Lesson Title: Incline Plane as a Simple Machine                5th Grade                                    


What are the basic elements of this lesson and what is its purpose?

During the lesson I will teach children about the incline plane as a simple machine.  We will talk about where inclined planes are found and how they are used.


What is the student expected to know or be able to do?

After the lesson the students will……..

  1. Be able to identify an inclined plane.
  2. Describe how an inclined plane is used in the world.


Explore and explain the use of simple machines.

Match simple machines to their uses.

Explain how friction affects motion.



How will the progress of the student be monitored? Through teacher observation during the experiment.  Through the students ability to identify an inclined plane.  Through the summary worksheet provided at the end of the lesson.


Opening the Lesson:

Explain what an inclined plane is and how you would use and incline plane to make work easier.

Developing the Lesson:
45  minutes

PowerPoint over the inclined plane.  Explain the idea of the inclined plane and how to use and inclined plane to make work easier. Have the children go on a scavenger hunt in the room, school, or magazines and find examples of inclined plane.  Have the children make a collage of the pictures they found of an inclined plane.

Closing the Lesson:
15  minutes

Inclined Plane 

 Inclined Plane:
    An inclined plane is a simple machine.  It is a flat surface that is higher on one end.  You can use this machine to move an object to a lower or higher place.  Inclined planes make the work of moving things easier.  You would need less energy and force to move objects with an inclined plane. 

Examples of Inclined Planes:

  • Ramp

  • Slanted Road

  • Path up a Hill

  • Slide

 Try this experiment!

    Large books, ruler, one cup of rice inside a small plastic sandwich bag
        (closed with a twist tie), rubber band strip tied to the top of the bag
    Stack the books in one pile.  Lean one book against the other to create an inclined plane.  Place the bag of rice on the table.  While holding the end of the rubber band, lift the bag of rice straight up to the top of your book stack.  Use the ruler to measure the length of the rubber band.  Now put the bag of rice at the bottom of the inclined plane and drag it to the top of the stack of books by pulling on the rubber band.  When it is almost to the top, measure the length of the rubber band.
Things to think about during this experiment:
-What simple machine reduces the length of the rubber band in this  experiment?
-Why was the rubber band more stretched when the bag was lifted straight up into the air?
-What other inclined planes could be used in an experiment like this?
Conclusion: (Read this after you try the experiment.)
    It took more work to move the bag of rice straight up into the air.  This is why the rubber band was stretched farther.  It takes less force to move the bag of rice up the inclined plane. return

This site is no longer being maintained, but will remain online for the use of educators.



Large books


One cup of rice inside a small plastic sandwich bag (closed with a twist tie)

Rubber band strip tied to the top of the bag


When working with food that is not meant to be ate make sure the children DO NOT eat any of the rice.  Make sure the children do not use the rubber bands to flip each other.


When working with student in need of accommodations just remember to make it fun.  If you need to do the activity for the child so they can understand and see how the experiment works.  Group special needs children with students that can assist with their experiment.  MAKE SURE THE STUDENTS HAVE A GOOD TIME!!!!!!


For students that need an extra challenge ask them to complete an A B C Brainstorm.  Don’t number your list instead make a list from A to Z.  Have the children think of something related to an inclined plane that starts with each letter of the alphabet.