Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources Reading Comprehension Worksheets Simple Machines What Are Simple Machines? Simple Machines

What Are Simple Machines?
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 edHelper's suggested reading level: grades 3 to 6 Flesch-Kincaid grade level: 4.09

Vocabulary
 challenging words: teeter-totter, suppose, pulley, easily, lever, lower, planes, jagged, fits, fulcrum, simple, object, hammer, move, wedge, several

 What Are Simple Machines? By Cindy Grigg

1     Suppose you needed to move an object. You might use tools to help you. Machines are tools that use energy to do work. Simple machines are machines with a few or no moving parts. Machines make work easier. You probably have used several of the six different kinds of simple machines.

2     Pretend you need to lift a heavy object like a big rock. You could use a lever to help you. A lever is a simple machine made of a board that is used to move objects. A seesaw or teeter-totter is really a lever. The middle of the seesaw has something under it to hold it up. This is called the fulcrum. The lever moves back and forth on the fulcrum. On a seesaw, each person takes turns lifting the other person.

3     To lift a rock with a lever, you would need a board to be the lever and a fulcrum to hold it up. Another rock can be a fulcrum. The object being lifted is called the load. You can lift a load most easily by moving the fulcrum close to the load. You move the load by pushing down on the end of the lever.

4     A hammer is another kind of lever. A hammer pulls a nail out of a piece of wood. Where is the fulcrum on a hammer?

5     Another kind of simple machine is an inclined plane. An inclined plane has a flat surface that is higher on one end. A ramp is an inclined plane that helps move objects. Often you see a ramp used to load or unload a truck. You can use an inclined plane to help move an object to a higher or lower place.

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