Investigating Materials 5:

How do materials help us in our classroom?

Plan Investigating Materials 5

This session provides an opportunity for children to think not just about objects and their materials but about the relationship between materials, their properties, and how those properties support students in their classroom work. This idea that students depend on the properties of materials in their everyday lives is one that they can carry with them long after this class session. Whether it’s bicycles, basketballs, or lunch boxes, students can start to make more sense of the objects in their world as they develop a greater awareness of the materials they count on every day.

This session also introduces students to observational drawing, that is, a drawing used as data. Scientists and engineers use carefully detailed drawings as well as written notes to record their observations or share their ideas with one another. Likewise, students will include drawings as well as text to record their work and their discoveries in their notebooks.

Learning Goals

  • to appreciate how the materials in our classroom help us to do our work
  • to develop observational drawing skills
Sequence of experiences
1. Discuss the challenge All Class 15 Mins
2. Draw the pencil Individual 15 Mins
3. Collaborate with a partner Pairs 10 Mins
4. Consider the results All Class 5 Mins

Materials and Preparation

For the class:
  • A small bag or other container to hold the mystery object (e.g., a pencil)
  • Extra copies of the “Observational Drawing” page from the Science Notebook
  • A common object to use for a model drawing (e.g. a lunchbox or shoe)
For each student:
  • A pencil to draw
  • A lead pencil, colored pencils, or crayons to draw with

Notebook Pages