My Machine

Using knowledge of simple machines, create an original machine that would make life easier. Use Crayola® Dry-Erase crayons to develop your plan!

  • 1.

    As a whole class activity, review the characteristics and uses of the following types of simple machines: inclined plane, pulley, level, wheel and axle, and screw.

  • 2.

    Provide each student with an individual dry-erase board or a spot on a classroom white board.

  • 3.

    Using the Dry-Erase Crayons, ask students to develop an original machine that could make their lives easier. Encourage them to think of a need for their machines: Why would you build it? What will it do? How will it make my life easier?

  • 4.

    After students have finished creating and editing their drawings, ask them to find a partner to share information about their new machines. Can you identify the simple machines in each others’ designs? Does the newly developed machine really make life easier? If so, how is this accomplished?


  • LA: Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
  • SCI: Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
  • SCI: Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
  • VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.


  • Children create their machines with clay and/or recycled objects.
  • Use white paper and Crayola® Washable Markers instead of dry-erase products.
  • Children could write a paragraph describing the purpose of their machines.