Simple Machines

Simple Machines – Unit Brief

(Carmel Denniss and Michele Williams, St Charles School)


Week 1

What is a machine? How do machines move? Where do we use machines in our everyday life? Why?

Pre-test to gain understanding of students prior knowledge

Students (partners) to explore . Students read definition of each type of machine and explore the examples provided.

Show students the film “COG” and then a slideshow on different types of machines (complex and simple).

Students given examples of simple machines, and asked to in terms or purpose, design, etc


Week 2:

Sort and classify simple machine images

With a partner explore Edheads ‘Simple Machines’ website site. Students explore each of the four rooms in the house to find the 10 simple machines in each room.

Immersion links - Toilet machine - video 1 – 2

Excursion to Luna Park – observe simple machines in action. Draw and take photos of the simple machines in each ride.

Week 3-4

Luna Park Art Response – Children select a ride from the ‘box’ to paint and label

ICT: Use Luna Park images and imovie (Apple Mac) to begin to create a Luna Park movie. Include free talk and oral descriptions/poetry.

Simple machine stations. Small groups to work in different activities (research, experimentation and play using each simple machine, website exploration)

Literacy: Students to write a procedural recount for one of their experimentation sessions


Week 5

How do we design a ride using simple machines? How do I evaluate the effectiveness of my design? How will I test and retest to make sure my design is effective?

Children to design a model of a ride that uses at least 2 simple machines in its design eg an inclined plane and a lever.

Designs discussed and modifications suggested by peers changes to be made in final design drawing -on A3 paper- include a list of materials needed on side of sketch. Detach list from design and take home.

All-day design and make

10 minute writing topics as follow up/ reflection topics

1. How did you feel about your design and make task/day?

2. Did you manage to recreate your design exactly as you planned?

3. Did you fulfil the design brief by using as many simple machines as you thought you would?