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Force Olympics    Read-Along Mystery 2

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Why do builders need so many big machines?

Beginning Exploration (1 of 1)
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My name is Vivian.

I live in a place where everything is new.

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The houses are new.

Even the streets are new.

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My daddy is a builder.

He helps build the new houses and streets.

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I like to watch the big machines go by our house.

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One looks like this.

It has a big, long arm.

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Another looks like this.

The back is filled with dirt.

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I wonder, why do builders need big machines?

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stop and talk

Stop and Talk

Why do you think builders need big machines?

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“What is that?” I asked Mama.

“An excavator,” she said. “It digs big holes.”

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“I could dig a big hole with a shovel,” I said.

“Why don’t you give it a try?” Mama replied.

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I got my shovel from the garden shed.

I started to dig.

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I dug through the grass.

I dug through the roots.

I found rocks underneath.

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Under the rocks, the soil got harder and harder.

I dug and dug and dug…

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“How’s it going?” Mama asked.

“Digging is hard work!” I told her. “Maybe a digging machine is a good idea.”

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stop & talk

Stop & Talk

Can you think of any other machines that help build houses?

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“Daddy will be home soon for lunch,” Mama said.

“I can’t wait to ask him more about the big machines!” I said.

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Daddy and I watched the trucks outside.

“Each machine has a job,” Daddy said. “Some work together.”

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“I know that one! It digs.”

“That’s right,” Daddy said. “The excavator digs dirt and puts it in a dump truck.”

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“The dump truck takes the dirt away and dumps it somewhere else. Watch!”

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The back of the dump truck tips up.

The dirt slides out.

Then the back goes flat again.

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I looked around the busy lot.

“That tall machine is using its hook to lift a big box!”

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“That’s a crane,” Daddy told me. “Cranes lift heavy things up high.”

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“See that one?” Daddy asked. “That’s a bulldozer.”

“Does it doze bulls?” I laughed.

“Not exactly,” he said. “It pushes. Bulldozers push.”

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The last truck had a big tank on the back.

The tank was spinning around and around.

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“That,” said Daddy, “is a cement mixer. It mixes the cement that will go in the hole.”

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“Lunchtime is over. Time to get back to work!” Daddy said. “What have you learned?”

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“Machines do lots of hard work!” I told him.

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“That’s right!” Daddy said. “Every machine has a job to do.”

“Every person, too.” I replied. “When I grow up, I’m going to do the same job as you.”

THE END

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Beginning Optional Activity: Forces at Work

Optional Activity: Forces at Work

Watching construction equipment lets students see forces at work. Encourage them to discuss what each machine does, using “work words” like PUSH and LIFT and MOVE.

Each of these made-for-kindergarteners videos introduces a different type of construction equipment.

  • Bulldozers push piles of dirt and sand.

  • Cranes lift heavy objects.

  • Trucks of all kinds carry or pull heavy things from one place to another.

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Activity Prep

For the Read-Along Mystery, you don’t need any materials.

As an optional activity, we suggest watching videos of construction equipment, discuss what each machine does, and identify the "work words" involved.

Beginning Optional Activity: Forces at Work

Optional Activity: Forces at Work

You’ll find many more kid-friendly videos of trucks and trains at Things that Go TV.

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