# Simple Machines Unit: Hands-On Activities on Levers

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)

Then we went on to do a bunch of hands-on activities.  The kids used a ruler as a lever to lift up a book. They moved the fulcrum to different place to see where it was easiest to lift the book:

We the did this exact same activity outside… lifting Mom!! The kids absolutely loved this!!

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!

We made a set of jaws… showing how our mouth acts like a third class lever:

And we also showed how our arms are third class levers. The string was our muscle and the load is in the hand.

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. Simple Machines Packet Quick Preview. You can also purchase it in Our Store.

Here is one of the interactive-notebook pages:

Simple Machines Booklet: This is a booklet all about the six types of simple machines: lever, wheel and axle, inclined plane, wedge, pulley and screw. It also covers the three classes of levers.

Kids can trace the key words and color in the pictures. The booklet is 14 half-pages. (Directions on how to put the booklet together are provided.)

If you are interested, you can purchase this packet with the button below or by visiting Our Store.

Simple Machines Packet Quick Preview

The cost of the Simple Machines packet is \$5.99.

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link!

\$5.99

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.

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link!

Simple Machine Sort:

Other Hands-On Activities from Our Simple Machines Unit:

Other Science Packets and Materials That Might be of Interest:

or check out our Big Animal BUNDLE here:

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Happy Homeschooling!

~Liesl

### 14 Responses

1. November 11, 2013

[…] went into quite a bit of detail about the three classes of levers. These are some pages that explain what those three classes are and has them identify the fulcrum, […]

2. November 11, 2013

[…] went into quite a bit of detail about the three classes of levers. These are some pages that explain what those three classes are and has them identify the fulcrum, […]

3. November 12, 2013

[…] the lever – lots of hands-on activities including lifting Mom, creating a moving arm (lever) with “muscles” and more […]

4. November 12, 2013

[…] the lever – lots of hands-on activities including lifting Mom, creating a moving arm (lever) with “muscles” and more […]

5. November 15, 2013

[…] the lever […]

6. November 15, 2013

[…] the lever […]

7. November 21, 2013

[…] the lever […]

8. November 21, 2013

[…] the lever […]

9. August 16, 2014

[…] Simple Machines […]

10. August 16, 2014

[…] Simple Machines […]

11. August 23, 2014

[…] way to believe in the strength of levers (in a Simple Machines Unit) than by lifting Mom!! (See more Lever Activities here and be sure to download our free Simple Machines Packet (about 25 […]

12. August 23, 2014

[…] way to believe in the strength of levers (in a Simple Machines Unit) than by lifting Mom!! (See more Lever Activities here and be sure to download our free Simple Machines Packet (about 25 […]

13. September 16, 2014

[…] went into quite a bit of detail about the three classes of levers. These are some pages that explain what those three classes are and has them identify the fulcrum, […]

14. September 16, 2014

[…] went into quite a bit of detail about the three classes of levers. These are some pages that explain what those three classes are and has them identify the fulcrum, […]