2 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


Students learn that the lever is a simple machine that was invented in prehistoric times and is used for many different jobs by going on a scavenger hunt around the classroom.

Big Idea

Levers are all around us and we use them every day.


15 minutes

Students are asked to sit at their seats to watch a short video about levers.  The video tells about their history and what a lever does.

This series of videos is great for young students.  It puts the tool or machine into simple terms for young learners.  I take my time to read the content to students and pause the video to discuss it as needed.  The vocabulary is something that I spend a little time on.  I say the words, point to where it shows that part on the video screen and I have the students repeat the words.  We take some time to go over those words (fulcrum, load, effort and force) so that students have a good understanding of the meanings.



Independent Practice

20 minutes

After the video, I explain to students that there are many tools and machines that we use at school that are levers.

To explore them, the class will use an iPad to go on a scavenger hunt around the classroom.

Students will use the iPad and the i-Nigma app to find QR codes around the room. When they scan the code, a picture will come up of a school tool/machine that we use in the classroom that is a lever. I created the codes here. This is a simple website that gives tutorials as well.

I print the QR codes out on an 8 1/2" X 11" piece of paper. I then mount them on construction paper and laminate them. This way, I can save them year after year.

As students scan the codes and find the pictures, write down what they see a picture of on a checklist that is given to them.

When they have found all of the codes and written down all of the tools, the students put the iPads away in the cart and go back to their seats.

This activity gets students up out of their seats and moving around. It is a fun way to figure out what kinds of levers are in our classroom that we use everyday!

i-Nigma website

QR creator website



10 minutes

To close the lesson, I ask students to pair up with a partner (of their choice) and talk about what they wrote down on their lists.  Did they get the same answers?  Do they think that all of these items are levers?  Why? Why not?

I encourage the students to use the vocabulary, especially the word "fulcrum" to help decide and describe if an item is a lever or not.  Identifying the fulcrum on each item was often difficult for students.