This resource allows primary school students to explore the difference between a natural material and a synthetic material. The Materials used in different sports for the Olympic Games is then explored.

If you teach primary science, see the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, recognising and controlling variables where necessary, including:
    • Grouping and classifying things.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their methods and findings.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties, including their hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal), and response to magnets.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • That materials can be grouped according to whether they are synthetic or natural.

Suggested activity use

This resource could be used as a standalone activity to check children’s understanding of previous learning, or it could be used in conjunction with the Olympic Composite resource.

Alternatively, you may choose to use this with a small group as an assessment tool, to check particular children’s understanding about synthetic and natural materials and their properties.

Practical considerations

The term ‘synthetic’ may need explaining to children.

Also, you may want to provide a range of natural and synthetic materials for children to explore first-hand.