Uses of Materials

Year 2

Unit Overview

In the Uses of Materials project, your children will learn the names and uses of everyday materials. They will find that materials can be shaped in different ways to make them more useful. They will test how different materials can be shaped and whether they will return to their original shape. They will learn that the properties of materials mean they can be used in different ways and that objects are made from materials that have suitable properties for their purpose. They will find that objects can be made from one material or more than one material and that the same object can be made from different materials with similar properties. Your child will label objects with their materials and think about their properties and uses. They will learn about paper and test the properties of different paper types. They will also find out about recycling and sustainability.


Our pupils will complete a 'Shopping bag investigation' finding out - which is the strongest shopping bag?


The children will have lots of opportunities to write up their predictions, results, conclusions etc.


The children will explore materials in and around the school grounds.

Unit Sequence: Learning Intentions

  1. Exploring Materials - Observe objects, sorting and grouping them based on their features and explaining their reasoning .

  2. Shaping Materials - Some objects and materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting, stretching, heating, cooling, mixing and being left to decay.

  3. Testing Paper - Begin to notice patterns and relationships in their data and explain what they have done and found out using simple scientific language

  4. The Problem with Materials - We can live more sustainably by reducing, reusing and recycling.

  5. Let's Investigate Focus - asking and answering questions - explore a variety of shopping bags and develop scientific questions they could ask and answer about the bags.

  6. Uses of Materials - To answer questions on materials

Scientific Enquiry: Investigations

  1. Testing paper investigation - Testing the different propoerties of paper (i.e. strength, texture, absorbency)

  2. Shopping bags investigation - e.g. Which is the strongest shopping bag material? Which is the best for using in the rain? Which bag squashes into the smallest size?


Let's Investigate - the children will devise their own investigation by asking and answering their own questions.


A range of non-fiction texts about materials will be avahilable in our class library.