This topic takes on average 45 minutes to read.
Many different materials are found around us in everyday life. Knowing about the properties of different materials helps us choose the right material for the job.
A database of 31 everyday materials, man made and natural, solid and liquid, transparent and opaque, allow children to explore these and many other properties.
Materials on the databse may be grouped according to one or more of their properties. Children can easily group all the materials that have those properties. This helps them to see, for instance, that all metals conduct electricity, but not all metals are magnetic.
Once children are familiar with the properties of different materials they can play the game, Mission Material. This allows them to test their knowledge in a fun and challenging way. It reinforces information gathered from the database and also allows them to go back to check properties.
This database lets you find out about the properties of various common materials. It can be explored in several ways to allow you to group materials by a single property - such as those that conduct electricity - or by several different properties.
The properties of materials are those at room temperature.
For some of the materials there may be conflicting views on the properties. For example chocolate can have a shiny surface but has been classified as dull. Engine oil can be opaque if it is dark coloured, but has been classified as transparent. Hair is shown as being soft, and lead is often dull when we see it on buildings - but clean lead is shiny.
If the properties given lead to debate and discussion, this will help children understand that sometimes there is no 'right' answer. Children could also consider how the properties would change if it was very cold.
Mission Materials game
Once you think you have learned about all the different properties, try this game. It tests your knowledge in a fun, and challenging, way. If you need to, you can go back to the database to check properties.
Use your skills to pick materials which have the correct property off the moving conveyor belt!
Photos by Anthony Short unless credited otherwise. Animations and diagrams by Edward Fullick throughout.
There are a number of interactive features in this e-source: