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Lesson Plan

Pulleys

Summary: 
Use a small then large scale pulley system to feel the force differences as pulleys are added. Experiment with small pulleys to make a pulley system.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Physics: Motion and Forces, Newton’s Laws, Gravity (K, 2, 6)
Physics: Simple and complex Machines (5)
Curriculum connection (2005 science topic): 
Physical Science: Force and Motion (grade 1)
Physical Science: Forces and Simple Machines (grade 5)
Procedure: 

Start with the small scale pulley system, so that students understand how to set up the pulleys and ropes to feel a difference in force.
Optional: scale up a little with the Pulleys to pull each other together.
Then once they understand the organization of the ropes, ask the students to set up the large scale pulley system to pull each other up.

Optional: ask students to design a pulley system to move items across the room. They will likely use a simple one-pulley-at-each-end system, but are still exploiting the principle that pulleys change the direction of a force.

Grades tested: 
Gr 4
Gr 5
Teacher: 
Ingrid
Site tested: 
ingridscience afterschool
Lesson plan originally developed and delivered: 

ingridscience afterschool