GO IN DEPTH

Break It Down!

Break It Down!

Introduction

In this lesson, you have been learning that anything with parts that work together as a whole is called a system. Often, removing a part makes the system work less well or not at all. In this part of your lesson, you will be challenged to remove as many parts of a system as possible while trying to make sure that the system as a whole continues to work.


Exploration

Go to Break It Down!. Then click on the “Start” icon at the bottom left of the screen. After looking over the system, click on the “Learn More” button on the bottom right of the screen and read the information. When finished, click on the yellow “X” at the top right to close this window. Then click on the “How to Play” button and read the directions.

As you read, be prepared to answer these questions:

  • What is the object of the game?
  • What happens when the system works?
  • How do you know when the system is broken?

When finished, click on the yellow “X” at the top right to close this window and return to the game.

When ready, explore and manipulate the system on your own. Remove some parts of the system by clicking on the blocks and see what happens.

Be prepared to discuss questions based on what you have observed, such as:

  • What kinds of parts make up this system?
  • What do the parts do individually?
  • What do these parts do together?

As you continue experimenting with the system, be prepared to answer questions about what makes it fail and how it might be improved:

  • What happens when the system is working?
  • What happens when the system fails?
  • What are the different ways it can fail?
  • What parts are necessary for this system to work well?
  • What parts are not necessary?
  • Does taking away unnecessary parts make the system work better or worse? Explain.
  • What happens when the system works better?

Next, go to Motion Machine and click on the pictures to learn more about 12 different motion machines created by a class of 4th-graders.

While looking through the sample machines, be prepared to answer these questions:

  • What is the purpose of this machine?
  • What kinds of parts are used?
  • How do the parts work together?
  • In what ways could this system fail?
  • Do all the parts seem necessary for the system to function?

This esheet is a part of the Break It Down! lesson.

Did you find this resource helpful?

Esheet Details

Grades
AAAS