Year 5: Properties of materials
Properties and Changes of Materials has been split into two lists , which look at properties and changes of materials and changes of state.This list consists of lesson plans and activities to support the teaching of properties and changes of materials in Year Five. It contains tips on using the resources, suggestions for further use and background subject knowledge. Possible misconceptions are highlighted so that teachers may plan lessons to facilitate correct conceptual understanding. Designed to support the new curriculum programme of study it aims to cover many of the requirements for knowledge and understanding and working scientifically. The statutory requirements are that children are taught to:
· compare and group together everyday materials based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, including their hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets
· understand that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution
· use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating
· give reasons, based on evidence from comparative and fair tests, for the particular uses of everyday materials, including metals, wood and plastic
· demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes
Visit the primary science webpage to access all lists.
Links and Resources
Explore rusting in the activity idea on page 34 of the pdf. Ask children to observe the changes over time then write a conclusion saying which nail rusts first and reasons why.
Activity ideas and worksheets which support the teaching of materials and their properties, good for homework sheets.
Children may often think of materials as meaning fabrics or textiles when in fact they include any substance. When beginning to classify materials it is worth including a wide range of substances. For example different liquids, as many children think of liquids as being only water. Including natural and man-made products could prove another interesting discussion point. Children find this distinction confusing as man-made materials can be natural products, which have been altered by man for his use and products from natural sources which have been changed chemically into new products.
This resource provides ideas for using the senses to describe and compare different materials, including using feely bags and sorting materials according to their properties using Venn diagrams.
Introduce dissolving with this colourful comic, which children will love. Carrying out an investigation which looks at the effect of temperature on dissolving will highlight the importance of fair testing. Further investigations look at different factors, such as the speed of stirring and the weight of salt added.
Children often confuse dissolving and melting so it is worth discussing the difference and providing examples of each.
Melting requires heat and dissolving requires a solvent to take place. Further information and activity ideas may be found here.
Children will often describe a solid as 'disappearing' when it dissolves in a solvent such as water, because this is what they observe. This activity is a great way of showing them that salt is still present in the resulting solution and how to recover. Children could use a microscope to observe and draw the shapes of some of the resulting crystals as the water evaporates from the solution and the salt appears.
Although salt or sugar is generally used for this activity, alum (aluminium potassium sulfate) will grow the best crystals and is available from any chemical supplier.
This short clip may be used to show how different substances may be separated based on their densities. Oil floats on top of the water as it has a lower density and the ice-cube floats between the oil and the water as it has a density higher than oil but lower than that of water. Children could use this to decide how other materials could be separated based on their density.
This series of six lessons is a good place to start when planning lessons on separating materials based on their properties.
Lesson ideas look at how to separate mixtures using magnets, sieving, filtering and evaporating.
Providing activity ideas, key vocabulary and background knowledge about separating mixtures. After demonstrating each of the methods for separating mixtures, provide children with various mixtures and challenge them to separate them. It is worth noting that these mixtures are physically but not chemically combined so they may be separated by physical methods such as sieving, filtering and evaporating.
If a chemical change has occurred then it is no longer a mixture but a new substance -e.g. a cake.
An animated introduction which sets a context for an investigation. A chef has mixed up his ingredients - children will love trying to work out which white powder is which by testing them. This activity provides an opportunity for children to record results in a systematic way to solve a problem whilst identifying materials based on their properties.
This resource provides a set of videos and a practical investigation aimed at supporting experimental science in the classroom and relating it to real world experiences. In the first video Professor Brian Cox joins a teacher to find out how to set up and run an investigation to find out the time it takes for different types of chocolate to melt. In the next video he then joins the class carrying out their investigation. Further videos show Brian Cox visiting a chocolate factory and a factory which produces parts for jet engines to find out more about the melting of different materials and how this can be applied to real world contexts.