Make Work Easier!
Main Subject Area: Science
Duration of Lesson: 45 minutes
Additional Subject Area Standard(s):
Students will describe examples of levers in their lives.
1 cent (penny)
Pencil or crayon
6 inch ruler
Coins Used in Lesson:
Grade Level(s): K-2
Machines help you do things you might not be able to do like lift heavy objects. Simple machines have few or no moving parts. Complex machines are made up of many simple machines. Examples of complex machines are things like cars, washing machines and clocks.
2. Explain to your students that they will make an example of one simple machine called a lever. A lever helps you pick up things that are heavy.
3. On the board, draw an example of a see-saw with a heavy object and a light object on the side. Tell the students to guess what would happen if you put the objects on the ends of the see-saw.
4. Label the board as the lever and the center point (stand) as the fulcrum.
5. Show students the materials each pair will be using.
6. Explain that each pair will create their own lever using the pencil as the fulcrum and the ruler as the lever. They will put a penny on one end and a nickel on the other end and see what happens. Have students get their materials and perform the experiment.
Note: At this point the teacher may wish to mention that the law specifies compositional "tolerances" for each denomination. Coins may get a bit lighter over time due to wear.
7. When everyone has had a chance to see what happens, discuss with the students:
- Which coin is lighter? (penny)
- What happened to the coin that was lighter? (it went up in the air)
- Why did this happen? (the weight of the heavier coin is pushing down on the end of the lever)
- What are some other examples of levers? (see-saw, shovel, pulling a nail out with a hammer)
Assessment / Evaluation:
Differentiated Learning Options: