Simple Machine Discovery Table
In science, Pre-K has been learning about the six types of simple machines: pulleys, wheels, levers, inclined planes, wedge, and screw. The overarching enduring understanding was simple machines make our lives easier. I co-taught this unit with another teacher at the Greenwich Country Day School. Below are my lessons for each simple machine, including field trips to reinforce what we learned, a final project, concluding with the transportation switch.
To conclude our unit on machines, I wanted the students to use their creative imaginations to generate a class machine and their own machine. This is what they created.
This is our machine. It is called the Everything Cleaner Picker Upper. It helps us by making our lives easier. Our machine does many things to help us tidy up our classroom. It has a window for the person inside our machine to see outside while they control it. Our machine has a circuit that makes everything move. First, our machine not only cleans up the blocks and the magnets to help us quickly get to meeting but it also cleans up the scraps of paper from our projects and throws them away. Cleaning up the costumes in the kitchen area is easy since our machine picks them up and puts them where they belong. After snack time it cleans up our spills and picks up the chairs. Its hair can dust up the crumbs too. It can also help us sprinkle water on the plants outside our classroom all by itself. Believe it or not, it even has an arm that comes out of the wall to pick up our tote bags for us. The Everything Cleaner Picker Upper has some serious TIGER PRIDE!
Transportation Switch: Hot Air Balloons
Each class rotated between our four classrooms. In each room a different means of transportation was introduced and added to the students poster board of transportation. The students learned about hot air balloons, a means of transportation in the air. To the left is an image of the demonstration of the hot air balloon as well as the large diorama, identifying both how a hot air balloon flies and its parts. The lesson concluded with the students creating their own hot air balloon, as a review of its essential parts (see below).
Mini Field Trips
We also visited places on our campus that use many simple machines to make their lives easier. Below you can see images of us at the computer lab, at maintenance, and at the school's kitchen.