Students make connections between the concept of simple machines and their application in port activities. As students work to create a Dictionary of Simple Machines, they learn about the simple and complex machines that are used every day at the Port of Prince Rupert.
40 – 50 minutes and a project
- Describe applications of simple and compound machines
- Develop definitions of the six types of simple machines with reference to examples of machines used in transportation activities at the Port of Prince Rupert
- Concept Development Organizer (see Resources Section)
- Videos of Ridley Terminal, Fairview Container Terminal and Prince Rupert Grain Terminal (see Resources Section)
- Images of machines at the Port Of Prince Rupert (see Resources Section)
- Videos of various complex machines in action (see Resources Section)
- Team Work Self-evaluation (see Resources Section)
- Access to a computer lab (or alternatively a set of photocopied images for each group of 6 in the class)
- Computer and projector or Smart Board
- Students will have prior knowledge of simple and compound machines and be able to demonstrate the mechanical advantage of simple machines, including: inclined plane, lever, pulley, screw, wedge, and wheel and axle.
- Draw a Concept Development Organizer on the board.
- Ensure the class has access to a computer lab. If a computer lab is not available, print out a set of photocopied images for each group of 6 in the class and use the computer and projector to show the videos to the class.
C-loader, Lever, Capstan, Pulley, Hump yard, Screw, Inclined plane, Stacker-reclaimer
- Before watching the videos of the Fairview Container Terminal, Prince Rupert Grain Terminal and/or Ridley Terminal, review the concepts of simple and compound machines and the six types of simple machines with the students. Tell students to watch for the six types of simple machines in the videos.
- With the students, develop a definition of simple machines by filling in a Concept Development Organizer:
- Write Simple machines in the centre of the organizer.
- Ask students for examples of simple machines and write their examples in the appropriate box on the organizer.
- Ask students for the essential characteristics of simple machines or to say what makes them simple machines. (Some suggestions may be the concepts of work, force and distance.) Write their suggestions in the appropriate box on the organizer.
- Ask students for some non-examples of simple machines (for example, types of compound machines). Ask students to explain why these are not simple machines and write their comments in the appropriate box on the organizer.
- Provide students with challenging examples of simple machines, for example: a canoe paddle (lever); stairs (inclined plane); and screwdriver (lever). Review the essential and nonessential characteristics of simple machines and change the information on the organizer. Ensure students understand the concepts of work, force and distance.
- Create a definition of simple machines with the class. One example would be: A simple machine makes work easier to do by providing some trade-off between the force applied and the distance over which the force is applied. Another example would be: Simple machines make work easier for us by allowing us to push or pull over increased distances.
- Tell students that they will be studying pictures and videos of machines used at the Port of Prince Rupert to develop definitions for the six types of simple machines (i.e. inclined plane, lever, pulley, screw, wedge, and wheel and axle).
- Divide students into groups of 6. This is the home group.
- Assign each student in the home group the task of developing the concept of one of the simple machines.
- Distribute the Concept Development Organizer. Direct students to use the lesson plan images, videos about machines at the Port of Prince Rupert and other websites on the Learning Gateway website to fill in their organizer for their simple machine.
- Before forming expert groups – one group for each simple machine – remind students about how to use their conversational skills when working in cooperative groups:
- Listen carefully to what other speakers say
- When contributing to the discussion, build on what others have said by using phrases such as: What I think is similar to what … said; I disagree with what … said, because
- Use I statements such as, I think or It seems
- In expert groups, have students discuss and develop the concept of their simple machine using the organizer. Have them decide what information they will present to their home group.
- Have students share their information about their type of simple machine with their home groups. Encourage others in the home group to ask questions for clarification and to fill in a Concept Development Organizer for each one of the simple machines themselves.
- At the end of the session, show the students examples of machines and equipment used at the Port of Prince Rupert.
- Check for students’ understanding by asking them which simple machines are represented in the images of the equipment.
- Let students know they will make a dictionary of the six types of simple machines. (This may be done as a classroom or homework activity.)
- Explain to students that they develop a Dictionary of Simple Machines. To do this, they will use the information about the six types of simple machines from their Concept Development Organizers as well other pertinent sources (e.g. previous classroom work, books, websites).
- Tell the students that they can present their dictionary as a book or a poster.
- Lead the class in the collaborative development of assessment criteria for their Dictionary of Simple Machines. Criteria could include:
- Clear written definitions of the six simple machines
- Examples of the six simple machines from those used at the Port of Prince Rupert
- A description of the essential characteristics of the equipment that make it an example of a simple machine
- Students can complete a Self-evaluation Rubric to reflect on their participation/contribution during group work.
- During group work, assign a leader to facilitate each group by calling on students in a fair manner and trying to spread participation evenly. This will help ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate rather than having one student dominant the discussions.
- To ensure that all students bring an accurate and complete report back to their home group, have each expert group report their information to the class.
Have students research how to make simple machines and then make a model of a piece of equipment used the Port of Prince Rupert.