A database of 31 everyday materials, man made and natural, solid and liquid, transparent and opaque, allow children to explore these and many other properties.

If you teach primary science use this database to investigate materials, see the headings below to find out how to use this resource.

Skill development

Learners will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science question, including:
    • Grouping and classifying things.
  • Using evidence from a range of sources to support and refute ideas.
  • Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated, based on their data and observations.

Learning outcomes

Learners 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

Learners will understand:

  • That one material can have many different properties, as well as being able to give examples.
  • That different materials have different properties.
  • That materials can be grouped according to their properties.
  • That a material’s properties will determine its suitability for a particular purpose.

Suggested activity use

This resource provides an excellent source of information for you to use on the topic of materials. It provides explanations of different properties, and also gives a comprehensive list of materials that display many different properties.

You can use this resource to plan activities around exploring materials’ properties, and grouping and classifying them accordingly. 

Practical considerations

You may need to spend some time navigating the resource, as well as locating materials that are suitable for the activities or ideas you plan to teach.

It would be beneficial to use this resource alongside hands-on, practical activities.