In this activity, students will practice solving a real-world problem. Using a toy lion and a lever, students first discover how much work is needed to raise a toy lion. They
will then use proportions to determine the force needed to lift a real lion.
Students will explore the following concepts in this activity:
- problem solving
- simple machines
About the Lesson
To introduce the activity, read the first section of the book How Do You Lift a Lion? by Robert E. Wells to the students. Discuss with the students the parts of a lever shown in the book and demonstrate making a lever with a 12-inch ruler, with a pencil as a fulcrum.
Distribute the student activity sheet and have students read the details around the problem they will be solving.
The Problem: How much effort will it take to lift a lion with a lever?
Review the four problem solving steps with students:
- Understanding the problem
- Making a plan
- Carrying out the plan
- Evaluating the solution
Students will predict the amount of work it will take to lift a real lion with the fulcrum at different distances. Students will then write an explanation about their solution process. Students will then use their TI-15 calculator to solve problems Using Proportions