Wedge Lesson

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This lesson is intended to address the BC Grade 5 Physical Science Learning Outcomes but may be adapted to suit a wide range of grade levels from Primary to Intermediate.


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Students will be able to
  • tell what a wedge is
  • demonstrate how a wedge makes work easier
  • give a real life example of a wedge

Introductory Note

The teacher will guide students to discover that a wedge, can make raising or splitting an object apart easier. Discussion about wedges will follow the discovery lesson.

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Exploration of materials at stations to determine what is a wedge and what is not.


Station One: Fashion Design 101

  • class set of large sewing needles with thread
  • variety of buttons, bells that can be sewn on, sequins, beads,etc.
  • lightly used sweater (cardigan type)

Station Two: Picasso Paintings

  • paint brushes
  • paint trays or containers with paint
  • paper

Station Three: My Initials

  • 6 small craft hammers
  • 200 1" nails ( 10 nails per student)
  • scrap boards donated by local carpenter (need a small board for each student to hammer nails into)

Station Four: Calendar Capers

  • 6 pairs of scissors
  • 3X3 squares of coloured tag; 2 per student minimum
  • tagboard tracers of shapes under 3" such as apples, frogs, or butterflies
  • pencils


  • At Station One the task is for each student to sew decorative pieces such as buttons, bells, sequins,etc (using a needle and thread) on the sweater.
  • At Station Two the task is to paint like Picasso - piant a picture.
  • At Station Three the task is to hammer nails into a board to form your first initial.
  • At Station Four the task is to trace, then cut out shapes on tagboard to be used for the classroom calendar.
  1. Set up 4 stations with appropriate materials.
  2. Explain stations to students.
  3. Divide class into four groups, with one group starting at each station
  4. Each group will have a turn at each station, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. As students rotate through ask them to think about the tools they are using for each activity.

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Whole Class Discussion

  • A wedge is used for splitting something apart, peircing things or to raise up very heavy objects.
  • Three of the four stations had tools that were wedges. Which stations were they and which tools were they?
  • Is a shovel a wedge? Is a ladder a wedge? Can you think of other examples of wedges?


If you take two of the simple machine I am thinking of and place them together they form a wedge. What am I thinking of?

Return to: Simple Machines