Simple Machines Foldable

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SWBAT explain the purpose of each simple machine and provide examples of each kind by creating a paper foldable.

Big Idea

By creating foldables students have a chance to refine their knowledge and understanding of the 6 basic simple machines.


5 minutes

Teacher Tip: This lesson is designed for students to practice and assess their knowledge of simple machines.  Through the creation of a foldable, students will identify any areas they need to review and will also create a valuable study tool. They will identify the function and example for each kind of simple machine, SP8. This lesson is a follow up to Simple Machines Introduction

To start this lesson, students will respond to the following prompt in their student notes sheet:

For each simple machine listed below, give an example.

  • Wedge -
  • Lever -
  • Inclined Plane -
  • Screw -
  • Wheel and axle -
  • Pulley -

After 3-4 minutes, I ask a few students to share their responses, writing them on the SMART board for others to see. 


5 minutes

For the next section of the lesson, I explain to the students how to create a foldable by following the procedure below: 

  1. Fold the paper in half lengthwise.

  2. Draw 5 vertical lines, evenly spaced on one side of the fold.

  3. Cut along the lines, leaving you with six flaps.

  4. On each flap, write the name of one simple machine.

  5. On the inside of the flap, write 2 examples of that simple machine.

  6. On the other inside section, write the function and draw a picture example.


20 minutes

Students now spend the next 20-30 minutes creating their foldable.  Make sure to have picture examples of the simple machines available for the students.  This image can sometimes be useful. Also, they should use their notes from the previous lesson to complete the foldable. 

I move around during this time making sure students are properly following the procedure and helping them with any questions along the way. This is where students are addressing standard SP8, communicating and distributing information about a scientific topic. 


10 minutes

Students now pass their completed foldable to a partner.  They will use the following checklist to help them identify any revisions necessary to their partner's foldable. 

Does your partner have all 6 simple machines listed?

Does your partner have a picture example for each simple machine?

Does your partner have the correct function written for each simple machine?

Does your partner have at least 2 different examples for each simple machine?