Teaching sequence

Lesson objective

In this lesson students describe materials used to make everyday objects and recognise that many objects are made from a combination of materials that improve how the objects work.


Display wooden and plastic clothes pegs to stimulate students thinking about this science unit.

Guide discussion to identify that the pegs are objects and like all objects they are made from materials.

Ask for suggestions about the names of the materials the pegs are made from and why these materials have been used. Relate ‘use’ to the properties of the materials.

Display the word cards ‘object’, ‘material’, ‘wood’, ‘plastic’ and ‘metal’ from the sheet Word cards for the science word wall, briefly identifying an example of an object usually made from each of the materials. Place the words on the science word wall.

Explain that this science unit is about materials in our world and how they are used for particular purposes.


  1. Hold up the remaining material word cards one at a time and ask students to look around the room and suggest objects they think could be made from these materials. Add to the word wall.
  2. Point to an object such as a window or a chair and ask students to identify all the materials they think have been used to make the object. Identify the purpose(s) of this object. Use the object to explain that the materials from which the object is made are deliberately combined to help the object achieve its purpose.
  3. Emphasise that we can still see the different materials when they are combined. Display the word card ‘combine’.
  4. Allocate students into pairs and ask them to move around the room and find objects made from combined materials. Tell them to discuss the materials used and why they might have been selected. Allow a couple of minutes for discussion and then instruct students to find another object and repeat the discussion. Observe student conversations.
  5. Instruct students to sit in front of the class science journal. Display the prepared box of objects. Demonstrate the next activity with the following actions.
    • Select an object from the box as an example.
    • Open the class science journal and write the title What is it made from and why?
    • Draw a diagram of the object. Explain that scientists often need to draw diagrams of their work.
    • Label the diagram. Explain that scientists also need to label their diagrams so that others know exactly what is being investigated. Explain that the students are looking at the materials objects are made from so they can label these materials on their diagram.
    • Make notes on why the materials were used for that object. Invite students to suggest why the object is made from these materials using ‘property’ words. Discuss how the combining of the materials is necessary to achieve the best results. See sample diagram below.
      A jam jar made of glass with a metal lid. Metal is strong and can be shaped. Glass holds its shape, is heatproof. .
  6. Allocate boxes of objects to student groups and allow time for students to record their observations in their science journals. (This activity provides an opportunity for monitoring student understanding.)


View video clip How it’s made: cricket bat

Ask for student suggestions on what they have learned in this lesson.

Lesson Resources


Student activities

Digital resources

How it’s made: cricket bat, sciencediscovery.com (2.44 min) 


Word cards for the science word wall (Word, 402 KB)

Useful links

Design task: materials swap, work sample 2, year 2 science portfolio summary 2012, pp 6–7. ACARA (PDF, Note: 4.5 MB) 

Investigation: what is it made out of? work sample 4, year 2 science portfolio summary 2011, pp10–11. ACARA (PDF, Note: 2.6 MB)