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Industrial Arts - K

Exploring Simple Machines: Lever

Title: Exploring Simple Machines: Lever

Compliance: Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Subject: Industrial Arts

Summary: This activity introduces kindergarteners to the concept of levers, a simple machine used in various aspects of our daily lives. Through hands-on exploration and creative play, students will develop an understanding of how levers work and their practical applications.

Topic: Exploring Simple Machines: Lever

Learning Outcomes:

  • Know what a lever is and identify examples of levers in everyday life.
  • Understand how levers work and the basic principles behind their operation.
  • Can design and create their own lever using simple materials.


This activity will be conducted over a series of sessions to allow for a comprehensive understanding of levers. The methodology includes a combination of hands-on exploration, group discussions, and creative projects.

Resources/Materials Required:

  • Books or videos about levers (optional)
  • Various objects that can act as levers (e.g., rulers, wooden planks, pencils, etc.)
  • Assorted small objects (e.g., toy cars, blocks, balls, etc.)
  • Art supplies (e.g., paper, markers, glue, etc.)


Session 1: Introduction to Levers

  1. Begin by discussing with the students what they already know about levers. Encourage them to share any examples they may have encountered in their daily lives.
  2. Introduce the concept of levers using age-appropriate books or videos. Explain that levers are simple machines that help us lift or move objects with less effort.
  3. Show various objects that can act as levers (e.g., rulers, wooden planks, pencils, etc.) and allow students to explore how they can be used to lift or move different objects.
  4. Engage the students in a group discussion about their observations. Ask questions like: What did you notice about using the levers? How did the position of the lever affect its effectiveness?

Session 2: Lever Experiments

  1. Provide each student with a lever (e.g., ruler) and a small object (e.g., toy car).
  2. Encourage the students to experiment with different positions of the lever to see how it affects the movement of the object. For example, they can try placing the lever closer to the object or farther away.
  3. Guide the students to record their observations in a simple chart or drawing. Ask questions like: What happens when you move the lever closer to the object? What happens when you move it farther away?
  4. Facilitate a group discussion to share their findings. Encourage students to explain their observations and discuss any patterns or similarities they noticed.

Session 3: Design Your Own Lever

  1. Explain to the students that they will now have the opportunity to design and create their own lever using simple materials.
  2. Provide art supplies and a variety of materials (e.g., cardboard, popsicle sticks, tape, etc.) for the students to use in their designs.
  3. Encourage the students to think creatively and experiment with different lever designs. They can create levers that lift objects, move objects, or even launch objects (e.g., a catapult).
  4. Allow time for the students to work on their designs and provide assistance as needed.
  5. Once the students have completed their lever designs, invite them to share their creations with the class. Encourage them to explain how their lever works and what it can do.


To assess the students' understanding of levers, you can:

  • Observe their participation and engagement during the hands-on activities.
  • Ask open-ended questions during the group discussions to gauge their comprehension.
  • Review their recorded observations and drawings from the lever experiments.
  • Assess their ability to design and create their own lever by evaluating their final projects.

By the end of this activity, kindergarteners should have a solid understanding of what levers are, how they work, and their practical applications. They will also have developed their creativity and problem-solving skills through the design and construction of their own levers.

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12 months ago
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

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