Science - Sink or swim for materials

6th May 2011 at 01:00

"Material properties" is a collection of resources to kick-start a unit on the uses, qualities and behaviour of materials. It includes presentations to introduce concepts and vocabulary, ideas for practical investigations and recording sheets to note down results and conclusions.

Always a good resource to begin with is a PowerPoint looking at the difference between natural and man-made materials (uploaded by mustbecrazy!).

There are also display posters, such as the one uploaded by Tennies, as well as cards with photos of actual materials and word cards so pupils can discuss their properties, for example, "rough" or "strong" (bevevans22).

A round robin game (s avatar) is a good way to consolidate understanding.

A great way to look at how different materials perform in different circumstances with young children is the Three Little Pigs story. In a resource uploaded by Josey111, children evaluate the materials the pigs use to construct their houses: straw, wood and bricks. Teachers can be the "big bad wolf" trying to blow the houses down, using a hairdryer. There is also a Connect 4 game where children can connect images of objects with their qualities (collaborative).

Working out which materials can be recycled offers another opportunity to discuss their qualities. The "sorting and separating materials" resource from lexusperplexus provides pupils with a table they can fill in on whether objects float or sink, are magnetic or rip easily, etc. They can then work out how to dispose of them.

For teachers who want to revise this topic further, there is also an interactive whiteboard resource, uploaded by mrlyons78.

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