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Content Area Literacy

Text Set
By: Laurie Shapiro
Theme and SOLs

 Theme: Force, Motion, and Energy

 Grade: Third
 Sols addressed:
 3.2 The student will investigate and understand simple machines and their
uses. Key concepts include
a) purpose and function of simple machines;
b) types of simple machines;
d) examples of simple and compound machines found in the school, home,
and work environments.

 The texts chosen as part of this assignment serve to support the theme and
related SOLs . The theme was chosen in effort to explore ways in which
literacy can be intertwined with science. Each book was carefully selected to
foster understanding of the purpose, function, and real-life application of the
six simple machines. Engaging in authentic texts that relate to student’s lives
is one way that such understanding is accomplished. The books provided are
sorted by guided reading level. Guided reading books that are below grade
level apply to readers in pre-kindergarten through second grade levels. Grade
level books are suitable for students reading at a third grade status. Above
grade level books includes those that are fitting for fourth through sixth grade
readers. Each grade level contains a book that describes the six types of
simple machines, explains how they are used and how they function, and
displays how simple machines are used in everyday life.
Anchor Text

 Scott Foresman Science by Pearson Education, Inc.

 This book is marketed for readers in the third grade.
 Fountas and Pinnell guided reading levels for third grade
students include N,O, and P
Linguistic Materials: Below Grade Level

 Canizares, S. (1999). Simple Machines. Scholastic.

This book is marketed to fit the needs of guided readers on level B. Simple machines
are explored through rhyming texts and photographs. The book discusses the ways in
which various simple machines perform tasks. In this way, reading about tasks in a
familiar language format (rhyming) serves to capture the attention of readers to
provide information, while meeting their linguistic needs.

 Dahl, M. (2002). Levers. London: Watts.

This nonfiction book is appropriate for students reading at a guided reading level E. It
is part of a series of books that focus on each type of simple machine. It is a great
way showing variations of levers as simple machines, as it describes the various types,
ways of using, and advantages of levers. This is an excellent book that focuses on one
type of simple machine. In this way, students are given an in- depth, and complete
knowledge of the subject.
Linguistic Materials: Below Grade Level

 Dahl, M., & Shea, D. (2006). Pull, Lift, and Lower: A Book About Pulleys.
Minneapolis, MN: Picture Window Books.
This nonfiction book is appropriate for students reading at a guided reading level E. It
is a great fantastic way of showing different pulleys as simple machines, as it
describes the diverse types, ways of using, and advantages of pulleys. For example, it
shows ways that flagpoles, cranes, elevators, and window blinds are all pulleys. This is
an excellent book that focuses on one type of simple machine. In this way, students
are exposed to a thorough understanding of the subject.

 Dahl, M., & Shea, D. (2006). Scoop, Seesaw, and Raise: A Book About Levers.
Minneapolis, MN: Picture Window Books.
This nonfiction book is appropriate for students reading at a guided reading level E. It
is part of a series that focus on each type of simple machines. This book includes
examples that explain the functioning of levers. It also includes an activity, that can
serve to further engage students.
Linguistic Materials: Below Grade Level

 Wells, R. (2013). How Do You Lift A

Lion? New York: Weigal.
This book can be used for a guided reading
level E student. It is an excellent
informational and humorous book, which
captures the attention of a young reader.
The questions posed are engaging (how do
you lift a lion?), and explanations clearly
describe how simple machines can be used
as solutions. The back of the book includes
a glossary of terms and additional
examples, which is great for educational
Linguistic Materials: Grade Level

 Adler, D. (2015). Simple Machines: Wheels, Levers, and Pulleys. Scholastic.

This book is perfect for third grade readers, as it is a guided reading level P. This book was chosen
because it does a fantastic job of showing students how they use simple machines every single
day. For example, it gives explains that teeth and forks are wedges, while slides are inclined
planes. In this way, the book serves to activate student prior knowledge when introducing new
scientific vocabulary and facts. The book is also engaging in that it is a picture book that contains
three main characters: two children and their cat. In this way, learning science takes on an
intriguing story telling aspect.

 Furgang, K. (2013). Pulleys. Scholastic.

This book is for a guided reading level P students. It is perfect for incorporating into a language
block guided reading, as including content information for other subjects is a fantastic way of
fostering integration of knowledge. This particular guided reading book describes what a pulley
is, and how it is used by people in various circumstances. It also includes 20 highlighted
vocabulary words, additional information about the simple machine, and accompanying
Linguistic Materials: Grade Level

 Macaulay, D. (2015). How Machines Work: Zoo

Break! London: Dorling Kindersley Limited.
David Macaulay is a Caldecott Medal honoree and a
winner of the MacArthur Fellowship for his books
and illustrations. This book, which is a guided
reading level p, is nothing short of award winning
material as well! Marketed for children between
the ages of seven and ten, this story follows zoo
animals that show children how simple machines
work. This is an excellent way to evoke interest in
the six simple machines: levers, pulleys, inclined
planes, wedges, screws, and wheels. In its 32
pages, the book also contains pop-ups, pull outs,
lift the flaps, and an interactive compound
machine on the cover. These elements serve to
make learning enjoyable and engaging.
Linguistic Materials: Grade Level

 Tocci, S. (2003). Experiments with Simple

Machines. New York: Children’s Press.
Tocci’s book is ranked as a guided reading level
N, which is perfect for third grade learners. The
book includes various types of simple machines
and demonstrates how they make life easier.
The book includes science specific vocabulary
and a glossary to help finding information clear
for students.
Linguistic Materials: Above Grade Level

 Furgang, K. (2013). Wheels and Axles. Scholastic.

This book has a guided reading level Q, lexile measure of NC820L, and a DRA level of
4. It describes that ways in which wheels and axles can be used in everyday life. The
examples given in the book are authentic and relatable to children. For example,
pencil sharpeners, doors, and roller coasters are just some of the ways in which the
book relates simple machines to the lives of children. The book highlights science
vocabulary, displays photographs, and relates information about simple machines.

 Rau, D. M. (2012). Simple Machines. New York: Childrens Press.

This nonfiction book is a guided reading level U, which is typically a fifth grade DRA
level. This is an excellent introductory text for advanced readers, as it utilizes
photographs and text to convey concepts related to simple machines. The book
accomplishes this by describing tools used to build ancient civilizations.
Linguistic Materials: Above Grade Level

 Gosman, G. (2010, August 15). Wheels and

Axles in Actions. Powerkids Press.
This 24 page book has a Lexile level of 980,
which is appropriate for a fifth or sixth grade
reader. It is part of a series called simple
machines at work. Every book in the series share
details of each six simple machines. This is an
excellent tool to give advanced readers a
deeper understanding of how each machine
works and how they are beneficial. The book
uses scientific vocabulary terms, photographs,
and a simple experiment to captivate learners.
Linguistic Materials: Above Grade Level

 Weakland, M. (2014). Wile E. Coyote

Experiments with Simple Machines.
Capstone Press.
This book has a guided reading level W,
which is perfect for advanced readers. It is
a nonfiction story that centers on the main
character, Wile E. Coyote, who attempts to
catch animals by building traps from simple
machines. This intriguing story line serves
to engage students, and provide variety in
their texts.
Nonlinguistic Materials

 Simple Machine Song

 Newman, D. (2011, Jan 31). Simple Machines (Song
and Lyrics). Retrieved from
 The link below contains a video of an acoustic simple
machine song, created and sung by a third grade
teacher. It is a song that covers material from the 3rd
grade Virginia Science SOL, containing an synopsis of
simple machines, what they do, and examples of
each. The song is very catchy, and would be a great
educational tool for third grade students!
Nonlinguistic Materials

 Simple Machine Game

 Idaho Public Television. (2017). Simple Machine Game. Retrieved from
 The following website contains simple machine online games. This is a great way to
engage and motivating students in learning about the topic through the use of
technology. A variety of games are included, each with different skill levels. This
makes differentiation possible for all students in the classroom. The games pertain
to the different types of simple machines, how they work, and examples of each.