Hardness, Strength, Flexibility and Magnetism

Age Range: 7 - 11

These activities will teach the class about the properties of different materials. The activities are based on four worksheets which can be found below.

The activities (which might last for a few lessons) can be tried in two ways:

A) Split the class into four groups and ask each group to look at a different topic from the above four.

  1. When you have arranged the groups (including the topics each group will work on), ask each group to think about the meaning of their words, and to come up with a definition of the word.
  2. Explain that each group is going to plan and carry out an experiment relating to their topic. So, the "hardness" group will investigate the hardness of different materials, and so on...
  3. Give out the worksheets and ask each group to read through them. When they have done this, they should plan an experiment to investigate their topic. Some ideas are given on the sheets, but they might have an idea which they think will work better.
  4. When they have planned their experiment, give each group the appropriate resources (see list below), and let them carry out their experiments.
  5. When they have finished their experiments, the children should evaluate what they have done, and prepare to share what they did, and what they found out, with the rest of the class.

B) The whole class (split into groups) works on one of the above topics each lesson.

  1. Tell the children the topic (e.g. flexibility), and ask them to think about the meaning of the word, and to come up with a definition of it.
  2. Explain that each group will plan and carry out an experiment relating to the flexibility of different materials. Even though they are all covering the same topic, their experiments may be different.
  3. Give out the flexibility sheets to each group, and tell the children to read them. They should then plan their experiment (using one of the the ideas on the sheet, or one of their own), and carry it out (after being given the resources by the teacher).
  4. When they have finished their experiments, each group should share what they did, and what they have learnt. The class can then compare the different experiments that each group carried out, and discuss which one worked best.

Possible resources for each topic:

Hardness:
Strength:
Flexibility:
Magnetism:
Lollipop Stick
Tissue paper
Elastic band
Silver coin
Pencil
Kitchen towel
Aluminium foil
Copper coin
Plastic Ruler
Writing paper
Cling film
Magnet
Drinks can
Facial tissue
String
Rubber
Rubber
Brown paper
Wool
Wool
Plant pot
High quality paper
Cardboard
Paper clip

In addition, the hardness group might need some tools to scratch the materials (e.g. a screw, nail or a coin), and the magnetism group will need at least one magnet.

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Clara

These have been so helpful for my class - really simple but effective experiments for the children to carry out and discuss!

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Christian Söldner

Great, I´m a teacher in Germany and I´m looking for some workpapers in English for a child in my class who comes from England to Germany some weeks bevor (aged 10). I need more of this simple stuff!

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