[Return to Ed Tech 506]

L6 Gear Image


Introduction: By building and experimenting with a message pulley system, students will have an opportunity to learn about a fifth simple machine.
Curriculum Subject and Topic: Science—Simple Machines
Estimated Duration: 30 minutes
Grade Level: 3

Curriculum Goals: Ohio Academic Content Standards

Lesson Objectives: Students will


Accommodations for Special Learners

Setting the Stage

  1. Prepare the materials for building a message pulley system according to the message pulley system direction page found here. If you want to build the system with students, just set aside the materials. If you prefer to build in advance, do so now.
  2. Make copies of the message pulley system worksheet for each student.
  3. Students will need to have a page ready for their Unit Journals to discuss their learning during the lesson.

Lesson Activities

  1. As with the previous lessons, return to the pulley video in the Intro lesson if students need a refresher on the concept before starting the lesson.
  2. Either put together the message pulley system or introduce students to the pulley system at this time. Demonstrate how the message system works and the movements of the pulleys.
  3. Pass out Post-Its or small pieces of scrap paper for students to write messages to one another. Partner each student with a classmate. If you have an odd number of students, partner yourself with the last student.
  4. Have students write a quick message on their paper and share their note with their partner by sending it from one end of the pulley system to the other.
  5. As students finish their turns with the pulley system, hand them a copy of the message pulley system worksheet to complete.

Wrap Up

Recap the lesson and the basic concepts around pulleys. In their Unit Journals, have students write a paragraph describing what happened when they used the pulley message system.

Supplemental Activities: Extension and Remediation

Pulleys in Our World: Have students look for pulleys in their daily life. Ask them to take photos or make quick drawings of pulleys. Direct students to bring the pulley images into class to create a pulley collage as a class. Create a poster for the pulleys. Attach the images to a large poster board, with a student description for the type of pulley and the type of work on the page. Mount the collage in the classroom to celebrate the actvity.

Assessment and Evaluation

  1. Unit Journal Entry: Evaluate the students’ description of the message pulley system and activity.
  2. Message Pulley System Worksheet: Review student responses, noting any errors and provided appropriate feedback.

[Return to Ed Tech 506] [Intro] [Lesson 1] [Lesson 2] [Lesson 3] [Lesson 4] [Lesson 5] [Lesson 7] [Closure]