Subject: Science

Lesson Length: 30 - 45 minutes

Topic: Simple Machines

Grade Level: 3

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will demonstrate an understanding of simple machines and how they are used to make work easier.

Know Before You Start: Students should be familiar with the following vocabulary: lever, inclined plane, screw, wedge, wheel and axle, and pulley. 


  • Demonstrate a task without using a simple machine and then perform the same task with a simple machine. For example, you might ask students to remove a nail from a piece of wood with their hands, and then to try again with the aid of a hammer/lever.


  • Explain that simple machines are basic mechanical devices that change the direction or magnitude of a force, allowing us to do more work with less effort.
  • Have students create a six-panel comic showing examples of simple machines in use (e.g., seesaw/lever, bicycle/wheel and axle) and explain how they make work easier. 


  • Have students share their comics with the whole class or in small groups.
  • Remind students that simple machines are all around us. Ask them to see how many simple machines they can find in their homes.


  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.
  • Provide a simple machines reference sheet.


Suggested Story Starters: