Simple Machines unit Jan-Mar 2012

SIMPLE MACHINES UNIT Jan 2012, some updates 2014 & 15.- Ray Myrtle
Work with Ray to learn and share more about this unit in the ‘science group‘ at
This page is designed to be a revision of the Fall 2011 Simple Machines Unit.
Here is a link to a spreadsheet with a summary of all the Grade 5 Sc Outcomes((2008)1.xls
and open to the Science page, so you can get a quick check on what is expected.
New Curriculum outcomes 2015: NewBC-Science_learning_standards-August-2015.pdf

Latest Simple Machines Unit Plan in backwards design format: (note day by day plan is on the last page).
(schedule for 1 lesson/wk) Simple Machine Lesson order from Sim Mach UBD(Term2)Begbie.docx
(2 lessons/wk) Sim Mach UBD(term2)SSv2.docx French version: Sim Mach UBD(term2)SSv2-fr.docx

To download these pictures in your own flip lesson, go to the Pages and Files link on the left side-to download, you will need to be a member of the wiki- (click on ‘join now’ on the top left).

Lesson 1- Graph the Class:

  • To learn how to put information into a graph and label it.
  • To learn to read a graph and make a conclusion.

Download the lesson description adapted from Ray’s ‘The First Week of School’ booklet: Graph The Class instructions for Simple Machines unit.doc

Download* the #2 & #3 blackline masters from here.
*FYI- The reason for the insistence on following the directions in the text (which might not be appropriate at other times), is that this excerpt is written to be used during the first week of school, when learning to complete a graph was NOT as important as the underlying goals for this activity: 1) to establish following directions,(if students don’t follow your directions during the first week, they never will!) 2). to quickly gain an assessment of students’ writing ability, and ability to infer.

Lesson 2- Static Friction Experiment watch the description of what to do here
The purposes of this lesson are:

  • to introduce the idea of friction, which will affect future experiments,
  • and do the experiment carefully in order to get reproducible results,
  • to learn record data and draw a labeled diagram of the results right away

The link is

Lesson #6 Inclined Plane Experiment

The purpose of this experiment is to illustrate about a key characteristic of simple machines: they change distance in to force.
We will find the difference in the amount of force needed to lift a weight straight up or lift it up on an inclined plane.
How to measure with a ruler (note start at 2:45 minutes- the part before that is about the imperial system.

Lesson #7 Inclined Plane Vocabulary

Lesson #8 2nd Inclined Plane Experiment- Changing the slope of the inclined plane

This experiment is an extension activity –
#8 Inclined Plane Exp.doc

  • to use data to make a prediction or hypothesis and test it.
  • to use data to analyse- eg how much does friction change the force on the inclined plane (if they had time to do the force on the flat)
    to provide an extension activity for those ready for it, and enable the teacher to focus upon those who need to work further on the first inclined plane experiment

I’m going to try to do a video on how to think about the ideas in this experiment. I’ve removed old #8 video.

Lesson #9 The Wedge

Lesson #10 The Screw

Image of screw

#11 Wheel and Axle:
The wheel is a wonderful invention that reduces friction. Usually in that case the wheel spins on the axle.
However when the wheel is FIXED to the axle it is can change distance into force.
Here is the vocabulary:

Note: one word is missing: circumference= the distance around a circle (the length of the outside)
Here is the video about the Wheel & Axle:
Here is a video about measuring with a ruler (use from 2:45- the early part is the imperial system.)
Wheel & Axle Activity V.2
Here is a rough copy for collection of data.
wheel & axle, screw exp V2.doc
Download a description of the experiment using starbucks cups.
#11 Wheel & Axle Exp-2.doc

#13 Compound Machine Lesson