Try this investigation to observe the properties of granular solids and compare to the properties of water

This resource is also available in Welsh and Irish

This experiment focuses on the properties of granular solids. First watch the video showing the ‘biscuit bashing’ demonstration, then find out how to run this investigation with your learners.

Learning objectives

  • To understand that some solids are a collection of very small particles which can be poured and take the shape of the container they are poured into.
  • To investigate the properties of solids.

Enquiry skills:

  • To make predictions, observations and comparisons.
  • To use observational skills to compare two materials.

Watch the video

The video below shows how to carry out the ‘biscuit bashing’ demonstration.

Download the supporting materials

Set up and run the investigation with your class using the teacher notes and classroom slides, featuring a full equipment list, method, key words and definitions, questions for learners, FAQs and more.

Teacher notes

PDF | Editable Word document

Classroom slides

PDF | Editable PowerPoint document


What do learners need to know first?

It would be useful for learners to have had experience exploring the properties of a variety of everyday materials, including solids and liquids. This activity is good for developing understanding of granular solids.

Equipment list

  • 2 digestive biscuits (be aware of individual food requirements, eg gluten free, vegan)
  • 1 paper bag and paper tape or 1 resealable plastic bag
  • 1 rolling pin (or use hands)
  • 2 deep containers, eg yoghurt pots
  • 2 saucers, Petri dishes or takeaway trays
  • 1 small beaker/jug of water
  • A selection of differently shaped containers (from the recycling bin)
  • 1 results table
  • Optional: magnifying glass or microscope
  • Optional: other powdery solids such as instant/ground coffee, sugar, salt, flour (be aware of food allergies)

Additional resources