A 60 minute lesson in which students identify the material objects are made of and sort them in various ways.
Set up four stations with a variety of materials for students to explore.
A variety of objects made from different materials
This lesson contains a link to an external video. Please watch the video prior to presenting this lesson to ensure that the content is appropriate for your students.
Choose three or four describing words from the Properties of Materials word wall and hide them from the students. Explain that you will be selecting individuals to act out each word for the class to guess. For example, if the word is ‘bumpy’ the student might pretend to be riding along in a car on a bumpy road.
Brainstorm other words that can be used to describe the properties of materials.
Seat students on the floor in a large circle and place two intersecting hula hoops in the middle making a Venn diagram. Explain to the students that they will be sorting a collection of objects according to various attributes. Model this using the words ‘hard’ and ‘soft’. Ensure you have included some objects that can go in the intersecting section of the hoops. Also include some objects that are the same, but made out of a different material e.g. a wooden peg and a plastic peg, a metal spoon and a plastic spoon.
Change the attributes to ‘strong’ and ‘fragile’ and invite students to re-sort the same objects. Repeat with the students volunteering the attributes.
Randomly distribute all pieces of the Material World Jigsaws. Explain to the students that there are 6 puzzles, each with 4 pieces. The students’ task is to find the other students whose pieces fit neatly with theirs to form a 4-piece puzzle. Once they have found the other members of their puzzle, ask them to identify what is the same about all the objects in their puzzle. If necessary, prompt students to think about the material the objects are made from. The materials include: fabric, paper, wood, plastic, glass, and metal.
Watch the Materials Song video on YouTube. Briefly discuss whether objects made out of the same material can be described differently.
Arrange the class into four groups. Each group will only be at one station.
Explain that the students will be visiting a station with a variety of objects displayed. Their task is to use their senses to sort the objects, and complete the Sorting Objects by Property Template. Encourage students to complete as many of the templates as possible while at their station.
Monitor and support the students as they complete their investigation. Ensure they are recording their results and completing the template as they go. Once they have finished their investigation, collect the students’ templates. These could be included in a portfolio of work samples and used to assess the students’ understanding of the unit objectives.
As a class, reflect on the objects the students explored at their station. Discuss the materials from which these objects are made.
Play a ‘What Am I?’ game to focus on materials such as fabric, paper, wood, plastic, glass, and metal. For example, if the material were metal, provide several clues such as:
I am cold to the touch.
I am shiny and heavy.
I am often used to make jewelry.
Encourage more confident students to select a material and go on a Scavenger Hunt around the classroom to find as many objects as possible made of that material.
Assist less confident students as they are sorting and describing the objects.
Suggested Assessment Strategies
used strategic whole class or individual questioning
observed student participation during learning activities