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Pulley Uses

Name of Corresponding Unit Plan: Pulleys - Pull Distance ; Pulleys - Pull Weight

Grade Level: K-8

VT Grade Expectations
VT S:4 Students demonstrate their ability to CONDUCT EXPERIMENTS by recording relevant details of an object and its surroundings when applicable.

NY Standards
NY Standard 1: Scientific Inquiry
Key Idea 1: Clarify ideas through reasoning, research, and discussion

Content Areas: Science

Recommended Length/Duration: 30-50 minutes

Learning Goals: Students will identify the uses of pulleys in their environment. Students will recognize that pulley increases power or changes the direction of a force.


  1. This activity can be done in school or for homework.
  2. The teacher will discuss a variety of places where pulleys are used.
  3. Review the worksheet and the data students are to record.
  4. Have students work in groups or individually to identify pulleys used in the school or at home
  5. Students should answer the questions on their data collection sheet.
  6. When all students have completed the activity, the teacher should review their findings and develop a class list of all the uses for pulleys.

Assessments Informal assessment based on participation and general understanding.

Materials/Resources: Pulley Uses Worksheet (pdf)

Special Considerations: Some students may realize that pulleys may use chain, belts, or other connectors besides ropes.

Extension: Sailing ships used hundreds of pulleys in their rigging. Interested students could research the rigging of sailing ships.