Gadgets and Contraptions
In this unit designed for Kindergarten classrooms, students will participate in activities dealing with machines, including ramps, pulleys, levers and pendulums. Students will explore how parts of machines work together.
These activities are part of Science World's Big Science For Little Hands program. They were developed and tested with preschool and Kindergarten educators.
- Investigate everyday machines and gadgets.
- Take apart complex machines to see how the parts work together.
- Recognize that machines can make work easier.
- Use ramps, pulleys, levers and pendulums.
- Demonstrate how machines work.
Here is how a selection of these activities could become a week-long unit of study in a Kindergarten classroom:
- Day 1:
- Whole group lesson: Kitchen Contraptions
- Centres: Paint with droppers, Print-making with gadgets, Ice-Cream-Scoop Catch
- Day 2:
- Whole group lesson: Using tools and taking things apart (techniques, safety rules).
- Literature: How Things Work, Wendel's Workshop, Mechanimals, or Tool Box
- Centres: Take-Apart, Rubbings or clay impressions of machine pieces, Draw your own contraption or make a sculpture with machine pieces
- Day 3:
- Whole group lesson: What is a catapult? How does it work?
- Group activity: Catapults
- Day 4:
- Whole group lesson: What is a pendulum? Find out what makes a pendulum swing faster or slower. Show a pendulum clock.
- Activity in small groups: Pendulum owling
- Day 5:
- Whole group lesson: Wrecking Ball
- Group activity: Pendulum swing art
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New Way Things Work, David Macaulay
See Inside How Things Work, Conrad Mason
How Things Work Encyclopedia, Dorling Kindersley
How Things Work in a House, Lisa Campbell
Questions and Answers: How Things Work in Space
Spark! Electricity and How it Works, Peter Riley
How Things Work, Steve Parker
Scholastic First Encyclopedia—How Things Work, Claire Llewellyn
Gadgets and Inventions, Neil Morris
Whose Gadgets are These, Amanda Tounville
Gizmos and Gadgets, Jill Frankel Hauser
Gadgetology—Kitchen Fun with Your Kids Using 35 Cooking Gadgets, Pam Abraham
Inspector Gadget, Disney Book Group
World's Weirdest Gadgets, Scholastic
Amazing Gadgets, David Orme
Easy to Make Electric Gadgets, Leon Stanley
Gadget Hero, Lisa Thompson
Gadget Book, Chris Woodford
Science World | Big Science For Little Hands