What is in your house?
Find five things in your house.
What are they made from?
Can you name the properties of the different materials?
Look at the objects you have chosen.
Think like an investigator and ask these questions.
Why did you select these items?
How are they different?
How are they the same?
Then write your own questions and place them by the objects.
Can anyone in your family have a go at answering the questions?
Think like an explorer and ask these questions:
What do they feel like?
What do they look like?
You can use words like rough or smooth, flat or bumpy, sharp or blunt.
Take it in turns to place a new object in a bag without anyone looking. Pass the bag around so everyone can have a feel of the object. No peaking! Use lots of describing words to talk about the object when you feel it.
Look at the objects you selected. Work in a pair. Stand a large book up on the table and decide which one of you will sit behind it. Choose an object. Describe the properties of the object to your partner. See if they can guess what it is made of. Swap over.
Play - Odd one out
Show a tray with a cloth over some objects. Say: In a moment I am going to take the cloth away and you must look very carefully at the objects. One of them will be the odd one out. When you think you know put your thumb up. Show the children the tray and tell them that they need to be thinking about material properties when they have their guesses. Play this several times, asking the children to talk about why they have selected an object to be the odd one out. Ask questions such as:
Why have you chosen this object? What makes it different from the other objects? Is there another object we could put on the tray to keep it company? Another object made from the same material?
What do you think?
What would it be like if everything you touched became flexible (floppy), how would your life be different? Think about an average day in a world where nothing was rigid. Then consider life without other material properties, such as flexibility or strength, or a world where everything was soft or bouncy.
Read the story of King Midas and then talk about why having everything made of gold was a bad idea. What are the properties of the metal gold? What is it useful for? What is it really not useful for? Encourage lots of contributions and ideas.
Build an edible House
Watch the story of The Three Little Pigs
Can children explain why each material the pigs chose was a good or bad material to use for a house? e.g. the straw was too light and flexible, the bricks were hard, heavy and strong etc...
Make three houses for the pigs using edible materials.
Remember to wash your hands before making your houses.
Can children use scientific vocabulary to explain their choices of building materials?
Which material is better?
Which material would be strong enough if the wolf blew gently but would fall over when he blew really hard?
Could you combine materials to make the pigs' house wolf-proof?
Photograph the houses and then write an alternative Three Little Pigs story using the materials you used to build your house.
Finally eat your house!