Monday, October 24, 2011

Annotated Bib - Simple Machines Help Ease the Burden of Work

Simple machines make it easier for humans to do work by reducing the required energy to move, lift, place, and\or pull objects.

The following list of books will serve as reference material for student whom are new to the world of simple machines.

Levers.  Auths. David & Patricia Armentrout. The Rourke Press, Inc. (2009) 24 pages (9781606945209) Gr. 3-5
An introductory look into the components and classes of levers.

Screws. Anne Welsbacher. Bridgestone Books.(2006). 24 pages (9780736849487) Gr. 3-4
Introduction to the screw.  Illustrations on how the screw is an inclined plane wrapped around a cylinder.

Pulleys. Anne Welsbacher. Bridgestone Books.(2001). 24 pages (9780736806121) Gr. 3-4
Introduction to the pulley. This book illustrates the components and various applications for this simple machine.

Inclined Planes. Anne Welsbacher. Bridgestone Books. (2006). 24 pages (9780736849484) Gr. 3-4
Introduction to the inclined plane.  This book shows the reader the different ways to identify an inclined plane from steps to ramps to winding mountain roads.

Gear Up! Marvelous Machine Projects. Auth. Keith Good. Lerner Publications Company. (2003). 32 pages (9780822535669) Gr. 3-5

This book has several activities that the students can use what they have learned about simple machines to build working models.  I think that these would be great for small group projects and/or a differentiated activity for the gifted student.

The following links contain some great interactive games to help students test their knowledge and apply important concepts about simple machines.

Edheads - Simple Machines
This interactive game allows students to explore and test their knowledge of simple machines by identifying a simple machine, matching to a type of simple machine, then by showing an illustration of how it works.  Activity Sheets for the students to complete after they play the interactive web quest.

Lever Class identification - Interactive Game
This interactive game has the student drag the type of lever and drop in into the bin representing the correct class.  In a paired grouping, students could compete for the best score, learning as they try to out-do one another.

Edheads - Odd Machines Web Quest
Another great interactive game from Edheads.

Goldburger To Go! Not SO Simple Machines
Students will use their knowledge of simple machines to tweak the contraption to reach the objective!

Museum of Science and Industry - Simple Machine Game
Students will test their knowledge of simple machines by simulating 4 tasks using different simple machines while trying to use the least amount of force.

For Teachers
3.2 The student will investigate and understand simple machines and their uses. Key concepts include

a) purpose and function of simple machines;
b) types of simple machines;
c) compound machines; and
d) examples of simple and compound machines found in the school, home, and work environments

Understanding the Standard
Background Information for Instructor Use Only

  • Simple machines are tools that make work easier. Examples of tasks made easier include lifting a heavy weight, moving a heavy object over a distance, pushing things apart, changing the direction of a force, or holding an object together.
  • The six simple machines are the lever, inclined plane, wedge, wheel and axle, screw, and pulley.
  • The lever is a stiff bar that moves about a fixed point (fulcrum). It is a simple machine that is used to push, pull, or lift things. Examples include a seesaw, crowbar, and shovel.
  • The inclined plane is a flat surface that is raised so one end is higher than the other. The inclined plane helps move heavy objects up or down. An example is a ramp.
  • The wedge is wide at one end and pointed at the other to help cut or split other objects. Examples include a knife or ax.
  • The wheel and axle consists of a rod attached to a wheel. A wheel and axle makes it easier to move or turn things. Examples include bicycle wheels, roller skates, and a door knob.
  • The screw is an inclined plane wrapped around a cylinder or cone. A common use of the screw is to hold objects together. Examples include a jar lid and wood screw.
  • The pulley is a wheel that has a rope wrapped around it. Pulleys can be used to lift heavy objects by changing the direction or amount of the force. Examples include a flagpole.
  • A compound machine is a combination of two or more simple machines.

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