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20 October 2014
Schools  >> All subjects for ages 4 - 11 years Science Clips
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Science topics ages 10 - 11
Reversible and irreversible changes

Curriculum relevance | Online lesson plan
Offline lesson plan | Worksheet | Activity

Offline lesson plan


Know that some changes are reversible and some are irreversible

Know that new materials are formed when an irreversible change takes place

National Curriculum

England: Key Stage 2, Sc3 2d

Wales: Key Stage 2, Materials and their properties, 2.2

Northern Ireland: Key Stage 2, Materials, Change, e

Scotland: 5-14 Guidelines, Science, Changing materials, Level C

Resources required

Copies of the Reversible and irreversible changes worksheet printed from the Science Clips website


Teaching activities

Write the words reversible and irreversible on the board. Ask children to come up with a definition for each. After initial suggestions and discussion, ask a child to check the definitions in a dictionary. Compare the dictionary definitions to the classroom definitions. Tell the children that they are going to identify some changes as reversible and irreversible.

Hand out copies of the worksheet, one per child or one per small group. Explain to the children that the worksheet shows a number of changes. Explain that they must decide which are reversible changes and which are irreversible.

Ask the children which of the changes were reversible and which were irreversible. Make a list. Lead a discussion asking the children to explain the changes that have taken place in each case. How can the changes be reversed? Is it always the opposite process from the original change? Do the irreversible changes have a common factor? Tell them that irreversible changes result in the formation of new materials, which may be desirable (e.g. a baked cake) or undesirable (e.g. a rusty bike).


Ask children to make a list of five changes on the back of their worksheet. They should then swap their list with a partner and write which of their partner's changes are reversible and which are irreversible.

Suggested homework

Ask children to make a list of reversible and irreversible changes they observe in their home or garden.


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