Saturday, May 21, 2011

Complex/Compound Machines

A COMPLEX/COMPOUND MACHINE is made from 2 or more *simple machines.

(*Simple Machines: wheel, lever, pulley, inclined plane, screw, wedge) 
(*See previous 15 posts on simple machines.)


A scissors is made up of 2 levers and 2 wedges.

A drill is made up of a wheel, a screw, and a wedge.



  • Have the students visit Edheads, a wonderful interactive website.

  • Have students brainstorm and list other compound machines in their science notebooks plus make a class chart of complex machines.

  • Read books about compound machines.
  • Have students walk around the home/school/neighborhood to identify and observe compound machines. Have them bring a notebook or camera.

      • Have students look in magazines, catalogs, or online for pictures of complex machines.  Then create a poster or slide show of complex/compound machines.

        Sears Catalog
        Home Depot Catalog

        • Have students sketch and label complex machines and then label the simple machines that make up each complex machine. 

          • Take a field trip to a hardware store, tool department of a department store, or home improvement warehouse to observe complex machines. Take a notebook or camera then make an album or slide show to share with others. 

            • Have students invent their own compound machine. (This could be an imaginary machine with a sketch/illustration or a real working compound machine.)

            Have fun learning about complex machines!


            1. hi there- newest follower from sunday hop. I am going to love this blog. I have several posts on dyslexia (from a parent's perspective) and I love finding andsharing ideas for all types of learners! laura@imnotatrophywife.
              would love a visit and follow back

            2. Hmmm..... never thought to try looking for combinations of simple machines.....

            3. Awseome helped with homework thanks

            4. thnx soo much!! I understand this much more clearly!!!

              1. Thank you! I appreciate your comment very much!
                Marcia :)



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