ONTARIO SCIENCE: GR. 4/5 Forces Acting on Structures & Pulleys and Gears Inquiry



In this hands on, minds on unit both grades will be engineers exploring and building things. The 4s will look at how pulleys and gears are used in our daily lives to make work easier. They will learn the science behind both of these simple machines and have opportunities to experiment with these through hands on experiences. The 5s will look at the forces that engineers need to consider before building a structure. Force, load, tension and compression are all explored through hands on – minds on activities

This complete inquiry unit covers everything that you need to meet the expectations for the Understanding Structures and Mechanisms Grade 4 / Grade 5 strand of the updated Ontario Curriculum . and the Common Core/Next Generation Science Standards.


Go beyond the simple centers activity approach and take your students deeper into inquiry. This unit has a variety of instructional strategies that will allow you to teach your Grade 5 students with:

★ Easy to Use Lessons and Activities

★ Knowledge Building Circles

★ Interactive Notebooks

★ Experiments

★ Assessment Materials

★ Task Cards

★ Games

★ Both original research materials and exclusive access to curated online research materials.


What does this product include?

• Wonder Wall Inquiry Board: photos and activity cards

• What is a structure? & activating prior knowledge about familiar structures.

• Types of Bridges

• Making a Bridge or Structure

• Compression, Tension

• How does a Pulley work – experiment centers

• What is load and the difference between Live Load and Dead Load

• Creating a Blueprint

• STEM Project: Structure Design and Test


This product is part of a bundle!

Grade 4 Only Unit

Pulleys and Gears

Grade 5 Only Unit

Forces Acting on Structures

Full Year Grade 5 Science Only Bundle {ONTARO}

Full Year Grade 5 Science Only Bundle {ONTARO}

In a full year science and social studies bundle for 4/5

Full Year 4/5 Science and Social Studies Bundle {ONTARIO}


FAQ: More About This Product

“How can this be implemented in my classroom?

(4) This is a hands on unit so included are lessons that use common found materials or easily constructed materials to use a sample pulleys and gears. Although not necessary, bump up the experience more hands on materials ask parents, school or community for donations of plastic building blocks or gear sets. Bike shops may also have old gear systems that they can donate for samples for your classroom.

(5) Get your students interested by letting them tell you what structure they would like to create. With a focus on the science behind the forces on structures easily explained in student friendly language, have them explore the different concepts that will eventually effect their structure and ways that they can prevent or protect their structure from failure. Giving students a context for them to learn the material keeps them engaged and focused in what they are learning. These are great opportunities for inquiry as students discover what they need to know to build a more successful structure.

Is this product right for me?

If you are new to a split 4/5, new to inquiry, or perhaps not a specialist in science then this product will fit your needs. The detailed lesson plans, teacher’s notes and guides will help you to understand the content, help your students learn, and save you the planning time it takes to make these yourself. This will also work for teachers that are not new but may be looking for a re-fresh or some new ideas. If you are often stuck scrambling for ideas and lessons at the last minute save yourself the time and hassle by having these lessons ready and waiting. You can confidently ensure that every lesson covers the curriculum in a way that would keep your students engaged, and you more confident when teaching. No need to keep buying lesson after lesson and putting things together piece meal, everything you need is here.

”Does this product align to my curriculum standards?

This unit is aligned to the Ontario curriculum and meets all of the expectations of the Grade 4 & 5: Structure and Mechanisms: Pulleys and Gears & Forces Acting on Structures

This also meets the NGSS science standards 3-5-ETS1-1, 3-5-ETS1-2, 3-5-ETS1-3

How do I use this product with my special education and English Language learners?

This is a hands on unit and is easily differentiated to meet the needs of complex learners. Narrowing the focus to simply understanding simple single pulley systems (4) and load forces (5) reduces the complexity of the activities in this unit while also allowing students to participate in activities that are modified at grade level for science. Many of the reading and research materials are available online and can be supported by using digital reading software. Because this unit is student centred and inquiry focused it is easier to differentiate the content and product produced by the students by increasing or decreasing the complexity of level and depth of understanding.


What Other Teachers Are Saying

“I am new to teaching Grade 5 and this resource has been very helpful. I like the way the lessons flow and the links are great. I am learning along with the students!”

“This is unit has always been one I’ve struggled with, and this helped me immensely. The quality is excellent and aligns with the curriculum expectations. The resources provided throughout the unit are all useful and very creative.”

“I LOVE these split unit plans! It makes planning so much easier – for both me and the students!”


⭐To be updated September 2023!!


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ONTARIO SCIENCE: GR. 4/5 Forces Acting on Structures & Pulleys and Gears Inquiry