Materials in the curriculum

Third and fourth class 

Strand unit: Properties and characteristics of materials

The child should be enabled to

  • Identify and investigate a range of common materials in the immediate environment water, air, rock, fabrics, paper, metal, wood, plastic, food  
  • Recognise that materials can be solid, liquid or gaseous 
  • Describe and compare materials, noting the differences in colour, shape and texture  
  • Distinguish between raw and manufactured materials
  • Group materials according to their properties
    flexibility, transparency, magnetism, conductivity or insulation properties, strength, shape, ability to muffle sounds, perishable and non-perishable, solubility
  • Investigate how materials may be used in construction homes and other buildings, furniture, models, structures, everyday appliances.

Strand unit: Materials and change

Heating and cooling - the child should be enabled to

  • Explore the effects of heating and cooling on a range of liquids, solids and gases the effects of heating and cooling on water heat causing air to rise design, make and flavour ice-cream  
  • Investigate the suitability of different kinds of clothes for variations in temperature recognise that some fabrics keep us warmer than others 
  • Experiment to establish which materials are conductors of heat or insulators
    explore ways in which liquids and objects may be kept hot or cold
    design and make a tea-cosy or a cover for a hot-water bottle.

Mixing and other changes - the child should be enabled to

  • Investigate how materials may be changed by mixing
    mixing and dissolving materials in water design and make suitable refreshments for guests at a concert (e.g. iced tea, lemonade, adding fruit juices to water)  
  • Investigate the characteristics of different materials when wet and dry
    experiment with papier mache
  • Examine the changes that take place in materials when physical forces are applied
    when materials are beaten, whisked, mixed, squashed, pulled or bent
  • Explore some simple ways in which materials may be separated
    using sieves of varying meshes
    using magnet
    using ruler charged with static electricity
    allowing sediment to settle in a jar of liquid
    separating water and salt through evaporation.