June 21, 2010

Simple Machines--Levers

The pictures are a little out of order so bear with me. First, a few of the books we used for the first simple machine we studied--levers.

How to Catapult a Castle: Machines that Brought Down the Battlements by James De Winter is awesome. Especially if you have a daughter that is a princess and a son who is a knight. We read this book over a dozen times and my children could have read it over a dozen more. Gold Star Rating!

Move it! Work It!: A Song About Simple Machines by Laura Purdie Salas has to be one of our favorites. Each page has words that can be sung to the tune of Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree but pertains to a simple machine. So you sing things like, "Lift, use a lever, lift, use a lever . . ." Sorry, I couldn't remember the rest and my daughter who has them memorized is too busy on starfall.com to help me out.

Anyway, we love these songs. Great idea, great book.
Simple Machines: Levers by David Glover was informative. I didn't know tweezers were levers. Or nutcrackers. Or scissors. The things you learn. (Please don't mock my ignorance. My hubby has--extensively.)
Levers, Wheels, and Pulleys by John Farndon.

How Things Work: Lifting by Levers by Andrew Dunn.

The following pictures are of us doing lever "experiments." I feel lame saying experiment because you aren't experimenting, you're explaining what a lever is and does. But, the guidebook says experimenting so I shall as well.

The above picture was a fun one. You can make it so your child can pull the rods together even with you and your hubby trying your darndest to keep them apart. Fun.
A tipping scale.

Scissors. We talked about how much extra force you get putting the fulcrum close to what you are cutting.

Prying a little red thing-a-ma-jig out of a gray thing-a-ma-jig.
Studying the directions. (Another pro to the kit--teaches careful reading and following of directions.)
Using a lever to lift lots of books.
Teeter-totter. I mean, balancing based on where the fulcrum is located.

I know this is all pretty simplistic, but my children are young and they LOVED it.

1 comment:

  1. very cool project. my son would have loved to be at your house. maybe I'll go look for those books