Limited Time Offer: Get 2 Months of ABCmouse.com for only $5!

Science unit

Why can’t we build a bike using jelly?!

~ Investigating Materials ~

Stage 1

DURATION

5 lessons

CONTEXT

This unit of work looks at the topic of materials as part of the Earth and its surroundings strand of the Science and Technology syllabus. Students will be involved in investigating the different materials that familiar and non-familiar objects are made from. Students will consider how different materials can be classified using different criteria. Through hands-on activities they will have the opportunity to recognise that different materials have different properties. In particular, students complete investigations into the flexibility, strength, hardness, magnetism and water-resistance of different materials. Consideration is also given to the way in which a material’s properties influence what it is used for, through the investigation into water-resistance and the construction of a ‘bridge’. Students have many opportunities to develop their investigation skills through formal experiments, as well as informal observation and classification tasks.

SYLLABUS OUTCOMES

Knowledge

Earth and its surroundings S1.6

Identifies and describes ways in which people and other living things depend upon the Earth and its environments.

Products and services S1.5

Grows, makes or processes some products using a range of techniques and materials.

Skills

Investigating S1.7

Conducts guided investigations by observing, questioning, predicting, collecting and recording data and suggesting possible explanations.

Using Technology S1.9

Selects and uses a range of equipment, computer-based technology, materials and other resources to undertake an investigation or design task.

Values and Attitudes

VA1 Demonstrates confidence in their own ability and a willingness to make and implement decisions when investigating, designing, making and using technology.

VA2 Exhibits curiosity and responsiveness to scientific and technological ideas and evidence.

VA4 Gains satisfaction from their efforts to investigate, to design, to make, and to use technology.

VA5 Works cooperatively with others in groups on scientific and technological tasks and challenges.

VA6 Shows informed commitment to improving the quality of society and the environment through science and technology activities.

 

Learning Goals

By the end of this unit students should:

* be able to recognize that objects are made up of different materials.

* be able to name and recognize common materials such as wood, metal, plastic, fabric, rubber and glass.

* be able to recognize that the properties of a material influence its use.

* be able to conduct simple investigations to examine the properties and uses of materials, record and analyse results and draw conclusions.

 

OTHER KLA OUTCOMES

English

Writing WS1.10

Produces texts using the basic grammatical features and punctuation conventions of the text.

Writing WS1.9

Plans, reviews and produces a small range of simple literary and factual texts for a variety of purposes on familiar topics for known readers.

Talking and Listening TS1.2

Interacts in more extended ways with less teacher intervention, makes increasingly confident oral presentations and generally listens attentively.

Mathematics

Length MS1.1

Estimates, measures, compares and records lengths and distances using informal units, metres and centimetres.

Unit outline

 

Lesson Title

Scientific Concept

Assessment strategies

What’s it made from?

Objects are made of materials

Individual worksheets describing their object.

Different types of materials

Materials can be classified in various ways

Group recording sheets showing groupings of materials

What makes materials different?

 

Materials have different properties

Student observations and recordings of results, including table on computer.

Procedural recounts

What makes the best raincoat?

Materials have different properties that influence what they are used for

Written conclusions.

You can’t use that!

Materials have different properties that influence what they are used for

Drawings of bridge and explanations of what materials they think are useful/not useful for this task.

 

Lesson 3: What makes materials different?

Flexibility, Strength, Hardness and Magnetism.

* NB: This lesson would be best split over two sessions.

Aim:

The aim of this lesson is to explore the idea that materials have different properties through four investigations looking at flexibility, strength, hardness and magnetism. Students conduct the guided investigations themselves, with teacher support.

Outcomes:

Earth and its surroundings S1.6

Identifies and describes ways in which people and other living things depend upon the Earth and its environments.

Investigating S1.7

Conducts guided investigations by observing, questioning, predicting, collecting and recording data and suggesting possible explanations.

Using Technology S1.9

Selects and uses a range of equipment, computer-based technology, materials and other resources to undertake an investigation or design task.


Writing WS1.10

Produces texts using the basic grammatical features and punctuation conventions of the text.

Writing WS1.9

Plans, reviews and produces a small range of simple literary and factual texts for a variety of purposes on familiar topics for known readers.

Length MS1.1

Estimates, measures, compares and records lengths and distances using informal units, metres and centimetres.

 

Indicators:

Assessment:

* students follow instructions to perform investigations

* students make predictions, record observations and make conclusions about the investigations

* students identify that different materials have different properties

* students write a simple procedural recount

* Observation – can students conduct the experiment as instructed?

* Worksheets showing reasonable predictions, accurate recording and brief conclusions

* Worksheets – conclusions from investigations

* Written procedures – follow accepted format, include all relevant information

References:

Please note that these learning activities have been adapted from the following resource:

Royal Society of Chemists. (n.d.) The properties of materials. Retrieved September 25, 2008 from http://www.rsc.org/education/teachers/learnnet/pdf/learnnet/nc/tc_nc1.pdf

 

 

Learning Activities

Resources

INTRODUCTION – Whole class

Revisit the word banks from last lesson. Explain to students that they will be conducting some investigations to find out how materials are different to each other.

Explain each investigation. Discuss how they will observe and record results. Introduce the terms: flexible, hard, strong and magnetic.

Word bank (keep on paper)

MAIN BODY – Small groups (circuit)

Students complete a circuit of the 4 investigations. Each investigation has a worksheet where students draw and write predictions, observations, results and conclusions.

Worksheets

1. Flexibility: Which materials bend the most?

Tape 3 identical length rulers to the side of a table. Use a wooden, plastic and metal ruler. Hang an equal weight (e.g. 100g) off the end of each ruler and measure the distance that each ruler bends (informal observation).

NB: Students could take photos to record results of this investigation.

Wooden ruler, metal ruler, plastic ruler, equal weights, string, blutak (to attach weights if string slides off).

2. Hardness: Which is the hardest wood?

Students use a nail or their fingernail to scratch different types of wood to determine which is the hardest. Discuss with the students the difficulty of measuring how hard to scratch. Having the same student scratch as hard as possible can help make it a fair test.

NB: This investigation could be done using a variety of materials.

Variety of wood scraps, e.g. balsa wood, treated pine, hardwood.

Nail

3. Strength – Which is the strongest fabric?

Use a variety of equal-length strips of fabric with a hole made near one end of the strip. Place a length of string through the hole and hang a bucket from it. Add weights to the bucket until the fabric tears. Count how many weights were used for each fabric. Students create a simple table on the computer to record results for this investigation.

Fabrics – cotton and polyester clothing, denim, sheets, silk.

 

Computer

 

NB: Need to have enough strips for each group as they are being torn each time.

 

4. Magnetism - Which materials are magnetic?

Students investigate whether a variety of materials are magnetic. Students can also investigate whether magnets will work through different materials as an extension activity.

Wool, steel wool, nail, plastic bottle cap, paper, apple, pencil, paperclips.

Any materials can be used here.

CONCLUSION – Whole class

Students choose one investigation to write a procedural recount about. Teacher scaffolds writing of a recount using the questions: What was the investigation about? What did you do? What happened?

Paper and pencils


 

Get 2 Months for $5!