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. Courtesy of the ABPI.

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 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

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 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, not just as a secondary source of information.