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20 October 2014
Schools  >> All subjects for ages 4 - 11 years Science Clips
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Science topics ages 6 - 7
Grouping and changing materials

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

Offline lesson plan


Know that some materials can be changed by different processes and to name some of these

National Curriculum

England: Key Stage 1, Science, Sc1 1, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2e, 2f, 2g, 2h, 2j; Sc3 2a, 2b

Wales: Key Stage 1, Materials and their properties, 2.1, 2.2

Northern Ireland: Key Stage 1, Materials, Change, a

Scotland: 5-14 Guidelines, Science, Changing materials, Level A, Level B

Resources required

Wooden ruler, plasticene, paper, jelly, kettle, spoon, large transparent bowl

Copies of Grouping and changing materials worksheet from the Science Clips website

Teaching activities

Review work on where materials come from (man-made, natural, etc.) Show the children a wooden ruler, and talk about where it came from (a tree), and how it has changed (cut into blocks of wood, then cut to size, polished and marked). Ask the children to think of other ways of changing materials. Show them some materials including paper, plasticene, jelly, and verbally list things we can do with them (modelling, squashing, folding, heating, cooling, cutting, stretching). Explain that the class is going to work in two groups. One group will concentrate on heating and cooling. The other group will concentrate on stretching, folding, and cutting.

Split the class into two groups. Ask one group to work individually at tables, using the plasticene and paper to practise cutting, folding, squashing stretching, rolling and bending. The other group works with the teacher around one table. Show the children water in the kettle and discuss what happens to the water when the kettle is switched on. Draw their attention to the steam, tell them what it is called. Tell them that heating has changed the water into steam. Next, pour some boiling water into the bowl, add the jelly cubes and stir. Tell the children to look at the size and shape of the cubes. Ask the children to comment on what is happening to the cubes. Are the jelly cubes staying the same size? What is happening to their shape? Is the jelly just disappearing? When the jelly cubes have completely dissolved, pour into a mould and put in the fridge to look at later.

The groups can then swap over so that all children get the chance to make the jelly.

Brainstorm the changes they observed happening to the water and the jelly when heated. Show the children a jelly made earlier, so that they can observe and discuss the effects of cooling (it makes the jelly turn hard, set, become solid again).


Hand out copies of the Grouping and changing materials worksheet. Ask children to carefully cut out the pictures and stick them into the right group. As they do so, ask them to consider how each natural material has been changed to make each object.

Suggested homework

Find something made from a natural material that has been changed, e.g. a wooden toy, a candle, a book, or leather shoes. Bring in the object and tell the class how the material has been changed or draw the object and write about the changes.


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