Lesson Plan : Designing a Simple Machine

Teacher Name:
 Grade 5

 Simple Machines
 Force, Gravity, and Velocity
 Students will be able to formulate a model and test the results. Students will use the following science process skills: Formulating a model, Predicting , Observing, and finally, Inferring.
 Students will be able to formulate a model to show force, gravity, and velocity.
 Each group of three needs four wooden dowels, 1 piece of cardboard, 4 clips, a meter stick, a quarter, penny, and a ramp.
 What makes things move? How can you design a car that moves on its own? Start by making a car with wheels that turn smoothly. Dowels and binder clips make good axles and bearings.
 One person from each group comes to the table to get the supplies needed to construct their simple machine. Students have a copy of "Models and Designs" to get ideas but not to copy. The most important factor is their simple machines must roll. The wheels must turn.
 After their vehicle is constructed, I ask students to predict whether their vehicle will travel further with the quarter or the penny. Then they will increase the steepness of the ramp by putting more books underneath one end. What is your prediction now? Students write predictions in activity log. After making predictions, students will follow the rest of the directions recording their observations.As students are working, I will walk around the room and ask higher level thinking questions. How is force, gravity and velocity related to this activity? Compare and contrast the length the vehicle travels with the quarter and with the penny. Explain. Describe what force changed the velocity of this simple machine.
 I have one student who can not work in groups, so he works independently. He still can perform the test and report the results.
Checking For Understanding:
 Students should be able to explain that the car can't fall straight down because the ramp is in the way. The force of gravity changes into 2 different forces, a force pulling the car against the ramp, and a force pulling the car down the ramp. The penny causes the car to travel further and faster because the quarter slows the velocity of the vehicle.
 One person from each group puts all the materials back and students share what they learned about force, gravity, and velocity.
 I check recorded information in student journals as well as oral presentations. Were predictions made? What were the measured distances, and what are the conclusions.

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