Water wheel (10-11 years old)

  • Core competencies: 1. Knowledge of
    how humans use the physical world in
    everyday life
  • Area of Knowledge: Knowledge of the
    natural, social and cultural environment.




  • Create a model of a water wheel.


  • Learn about the Industrial Revolution and how it changed our everyday lives
  • Identify the machines we use in our everyday life.
  • Encourage artistic skills.


  • Assembly and disassembly of simple objects.
  • Careful use of materials, substances and tools.



A cotton reel, 1 drinking straw, cork, acrylic paint, brushes, scissors and Pritt PVA Glue


1 hour

Step by Step:


Step 1

Cut 4 rectangular pieces of cork to the length of the cotton reel.

Step 2

Then paint the pieces of cork different colours using the acrylic paints and brushes

Step 3

Stick them to the cotton reel with Pritt PVA Glue.

Step 4   

To construct the water wheel, take the cotton reel with the cork attached and put the straw through the two holes.

Step 5

Now, put the wheel under a running tap and it should spin around under the force of the water.

Extension Activity

The water wheel was one of the first advances of technology within the Industrial Revolution. You could ask the children to discuss further advances in technology through the Industrial Revolution up until the present day, making models of some of them to create a timeline of inventions.