Compound Machines

Grade Level: Third
Teacher: Laura Wilkins
Subjects Integrated: Science
Time: 15 minutes
Size of Group: Whole Class
Extension Lesson




  1. While completing their machine creations, discuss what a machine might be like if it contained more than one of the simple machines, like a wedge and a wheel and axle. (Pencil sharpener) Explain that these machines are called compound machines because they contain more than one simple machine.
  2. Ask if the children can give any examples, from the classroom or their home. They may have found some in the machine hunt from the homework. Give examples in addition to the ones the children provide.
  3. Have the children include these examples in their journals under a section marked for "Compound Machines".
  4. Pass out the worksheets with Rube Goldberg's compound machine. Let children talk about it for a minute. Then go through as a class.


  1. Did children agree with the idea of a compound machine?
  2. Were children able to give some examples of compound machines either in the class or from their home?
  3. Did children participate in the worksheet, either by volunteering to answer, or writing down the correct order of responses?



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