Material World Unit Plan

Teach Starter Publishing
10 x lessons | Suitable for grades: 4

This Chemical Sciences unit investigates natural and processed materials. Demonstrations and experimental procedures are explored with particular attention given to the scientific method.

It consists of 9 lessons of approximately 60 minutes duration.

The sequence of lessons and suggested time frames should be regarded as a guide only; teachers should pace lessons in accordance with the individual learning needs of their class.

A knowledge check for monitoring student understanding of the unit objectives is included and will require an additional lesson.

Teachers are encouraged to collect samples of students’ work throughout the unit to add to a learning portfolio. These can also be used to assess students’ understanding of the unit objectives.


  • To examine and understand the differences between natural and processed materials and their uses.
  • To investigate the use of natural materials by humans throughout history.
  • To investigate the ways in which humans produce and use processed materials.
  • To compare the properties of natural and processed materials through a demonstration.
  • To understand how to develop scientific lines of questioning to initiate a scientific investigation.
  • To understand how to develop an effective hypothesis for scientific investigations.
  • To investigate materials and their absorptive properties through a scientific investigation.
  • To learn how to build solid scientific conclusions for experiments.
  • To introduce a research task for the students to undertake about a material of their choosing.
  • To assess the students' knowledge of working scientifically.

Preparing for Learning

This Science unit provides excellent opportunities for cross-curricular integration. Look for ways to meaningfully integrate the content of the unit with other learning areas.

Prior to commencing the unit, develop a classroom display which focuses on natural and processed materials. Display word wall vocabulary and learning goals that the students will engage with throughout the unit to stimulate their learning. For examples of additional teaching resources to display in your classroom, browse the Material World collection on the Teach Starter website.

Many of the resources which accompany this unit plan will need to be prepared prior to teaching. For this reason, it is advised that teachers browse through all lessons before commencing the unit.

For some of the lessons in this unit, students explore materials at various stations. Additional adult supervision at some of these stations would be beneficial.



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