Teaching Physical Science with Children’s Literature: Tires, Spokes, and Sprockets: A Book About Wheels and Axles


Michael Dahl and Denise Shea use a colorful array of pictures and colors to illustrate the use of wheels and axles. Not only does Michael Dahl thoroughly describe the wheel and axle, he also describes what belts, cranks and gears are for as well. This book is full of bright and vivid pictures that would be sure to capture a children’s eye. Also included in this book is an experiment that allows the child to fully see how a wheel and axle work.

Curriculum Connection:
This book is aimed students in the second, third, or fourth grade. The use of the colors and pictures could be considered a little childish yet it is highly useful when acquiring the attention of a child. When studying SOL 3.2, the teacher could begin a class with this book followed by a hands-on experiment to further educate the children on how simple machines work.

Additional Resources:
Simple Machines: This is a fun activity aimed at educating 3rd graders by teaching them what machines on farms are considered simple machines.
Groupwork: This site could be used as an additional activity for children to work together to further grasp the idea of simple machines.
Glossary: This website offers a simple and easy to understand list of words that comprise simple machines. Some definitions contain activities as well.

General Information
Book:  Tires, Spokes and Sprockets
Author:  Michael Dahl
Publisher:  Picture Window Books
Publication Date:  2006
Pages:  24
Grade Range: 3rd grade
ISBN: 1-4048-1308-X

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