the fulcrum was at the end of the stick, the effort was their hand where they held the stick and the load was (hopefully) at the end of the string when they got the ring on the bottle!
LD immediately went upstairs to make his arm into a warning device!! When someone pulled the string (from the other side of the door), the arm swung down and knocked off the wooden cube which fell onto the bell and rang it!
Don’t miss our Simple Machines Packet! You can find out more about what is included at this post: Simple Machines Packet or you can purchase it using the link below.
The cost of this packet is $3.50.
Once you pay for this packet, you will immediately receive a link to download this file (which will open in a browser window). You will also receive an email from Sendowl (the service I use) to your Paypal email address, which will have a link you can click on to download the Simple Machines unit. (It will say, “You can download your digital products…” with a clickable link. It may take a few moments to arrive.) Be sure to check your spam folder for that email. Of course, if you have any issues just email me at — Liesl at homeschoolden dot com. You can also reach me by using the contact form on the blog or by replying to the SendOwl email.
Other Hands-On Activities from Our Simple Machines Unit:
- Rocks and Minerals Packet
- Human Body Systems – This post also has links to a number of different worksheet sets I made on the digestive system, etc.
- Montessori Science — A post that links to some of the free Montessori 3-part cards I have made for the kids
- Animal Unit: Vertebrates-Invertebrates Worksheet Packet