Properties and Changes of Materials

Year 5

Unit Overview

In the Properties and Changes of Materials project, your child will revisit prior learning about the properties of materials. They will plan and carry out tests to determine the properties of a range of materials. They will use their results to suggest suitable materials for different purposes. They will learn about the property of thermal conductivity and identify materials that are thermal conductors and insulators. They will also learn about the property of solubility and test various materials to discover which are soluble and insoluble. They will find out about heterogeneous and homogeneous mixtures and will separate heterogeneous mixtures using sieving and filtration. They will also separate homogeneous mixtures, investigating how to reverse dissolving by evaporation. They will ask scientific questions about separating unusual mixtures and research to find out the answers. They will learn the difference between reversible and irreversible changes and follow instructions to observe the signs of an irreversible change firsthand. They will complete their learning by finding out about materials scientists and their innovative materials.


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. 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).

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

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

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

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

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

  8. Assessment

Scientific Enquiry: Investigations

  1. Which materials conduct heat?

  2. Can you clean dirty water?

  3. Do all solids dissolve?

  4. Will it erupt?


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.