Wendee Mullikin
Architecture and Design, Engineering, Reading Informational Text
Material Type:
Upper Primary, Middle School, High School
  • Comprehension Quiz
  • Informational Reading
  • Rube Goldberg Machine
  • Vocabulary
  • Wonderopolis
  • rube-goldberg-machine
  • wonderopolis
    Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives

    Education Standards

    1234: What is a Rube Goldberg Machine?

    1234: What is a Rube Goldberg Machine?


    Learn about Rube Goldberg Machines, set imaginations on fire! 

    Wonderopolis targets a 5th grade reading level and is aligned to Common Core Standards and <sci/ss standards>. We have Immersive Reader embedded for each Wonder of the Day--which means accommodations are available and translations can be provided with a few mouse clicks. <--come up with some standard content for after the overview of the individual Wonder. 

    Check out the Wonder of the Day®

    If students do not have 1x1 technology, the Wonder of the Day can be viewed as a group. The vocab and content quizzes can be printed. 

    Suggestions to extend this lesson:

    • provide pairs/small groups of students indentical 'kits' to build their own Rube Goldberg Machine. 
    • give students a number of objects they can use to create their own Rube Goldberg Machine.

    Family engagement extensions:

    • send home the 'kits' or directions/rules for making a Rube Goldberg Machine and see what families can come up with. Ask them to video the running of the machine. 
    • send home the Flipgrid link; ask families to follow through with a Flipgrid video of their machine. 

    What do you think a Rube Goldberg Machine is? Be sure to add your thoughts to your Wonder Journal!

    Next, check out Wonder #1234: What is a Rube Goldberg Machine? on Wonderopolis. Be sure you:

    • Read the content
    • Watch the video
    • Check out the image gallery
    • Take the Wonder Word Challenge (and list your score in your Wonder Journal)
    • Test your knowledge in the Did You Get It? quiz (and list your score in your Wonder Journal)
    • Look at the Try It Out section. See fi there's anything you want to do in the future.

    After completing all of the above, go back to your WonderJournal and fill out the What I learned on Wonderopolis section and the Stuff to do later section. Don't forget to add what you liked most about this Wonder!

    Check the Disco Library contribution at Can you create a Rube Goldberg machine to show off on Flipgrid? 

    Think about how you can use the information you learned in your life, then fill out the last box in your Wonder Journal. Why are Rube Goldberg machines important?