Simple Machines Unit Study Plans

We’re still going strong with our bird unit over here, but I am planning our next unit study. When I asked Animal Lover what she would like to study next, she said TV. I think a unit study on Inventors/Inventions will work well for that. However, I decided we’ll study simple machines first, which should lead us nicely into inventors/inventions. Here’s a list of the resources and activities I’m planning on using so far.

Books

I’m still really missing the library! Currently, our libraries are not opening until the end of June, and then who knows in what capacity. It would be amazing even to have the option to request books and pick them up. But we’ll work with what we have. Here is what I gathered, except for one book that snuck over to the music category.

  • Simple Machines (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by D. J. Ward and Mike Lowery
  • Simple Machines: Wheels, Levers, and Pulleys by David A. Adler and Anna Raff
  • How Machines Work: Zoo Break! by David Macaulay
  • See Inside How Things Work by Conrad Mason and Colin King
  • On the Construction Site – Shine-a-Light Book by Carron Brown and Bee Johnson

Music

I have to admit I was a bit stumped on adding music to this unit. That was until I was gathering books, which made me think of our Mike Mulligan audiobook. In the Maestro Classic series (which we love), the Mike Mulligan story is read and set to music by Stephan Simon and performed by The London Philharmonic. The kids enjoy all of the CDs in this series, but this is a favorite. We rotate between these, Magic Tree House audiobooks and Holy Heroes Glory Stories for our car ride to and from our hybrid. They pick Mike Mulligan over and over. They will be so excited to listen to it again since we haven’t heard it in at least two months now! I also found a few kid songs about simple machines.


Videos

The kids all love Cat in the Hat, so I was excited to see they have an episode about simple machines. I also found another PBS video as well as a video called “Working Together,” which is about compound machines and had a very School House Rock/ 70ish vibe to it, though not as musical and fun as School House Rock. The kids love School House Rock and old cartoons, so I’m sure they’ll enjoy that one.

Activities

For activities, we will first build simple machines with household supplies. I think I will make up some scenarios of jobs that need to get done and see what the kids can come up with. For example, “Use simple machines to move this toy car from the floor to the coffee table.” I also made us a template for a lapbook, a scavenger hunt, and some sorting cut and paste worksheets. I’ll put links to download at the bottom of the post for anyone who wants copies.

  • Build our own simple machines
  • Simple Machines Lap Book
  • Simple Machines Scavenger Hunt
  • Simple Machines cut and paste worksheets

Games

I couldn’t think of how any of our games could be related to simple machines, so I made two that we will play. One is a board game, where you need to name what type of simple machine each object is, and the other is a matching memory game. We don’t have mousetrap, but I bet that would be a good one to play. I was sick of bingo from the birds, or I would have made a bingo game. I thought we would change it up with these two instead.

  • simple machine board game
  • simple machine memory match

So there are all the plans for the Simple Machines unit. We’ll be finishing up birds this week and will probably start this on Monday. I’ve been saving the owl pellet dissection for this weekend, so Mike can watch Purpleicious while Animal Lover and Chaosman do it.

Simple Machine Printables

Click on the button or picture below to download the printables. If you end up using any, let me know how they work for you!

3 thoughts on “Simple Machines Unit Study Plans

  1. Hi, Mary.
    Thank you for your beautiful sharing. I did download this mMachines unit things all. How great Mom you are!! Oh..your 3kids are lucky with you. I am very impressed with your works.

    Yes! Parenting is most beautiful things in ordinarythings. I will be back and follow after playing this job with my 2 girls.

    Have a Great day!

    From Erin Hyun

    Liked by 1 person

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