Properties and Changes of Materials

Year 5

Unit Overview

This unit teaches children about the wider properties of materials and their uses. They learn about mixtures and how they can be separated using sieving, filtration and evaporation. They study reversible and irreversible changes, and use common indicators to identify irreversible changes.


Completing a range of investigations.


To write up an investigation including; question, equipment, variables, prediction, method, results and conclusion.


Children will take their investigation outside to see if there is an explosive irreversible reaction when cola and mentos are mixed.

Unit Sequence: Learning Intentions

  1. Properties of materials. To revise different materials have different properties. Materials' properties makes them suitable for specific purposes.

  2. Testing properties. To compare and group everyday materials by their properties, including hardness, solubility, transparency, conductivity (electrical and thermal) and magnetism.

  3. Measuring change in temperature/ Testing thermal insulators. To take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate. To gather and record data and results of increasing complexity, selecting from a range of methods (scientific diagrams, labels, classification keys, tables, graphs and models).

  4. Solubility. To know that some materials will dissolve in liquid to form a solution, and describe how to recover a substance from a solution.

  5. Exploring mixtures- sieving. To use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated, including through filtering, sieving and evaporating.

  6. Exploring mixtures- filtering. To separate mixtures by filtering, sieving and evaporating.

  7. Exploring mixtures- evaporating. To demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes.

  8. Reversible and irreversible changes. To identify, demonstrate and compare reversible and irreversible changes.

  9. Assessment

Scientific Enquiry: Investigations

  1. Can you clean dirty water?

  2. Do all solids dissolve?

  3. Will it erupt?

  4. Which materials conduct heat?


To complete a range of questions that demonstrate their understanding of the topic.


Children will be reading a wide range of non-fiction texts in this unit.