Science Lesson - Fulcrum - 4th Grade

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January 8; January 22; February 5
1 class period. 45 Min. per class.
Simple Machines: Levers (Fulcrum)
Students will engage in activities that will allow them to determine the answer to the key question: "Where should you place the fulcrum to make it easiest to lift a heavy load?"

Students will be able to locate the load, fulcrum, and force on a variety of levers.

Students will be able to figure out where to place the fulcrum in order to lift a heavy load the easiest.
PA- Pennsylvania Academic Standards
• Subject Science and Technology
• Area 3.2Inquiry and Design
• Grade 3.2.4  Grade 4
 Standard A.Identify and use the nature of scientific and technological knowledge.
•Distinguish between a scientific fact and a belief.
•Provide clear explanations that account for observations and results.
•Relate how new information can change existing perceptions.
 Standard C.Recognize and use the elements of scientific inquiry to solve problems.
•Generate questions about objects, organisms and/ or events that can be answered through scientific investigations.
•Design an investigation.
•Conduct an experiment.
•State a conclusion that is consistent with the information.
• Area 3.7Technological Devices
• Grade 3.7.4  Grade 4
 Standard A.Explore the use of basic tools, simple materials and techniques to safely solve problems.
•Describe the scientific principles on which various tools are based.
•Group tools and machines by their function.
•Select and safely apply appropriate tools and materials to solve simple problems.
• Area 3.8Science, Technology and Human Endeavors
• Grade 3.7.4  Grade 4
 Standard A.Know that people select, create and use science and technology and is limited by social and physical restraints.
•Identify and describe positive and negative impacts that influence or result from new tools and techniques.
•Identify how physical technology (e. g., construction, manufacturing, transportation), informational technology and biotechnology are used to meet human needs.
•Describe how scientific discoveries and technological advancements are related.
•Identify interrelationships among technology, people and their world.
•Apply the technological design process to solve a simple problem.
 Standard B.Know how human ingenuity and technological resources satisfy specific human needs and improve the quality of life.
•Identify and distinguish between human needs and improving the quality of life.
•Identify and distinguish between natural and human- made resources.
•Describe a technological invention and the resources that were used to develop it.
- Students should know what load, fulcrum, and force is.
- Students should be able to locate the load, fulcrum, and force.
- Students should know how to build a simple lever.
- Students should be able to make predictions based upon their prior knowledge and experiences.
- Students should be able to work cooperatively.

- Observation
- Informal through discussions
- Worksheet
- Formative: Claim with evidence.

- Pencils
- White Board
- Dry-Erase Marker
- Long Board
- Brick
- 5 Short Boards
- Lego Kits
- 5 books
- 10 Dixie Cups
- Tape
- Marbles
- Cellophane
- Rubber Bands

Students will be posed with the question: "Where should the fulcrum (brick) be placed to make it easiest for Student A to lift the teacher?"
Step 1: Transition
- Call students to the carpet with a pencil.
- Hand out a worksheet to each student.

Step 2: Activating Prior Knowledge
- Students will be sitting on the carpet.
- We will review what the three components of a lever are.
- Fulcrum: the part where the lever is supported
- Load: the part of the lever that contains the object to be lifted
- Force: where the the pushing/pulling occurs

Step 3: Introduction of Focusing Question
- Students will continue to sit on the carpet.
- I will introduce the key question that we will be exploring: "Where should you place the fulcrum to make it easiest to lift a heavy load?"

Step 4: Prediction
- Show students makeshift lever (board and brick).
- Have students locate the fulcrum.
- Where should the fulcrum be placed if we wanted Student A to lift the teacher?
- I'm going to ask you to make a prediction. I need to you draw a picture and write words.

Step 5: Sharing
- Students will share their predictions and justifications for their predictions.
- Tell students that we will test these at the end of class.

Step 6: Putting Students in Groups of 3-4
- Put students into groups of 3-4 (Lifting Books)

Step 7: Lifting Books
- Hand each group a board and a book.
- Explain that we will be creating a simple lever using a board.
- I need you to place the board so half of the board is hanging over the edge of the desk.
- I need you to place the book on the part of the board that is resting on the desk.
- Ask: In this case, what is acting as our load? (Book)
- Ask: Who has a idea where you will place the force? (Part of the board that is off the desk.)
- Ask: Who has an idea where the fulcrum in this case would be? (Edge of the desk.)
- With the fulcrum in the middle, I want each person in the group to try to lift the book by placing force on the part of the board that is hanging off the edge of the desk.
- When you have finished, I would like you to push the board so it sitting on the desk even more. Where is the fulcrum in this case? Try to lift the book.
- Next, place the fulcrum closer to the book, so more of the board is hanging off the edge. Locate the fulcrum. Try to lift the book.
- Remind students to record their results (Ease and location of load, fulcrum, and force).

Step 8: Sharing
- When students are finished have them share their results.

Step 9: Building Levers
- Break up students into pairs. (1 pair/small kits 2 pairs/large kits)
- Instruct students that they will be building a class 1 lever where they are to lift a small cup full of marbles.
- Each group will have a cup of marbles with cellophane on the top. They will have an empty cup and extra marbles as well.
- Students are expected to figure out how many marbles will it take to lift the load if the fulcrum is in the center, near the force, near the load.
- Record results on worksheet.
Step 9: Sharing
- Students will share data.

Step 10: Lift the Teacher
- Have students tell me where to place the fulcrum so Student A can lift the teacher.

Step 11: Claim with Evidence
- Go back to focus question: "Where should you place the fulcrum to make it easiest to lift a heavy load?"
- Have students make a statement/claim and back it up using their evidence from their experiments.

Students will be placed into homogeneous groupings.

Justification B1:  I believe that the way I structured and planned this science lesson allows for all students to be engaged in the learning process.  I made sure to include a motivational hook that the students would get excited about.  The lesson itself included two mini-experiments.  In the first, they had to physically feel the amount of force that they needed to exert when pushing down on the board to lift the book when the fulcrum was in various places.  In the other, they had to build a simple level 1 lever.  Then they had to lift the load by seeing how many marbles they needed to add to the empty cup (force).  This allowed those students who need to see numbers, or data, to prove a claim the opportunity to do so.  While I was teaching, it was evident that all students were engaged throughout the entire lesson!

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