Everyday Materials

Science Year 2 Squash, Bend, Twist, Stretch

In this block, explore a range of materials through investigations and explorations. Work on ways to test materials for elasticity and flexibility and find out which paper is the strongest. Work in small groups to design and make a paper bridge to hold a toy car.

Session 1 Which ball is the bounciest?

Objectives

Explore all sorts of bouncy balls and investigate which one is the bounciest. Does this mean the ball that bounces the highest or the one that bounces for the longest time? Plot the results on a chart.

Science Objectives
i) Identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses.

ii) Find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Perform simple tests.
  4. Identify and classify.
  5. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  6. Gather and record data to help answer questions.

You Will Need

Additional Resources

  • A variety of balls, preferably of fairly similar size, e.g. tennis, sponge, rubber, ping pong (try to avoid large balls like footballs and basketballs)
  • Tape measure
  • Large sheets of paper and pens
  • Squared paper and rulers

Weblinks
Video of a ball bouncing in slow motion from www.YouTube.com

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Explore the properties of a variety of balls.
  • Generate questions and discuss the similarities and differences between the balls.
  • Discuss and design an investigation to test which ball is the bounciest.
  • Make predictions, test, and record results.
  • Learn about what makes a material have bouncy properties.

Activities

  1. Explore the properties of a variety of balls and predict which is the bounciest.
  2. Consider that the materials from which the balls are made may have an effect on their bounciness.
  3. Consider: what does 'bounciest' mean? Is it the ball that bounces the highest or for the longest time?
  4. Discuss and design an investigation to test which ball is the bounciest.

Investigation - exploring, pattern seeking
Explore the properties of a variety of balls in the playground.
Discuss and design an investigation to test which ball is the bounciest.

Vocabulary
Shape, changed, twist/twisting, squash/squashing, bend/bending, stretch/stretching, material, properties

Session 2 Which fabric is the stretchiest?

Objectives

Consider different fabrics and what they could be used for. Devise an investigation to test the elasticity of the fabric and record the results.

Science Objectives
i) Identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses.

ii) Find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Perform simple tests.
  4. Identify and classify.
  5. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  6. Gather and record data to help answer questions.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Letter: The Olympics committee want to know which is the best stretchy fabric for the swimsuits of the Olympic swimming team. Write a letter summarising your investigation and findings.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Examine fabrics and discuss the requirements of some clothes.
  • Talk about how to test fabric's elasticity properties and make predictions.
  • Consider these questions: What length is the fabric at the start? To what length does it need to stretch? What length does it return to?

Activities

  1. Look at a selection of fabric and understand why stretchy fabric is sometimes used in clothing.
  2. Investigate and explore the elasticity of fabric and make predictions.
  3. Begin to understand how to make a test fair and to record results in a bar chart.

Investigation - exploring, pattern seeking, problem solving
Talk about how to test fabric's elasticity properties, make predictions and devise an investigation based on attaching weights to the ends of strips of fabric.

Vocabulary
Shape, changed, twist/twisting, squash/squashing, bend/bending, stretch/stretching, material, properties

Session 3 Testing rigidity

Objectives

Examine a selection of different materials and explore their rigidity by devising an investigation to test them. Why is it important that some materials bend and flex?

Science Objectives
i) Identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses.

ii) Find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Perform simple tests.
  4. Identify and classify.
  5. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  6. Gather and record data to help answer questions.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Images of bridges and vocabulary cards from resource

Additional Resources

  • A selection of materials for each group, including lengths of wood, metal, plastic, card (Make them similar lengths: you could use plastic, metal and wooden rulers)
  • Small weights (100g)
  • Tape
  • String

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Understand that some materials need to be able to 'give' a little and not break (for bridges carrying heavy traffic, for example).
  • Look at a selection of materials and discuss how they might be tested for their rigidity.
  • Devise an investigation to test the flexibility of materials (by hanging weights from string onto the end of each strip of material).
  • Make predictions and carry out the investigation, recording the results.

Activities

  1. Understand that some materials need to be able to 'give' a little and not break (for bridges carrying heavy traffic, for example).
  2. Explore a selection of materials and discuss how they might be tested for their rigidity (identical lengths of wood, plastic, metal, card).
  3. Devise and carry out an investigation to test how much they will bend and discuss the results.

Investigation - exploring over time, pattern seeking, problem solving
Devise an investigation to test how much they will bend by hanging weights from string onto the end of each strip of material.

Vocabulary
Squash/squashing, bend/bending, stretch/stretching, material, properties, strong, weak, rigid, flexible

Session 4 Tough and flexible

Objectives

Consider and sort different materials according to their material properties. Wonder what the world would be like without rigidity and test materials for their durability and toughness.

Science Objectives

i) Identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses.

ii) Find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Perform simple tests.
  4. Identify and classify.
  5. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  6. Gather and record data to help answer questions.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Flexible objects resource

Additional Resources

  • A variety of objects with different material properties
  • A range of objects with the same material properties
  • Hoops
  • Labels on card
  • A selection of old clothes (sock, jeans, thin vest, overalls, sweatshirt)
  • Coarse grain sand paper
  • Wood block

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Identify and discuss the materials/properties of objects and sort them according to criteria.
  • Test materials for their durability and toughness and consider the usefulness of materials for our everyday lives.
  • Consider the question: if everything I touched became flexible, how would my life be different? Tell stories to each other about an average day in a world where nothing was rigid.

Activities

  1. Identify and sort objects with different material properties.
  2. Test fabrics for their durability and toughness and consider the everyday usefulness of materials.
  3. Consider the importance of material properties by wondering what life would be like without it.

Investigation - sorting, classifying and identifying
Sort objects in the classroom according to these criteria: flexible, rigid, hard, soft, stretchy, stiff.

Vocabulary
Flexible, rigid, hard, soft, stretchy, stiff, strong, weak, rigid, flexible, material, properties

Session 5 Which is the strongest paper?

Objectives

Explore a selection of paper and predict the strongest one. Test the papers using weights and record the results.

Science Objectives
i) Identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses.

ii) Find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Perform simple tests.
  4. Identify and classify.
  5. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  6. Gather and record data to help answer questions.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • What's my Material? cards
  • ‘The paper I have chosen’ sheet

Additional Resources

  • A selection of different sorts of paper (sugar paper, backing paper, wrapping paper, printer paper, tracing paper, tissue paper)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Paper clip
  • 100g weights
  • Freezer bags

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Be challenged to find the strongest paper to wrap a present.
  • Understand that paper varies in strength and think of a way to test the strength of different papers.
  • Plan, make predictions, and carry out an investigation.

Activities

  1. Investigate paper strength, working in groups and recording their findings.
  2. Predict the outcome of the investigation and produce a simple bar chart or annotated drawings of the results.

Investigation - fair testing, problem solving
Be challenged to find the strongest paper to wrap a present. Collect sheets of different types of paper and make them the same size. Make a hole in each sheet and hang a weight from it, adding weights until the paper tears. Record the results.

Vocabulary
Strong, tear, rip, weight, grams, bar chart, results, material, properties

Session 6 Paper bridges

Objectives

Using your knowledge of paper strength and rigidity, build a paper bridge strong enough to hold a toy car.

Science Objectives
i) Identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses.

ii) Find out how the shapes of solid objects made from some materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching.

Working Scientifically

  1. Ask simple questions and recognise that they can be answered in different ways.
  2. Observe closely, using simple equipment.
  3. Perform simple tests.
  4. Identify and classify.
  5. Use their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
  6. Gather and record data to help answer questions.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Information texts: A toy firm wants to know what the best design for a paper bridge is. Write up how you carried out your investigation and what you recommend.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Revise learning about materials and their properties.
  • Work in small groups to design and make a paper bridge to hold a toy car.
  • Explain selections and predictions for the success of their bridge.
  • Consider the question: what happens if the paper is folded into a concertina shape?

Activities

  1. Articulate their learning about materials and their properties.
  2. Work in small groups to design and make a paper bridge to hold a toy car, selecting the paper they think will work best.
  3. Explain their selections and predictions for the success of their bridge.

Investigation - problem solving
Work in small groups to design and make a paper bridge to hold a toy car, selecting the paper they think will work best.

Vocabulary
Strong, tear, rip, weight, rigidity, flexibility, concertina, material, properties