Simple Machines



In the grade one neighbourhood we have been exploring the big idea of systems. A system is something with a set of parts that work together to make something work. We have discovered that systems help us make sense of the world. We have talked about the systems we know in our lives, including – the human body system, solar systems, ecosystems, writing systems, computer systems and simple machines.

One of the systems we have done lots of exploration into is simple machines. A simple machine is a basic mechanical device. We looked at different types of simple machines. They included levers, inclined planes, pulleys, wheel and axles, wedges and screws.

We showed the students an old egg beater to help us explain our idea further. An eggbeater is made up of lots of simple machines. A lever, wheel and axle and a wedge are in an egg beater.


The grade one neighbourhood then looked at a can opener and thought about the different simple machines that it was made up of.



We then wrote down our ideas on sticky notes.


After we wrote down the parts of a can opener, we made some connections to other machines with those parts. We realised there are simple machines everywhere!



If you want to continue investigating simple machines at home, here is a link to a great video by ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’!