Students research, report on, and emulate inventors using these resources.
Books for Teaching Simple Machines and the Inventions They Created
PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
From Unit Plan: New Creations From Six Simple Machines
These resources will add excitement to the classroom library while reinforcing knowledge of simple machines and their purposes. Learning about inventors and useful inventions (and some kooky ones, too) will inspire students to think "what if..."
Great Black Heroes: Five Notable Inventors
by Wade Hudson and Ron Garnett
Learn how machines played an important part in the inventions of these inspiring African Americans.
Classroom Tip: A great addition to this unit and Black History Month activities.
The Inventor's Times: Real-Life Stories of 30 Amazing Creations
by Dan Driscoll and James Zigarelli
An intriguing newspaper-style book that highlights inventions for kids.
Classroom Tip: True stories about fascinating inventions will inspire student brainstorming.
Industrial Revolution Series
by Kids Discover
A wonderful magazine that chronicles the monumental influence of machines.
Classroom Tip: Back issues are still available. The section on "The World Before Machines" is great to spark class discussions.
Machines Make It Work! Science Series: The Hands-On Approach to Science
by Andrew Haslam
Hands-on approach to learning how machines work.
Classroom Tip: A useful book for enrichment activities!
Robotz: An Encyclopedia of Robots in Fact and Fiction
by Steve Munzer
A history of robotics, beginning with Chinese clockwork robotics.
Classroom Tip: Students love to imagine future inventions incorporating robots.
Science Experiments With Simple Machines
by Sally Nankivell-Aston and Dorothy Jackson
Machines are everywhere! Classroom experiments analyze how each simple machine performs.
Classroom Tip: A good resource for planning class manipulatives.
So You Want to Be an Inventor?
by Judith St. George and David Small
Motivational ideas for kids who like to tinker.
Classroom Tip: Include this resource to inspire ideas about the inventing process.
Women's Adventures in Science: Nature's Machines
by Deborah Parks
Foremost women scientists excel in their fields.
Classroom Tip: Inspiring role models pursue their dreams, making advances in modern technology.
What a Great Idea! Inventions That Changed the World
by Steve Tomece
More than 5,000 years of inventions that created our modern-day lives.
Classroom Tip: A terrific resource for history buffs who want to learn how simple machines transformed the world.
"Science Court: Work and Simple Machines"
Available on YouTube
Hands-on scientific concepts presented in an animated courtroom drama!
Classroom Tip: A fun approach to modeling scientific experimentation and prediction.
Physical Science: Technology & Inventions Grades 6–9 (8 Books)
A great classroom set that includes resources on super structures and robotics.
Classroom Tip: Use these engaging resources to present the application of simple machines in high technology.
Tools and Simple Machines Collection
An early reading book series for K–3, with vibrant photographs and straightforward information that illustrates the uses of simple machines.
Classroom Tip: Share this series with a primary grade, and have your students buddy-read with a younger student. The experience will build confidence and reinforce knowledge.