During our Force and Motion Inquiry, I noticed a lot of simple machines being created during their play as they explored force and motion. Here are a few examples.
We read many books and watched some videos about the six different simple machines: Wheel and Axel, pulley, lever, wedge, inclined plane, and screw.
More and more wheels and axles were showing up as they experimented with creating designs that moved better or faster when pushed.
The experimented with creating pulleys that could lift loads.
They realized they could use the loose parts to create levers! I loved their excitement as they ran up to me yelling,”Mrs. Myers!! We made a lever!! You have to come see!!” After showing me, they made a bunch more and started running around the playground yelling, “Free Lever rides!!”
After learning about all of them, they all signed up for a simple machine to become experts at and formed expert teams. They worked in small groups with a teacher and researched different objects that could represent their simple machine and picked one to create as a project.
The Wedge Team decided to make axes for their project. I don’t know why I don’t have more pictures of them working on it but they worked hard painting, measuring, and using cardboard pieces to create a wedge shape for the ax heads. Each team created a list of materials they needed to make their project.
The Wheel and Axel Team decided to create a wagon. They had to measure the box and dowel rod so they knew how long the axel needed to be.
The Pulley Team decided to create a flag pole.
The Screw Team decided to make a water slide.
The Lever Team decided to create an Angry Birds Game featuring a catapult.
The Inclined Plane Team made a marble run. They had to do a lot of problem solving before it truly worked!
Every team had to collaborate together and use critical thinking skills to make these. They had to problem solve over and over again to make them work! 21st Century Skills in action!
Next the kids made posters showing other examples of their simple machines that we found around our classroom and helped write the definition of their simple machine.
Their next step will be to present their simple machines to the class and maybe other classes in our school! For now they are displayed outside of our room. The marble run somehow broke while out there so they will fix theirs soon!
They are so proud of what they have accomplished! I love how confident they become as they do hard things like this! Kindergartners are capable of doing amazing things when given the time, space and materials!