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20 October 2014
Schools  >> All subjects for ages 4 - 11 years Science Clips
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Science topics ages 5 - 6
Sorting and using materials

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

Online lesson plan


Recognise that everyday objects can be made from a variety of materials

Know that materials have different properties

Sort materials in a variety of ways according to their properties

Ask questions and explore materials and objects using their senses

National Curriculum

England: Key Stage 1, Science, Sc3 1a, 1b, 1d

Wales: Key Stage 1, Materials and their properties, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3

Northern Ireland: Key Stage 1, Materials, Properties, c, e

Scotland: 5-14 Guidelines, Science, Materials from Earth, Level B

Resources required

Household objects: a key, a plastic spoon, a wooden ruler, a tea towel, a plastic bag

Online activity from Science Clips website: Sorting and using materials

Selection of common materials: felt, foil, fabric, newspaper, cling wrap, fabric

Feely bag

Teaching activities

Show a selection of objects and ask the children to identify them. Ask a child to select one that is bendy and to demonstrate this. What properties do the other objects have? Encourage children to use words such as hard, soft, shiny, dull.

Classwork using interactive whiteboard
Select Sorting and using materials from the Science Clips website. Explain they will be testing and sorting objects by whether they are waterproof or bendy. Point to and name all the objects to be sure the children are familiar with them.

Ask a child to choose one they think may be waterproof and say why. Using the mouse move the object to the tester. What does the test show? Work through the rest of the objects involving different children to select and test all the objects.

Explain that the materials are now to be sorted. Select one criteria e.g. Waterproof and not bendy and ask a child to come out and, using the mouse, put an object into the correct pile. Work through all the objects in this way.

Group work using a computer for each group
Allow the children to complete the activity in groups. If working in pairs, encourage collaborative discussion and support.

Return to the activity and the four piles of sorted materials. Can you think of any other items, around the classroom or at home that could go in one of these piles?


Put an object in a feely bag, one child to put their hand in and identify the object Encourage other children to guess what it is by asking questions such as “Is it hard, rough smooth, dull?”

Suggested homework

Ask the children to find a selection of materials at home that fulfil certain criteria; not bendy, bendy, transparent, opaque, hard, soft, shiny, dull, crinkly, rough, smooth. Stick these onto a sheet of paper and label them.


Resources for teachers

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