Machine Mystery

Help Sam Sleuth find the missing simple machines for her big Mystery Machine!

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While Playing: 
  • Take turns playing with your child. This game is challenging and fun, even for you!
  • While finding the simple machine parts, discuss simple machines with your child. For example, if you are working at collecting the wheel and axle piece ask your child something like, "where else do we see a wheel and axle?"
  • When finding the inclined plane and lever pieces, troubleshoot with your child to help them achieve success in the game. For example, when playing to collect the inclined plane piece, ask your child something like, "I wonder what will happen if you lower the ramp a little bit. What do you think will happen?"
Ontario Curriculum Connections: 

This game meets many curriculum expectations in multiple grades, one of which is:

Science and Technology: Understanding Structures and Mechanisms

Investigate the structure and function of simple machines.

At-Home Activities: 

There are some really fun ways to bring the world of learning about simple machines into your home and neighbourhood. Below is one example.

  • Print out the worksheet with the title "Simple Machine Walk"
  • Go for a walk around your neighbourhood with the sheet.
  • As you walk around, look for simple machines in the environment. For example, do you see a window washer using a pulley system? If you do, encourage your child to write, "window washer" in the "Pulley" box on the sheet.  Do you see someone shoveling? A shovel is an example of a lever. You can then encourage your child to write the word "shovel" in the lever box on the sheet.
  • On the worksheet, there is an area where you can keep track of how many examples of each simple machine you see, using a tally.
  • For extra fun, bring a camera with you, and take pictures of all the simple machines you see!
  • Read below for some examples of simple machines: Inclined plane: ramp, slide in a park. Lever: seesaw, can opener, claw side of a hammer. Wheel and axle: cart, bike, car. Pulley: clothesline, flagpole, some window blinds. Screw: lighbulb holder, jar lid, bottle cap