Rube Goldberg and the Meaning of Machines

A Rube Goldberg machine does not really look like it would make work easier. Introduce your class to Rube Goldberg with a resource that shows how his inventions make simple tasks harder to complete. 

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Instructional Ideas

  • Research some of the other Rube Goldberg cartoons and have the class identify the simple machines
  • Divide the class into groups and have them draw a compound machine that uses all six simple machines
Classroom Considerations

  • The activity assumes pupils have an understanding of the six simple machines
  • The ninth in a 10-part series

  • The plan comes with a graphic to explain a Rube Goldberg machine
  • The resource includes assessments 

  • The lesson plan does not spell out the instructional method
Included Materials - Join to Access

  • Rube Goldberg's Self-Operating Napkin (doc)
  • Rube Goldberg's Self-Operating Napkin (pdf)
  • Project
  • Vocabulary
  • Vocabulary