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Graduated Difficulty
Lesson Plan
Physical Science
8
45+ Minutes
Katlyn Allmon

Instructional Unit Content


Standard(s)/Element(s)
Content Area Standard
S8P3. Students will investigate relationship between force, mass, and the motion of
objects.
c. Demonstrate the effect of simple machines (lever, inclined plane, pulley, wedge, screw,
and wheel and axle) on work.
TAG Standard
Higher Order and Critical Thinking Skills
4. Make and evaluate decisions using criteria

Summary/Overview
The focus of this lesson is to give students the opportunity to assess their own understanding
in regards to the identification of various types of simple machines as well as their impact on
work.

Enduring Understanding(s)
At the end of this lesson the student will understand that
a. Simple machines and compound machines exist in various forms and make work
easier for us.
b. Identify simple and complex machines in everyday life.
Essential Question(s)
How do simple machines maximize the work being done in every day life?

Revised April 2009

Concept(s) to Maintain

Simple machines do not reduce the amount of work.


Work is when a force acts through a distance.
The force must cause motion in the direction of the force for work to be done.

Different simple machines can combine to form compound or complex machines.

Evidence of Learning
What students should know:
a. The distance must be applied in the same direction as the force when work is being
calculated.
b. Work is calculated by multiplying force by distance.
c. A compound or complex machine will have more than one simple machine acting
together.
What students should be able to do:
a. Use the work calculation to solve the amount of output achieved when using a simple
machine.
b. Identify simple and complex machines within everyday items.
c. Explain how the distance and the direction of a force are necessary for calculating
work.
d. Make and evaluate decisions using criteria.
Suggested Vocabulary
Simple machines
Work
Distance
Direction
Compound/ complex machines
Force
Lever, screw, pulley, wheel and axle, inclined plane, wedge
Procedure(s)

Revised April 2009

Phase 1: Hook
1.

Imagine a house being constructed. What tools are used to accomplish the construction? Without
these tools how would the task be more difficult? Apply these thoughts to small repairs you make
to your bike, skateboard, and other household items. Discuss your ideas within small groups.

Phase 2: Acquiring Content


2.

Pose the Essential Question. How do simple machines maximize the work being done in
everyday life? Gather student responses.

Explain that today students will learn how to identify simple and complex machines and
appropriately calculate the work.
4. Use the Simple Machines Powerpoint to explain this information.
3.

Phase 3: DECIDE and Practice and DECIDE


5.

Explain You will now be given an opportunity to practice what you have learned. Because
everyone learns at a different pace, I will leave it up to you to decide which problem set is most
appropriate for you. To help you make the best choice lets consider a few questions.

Distribute the DECIDE handout and three problem sets. Provide time for students to
examine the three sets and decide which is the most appropriate challenge to complete.
7. Students will complete the problem set of their choice and check their work. Students
who quickly and accurately complete their selected set should try the next level. Students
who quickly and accurately complete Level C should create a more difficult Level D
problems and a corresponding answer sheet. They can trade problem sets with other
Level D students.
8. When all students have had an opportunity to complete and check at least one problem
set, lead the students in a discussion to identify the criteria they used to make their
choice, determine if the first choice was the best choice, and determine the
knowledge/skills needed to move to the next level.
9. Each student will establish a learning goal to improve their own achievement related to
understanding the various types of simple machines and using the W= d X F calculation.
6.

Summarizing Activity

Sum It Up!: Students will draw a simple or compound machine and include it in a
work calculation problem. Students will then explain the steps to solve the problem
and describe how accomplishing work would be more difficult without the help of
simple machines.

Resource(s)
Anchor Text(s):
Technology:

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Power point: Simple Machines


Handouts:
Handout 1:
Handout 2:
Handout 3:
Handout 4:
Handout 5:
Handout 6:

DECIDE
Level A Problem Set
Level B Problem Set
Level C Problem Set
Sum It Up!
Level A-C Keys

Revised April 2009

Determine what you know about the skill to be practiced.


What skills or knowledge do I need to identify simple machines and
calculate work?

Examine the levels of difficulty and choose the level that is best for you.
What makes one level harder than the next?

What level do you think will work best for you? Why?

Check your work. Change your level or create a new level if you
completed Level 3.
What was easy about the level you chose?
What was difficult about the level you chose?

Identify the criteria you used to make your choice.


What criteria did you use to select the level at which you wanted to
work?
If you are given another opportunity to choose the difficulty of your
class work, will you change the criteria? Why?

Determine if you made a good choice and decide what you need to
know/understand to move to the next level.
Was your choice a good one for you? Why or why not?
What do you need to know/do to move to the next level?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
Establish a goal for improvement.

Revised April 2009

Handout 2

1.

2. A box is pushed a distance 3.


of 2 meters with a force of 4
Newtons. What is the work
achieved?
W= ________ X ________
W= __________

4. A pulley lifts a basket


5.
14 meters with a force of 6
Newtons. What is the work
achieved?

6. Amy uses 20N of force to


push a lawn mower 10
meters. What is the work
achieved?

W= ________ X ________

W= ________ X ________

W= __________

W= __________

7.

8. You carry a 20 N bag of


dog food up a 6 m flight of
stairs. How much work did
you do?

9.

W= ________ X ________
W= __________

Simple Machine Identification/ Work Calculation A

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Handout 3

1.

2. A student pushed a
TV cart a distance of
20 Meters using a
force of
12 Newtons. How
much work did he do
in moving that cart?

4. Tommy does 15
5.
Joules of work to
push the pencil over
1 meter. How much
force did he use?

3.

6. Angela uses a
force of 25 Newtons
to lift her grocery
bag while doing 50
Joules of work. How
far did she lift the
grocery bags?

8. A 900N mountain
9.
climber scales a
100m cliff. How much
work is done by the
mountain climber?

7.

Simple Machine Identification/ Work Calculation B

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Handout 4

1.

Which is more work,


pushing with 115 N
over 15 m or lifting
20 N 10 m?

4.

Revised April 2009

2.

3.
It takes 25 N of force to
slide the box up the ramp,
how much work has been
exerted?

5. Six marines use a series of


pulleys, called a block and
tackle, to pull a very heavy
(24000 Newton) HUMVEE
out of a sandpit. In doing
so, they must pull 100
meters of rope through the
pulley system. How much
work do they do in
completing the task?

6.

7.
Six marines use a series of
pulleys, called a block and
tackle, to pull a very heavy
(24000 Newton) HUMVEE
out of a sandpit. In doing
so, they must pull 100
meters of rope through the
pulley system. How much
work does each marine do
in completing the task?

8.

9.
It will take 3000 Joules of
energy to push a large
moving box up a ramp and
into the back of a truck. If
the length of the ramp is 15
meters, how much force
will be required to
accomplish this task?

Simple Machine Identification/ Work Calculation C

Handout 5
Sum It Up!

Draw a simple or compound machine below. Incorporate a work problem using the
machine you chose.

Describe the steps learned today that


need to be taken to solve your work
problem and solve it.

Explain the increase in work and


difficulties encountered without the use
of the machine above.

How do simple machines maximize the work being done in everyday life?
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Handout 6
Answers A
1. Wedge
2. 8 J
3. Screw
4. 84 J
5. Pulley
6. 200 J
7. Inclined Plane
8. 120 J
9. Screw
Answers B
1. Lever, wedge
2. 240 J
3. Lever, wedge
4. 15 N
5. Wheel and axle, screw
6. 2 m
7. Pulley, wedge (hook)
8. 90,000 J
9. Wheel and axle, screw (swivel)
Answer C
1. Pushing with 115 N over 15 m (1725 J)
2. Pulley, lever, lever/ wedge, inclined plane, pulley
3. 500 J
4. Pulley, lever, lever, lever, pulley, lever, pulley, lever
5. 2400000 J

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6.
7.
8.
9.

Lever, pulley, lever, pulley, lever, wedge (sickle), lever (clock)


400000 J
Pulley, lever, wheel and axle, pulley, inclined plane, lever
200 N

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