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What Is a Simple Machine? (Grade 3)

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What Is a Simple Machine?

Stairs Did you know that when you walk up a set stairs or use a ramp to enter a building that you are using a machine? Stairs and ramps may not look like machines. They don't have motors. But, they are machines! They are simple machines. Simple machines make work seem easier. They change the direction or size of force, push or pull, needed to move an object.

Simple machines have only one or two parts. Many of the tools and objects we use every day are simple machines. There are six types of simple machines: lever, pulley, wheel and axle, inclined plane, wedge, and screw. Each simple machine can be classified into one of two main types: lever or inclined plane. Stairs and ramps are types of inclined planes. Devices that include more than one than one simple machine are called compound machines.
1. 
There are eight types of simple machines.
  1. True
  2. False
2. 
Adeline walks down a ramp. What type of simple machine is she using?
  1. lever
  2. wedge
  3. inclined plane
  4. wheel and axle
3. 
Jonathan is using scissors to cut construction paper. The handles of scissors are levers. The blades of scissors are wedges.

Are scissors simple machines?
  1. no
  2. yes
4. 
Stairs are inclined planes. Which two other objects are most likely inclined planes?
  1. ladder and slide
  2. slide and hammer
  3. doorknob and ladder
  4. hammer and doorknob
5. 
Which of these sentences from the passage best describes the purpose of simple machines?
  1. Stairs and ramps may not look like machines.
  2. They change the direction or size of force, push or pull, needed to move an object.
  3. Simple machines have only one or two parts.
  4. Devices that include more than one than one simple machine are called compound machines.
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