Topic – Wheels, Axles, and Pulleys

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Read the Following Selection

Read about wheels, axles, and pulleys, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

Wheels, Axles, and Pulleys

Wheels move people and things. A wheel can be attached to a rod called an axle. The wheel moves or spins on the axle.
A wheel and axle is a simple machine.

Wheels Around You

The wheel turns around the axle.

Wheels and axles help things move. Cars, trucks, and bicycles all have wheels and axles. The axles turn the wheels.

A doorknob is a wheel and axle. You turn the wheel (the doorknob). This turns the axle.


Some wheels have teeth around their edges. These wheels with teeth are called gears. As a gear turns, its teeth can make other gears turn. Gears can help move things. You can find gears in cars, bicycles, and washing machines.


A pulley is a simple machine that can lift and lower or move a load. A pulley has two parts. One part is a wheel with a groove around the outside. The other part is a rope or chain.

It is difficult to carry a heavy box up a set of stairs. A pulley can help you move the box up. It can also help you lower a box.

You can raise and lower window blinds with a pulley.

Outdoor clotheslines have pulleys at both ends.

Now, show what you know!

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