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Moving Simple Machines with Force & Motion Lesson Plan

Author: Tina Misaka

Year: 2015

Artform: Dance

Subjects: Science

Grade: 3rd

Duration: 2 class periods - 45 minute each

Overview: Students will make a human machine using vocabulary words, push pull, cause and effect.

Standards and Objectives

Body awareness

The student identifies and demonstrates the dance elements of time, space, and energy.

The student understands and demonstrates choreographic principles and processes in the art form of dance.

Students will understand that force causes changes in speed and/or direction. By changing the force you can create tools that makes chores easier.



What is force? Energy that changes speed or direction of the motion of an object. The greater the force the greater the change in speed or direction.

  • Stand up as if you are space ship taking off to outer space.
  • Move to a personal space like a feather.

How were those two ways of moving different?



There are six different simple machines. We are going to learn what they are and how they can make work easier. It’s all about force and motion.

  • The Lever: A lever is a simple machine. A lever is a board or bar that rests on a turning point. This turning point is called the fulcrum. An object that a lever moves is called the load. The closer the object is to the fulcrum, the easier it is to move. Movement to be explored - Bending and straighten your joints
  • The Inclined Plane: An inclined plane is a simple machine. It is a flat surface that is higher on one end. You can use this machine to move an object to a lower or higher place. Inclined planes make the work of moving things easier. You need less energy and force to move objects with an inclined plane Movement to be explored - pushing with force and slow motion in different directions
  • The Wedge: A wedge is a simple machine used to push two objects apart. A wedge is made up of two inclined planes. These planes meet and form a sharp edge. This edge can split things apart. Movement - moving then percussively splitting or pushing away
  • The Screw: Holds things together spinning up- spinning down
  • The Wheel & Axle: It is easy to move things from place to place with wheels and axles - Movement - circling the joints
  • The Pulley: let you move loads up, down, or sideways. Pulleys are good for moving objects to hard-to-reach places. It also makes the work of moving heavy loads a lot easier. Moving in space around someone or something


Now move the simple machines through space - in 5 lines move across the floor

  • The Lever: moving on the beat, make bent percussive shapes across the floor, no shape can be the same
  • The Inclined Plane: in the shape of an incline plane - hop 8 times on the right then 8 times on the left.
  • The Wedge: Run leap - roll and make a shape
  • The Screw: with a partner from opposite sides spin high and low to the middle and make an overlapping shape - barely touching
  • The Wheel & Axle: with partner - create a wheel and axle - rotating and orbiting
  • The Pulley: whole line - slides around a person as they turn



Groups create a complex machine, that works together to make a chore easier.

  1. Identify the chore
  2. Find ways to a make a machine using the principals of simple machines
  3. Consider the cause and effect of each simple machine with each other
  4. You may add sound effects to enhance your machine


Perceive and Reflect

  • Divide the class into groups - have each group perform for each other.
  • After watching perceive and reflect about what they saw. Explain a cause effect in the machine.

Students will use dance and 3rd grade science class curriculum to enhance their learning about force and simple machines. Information and Research will be at the classroom teachers discretion
  • What is force?
  • What forces do simple machines have on other objects?
  • What kinds of forces help move objects?
Teachers may accommodate and adapt by modifying the content (what is being taught), the process (how it is taught) and the product (how students demonstrate their learning), to meet all student needs.
  • force
  • motion
  • simple machines
  • complex machines
  • cause and effect
  • collaborate
  • problem solve
Pre-assessment - KWL chart
Formative and performance assessment - students will do a peer-peer perceive and reflect after watching each other compositions.
Use making machine idea for holidays, such as monsters for Halloween, Toys for Xmas, Snowflakes for Winter, Valentines for Valentines day, etc. Add a poem or writing element with them.


  • CD/iPod/music source
  • Variety of music suggested
  • Drum for signaling