Outline of unit

Objects are an important part of daily life. The materials from which objects are made are usually deliberately selected and often objects are made from more than one material. The materials selected have particular properties that enable the object to better achieve its purpose.

In this unit, students learn that the materials from which objects are made can either be combined in particular ways, as in a glass window with a metal frame, or they can be mixed together as in a cake mix. The method depends on the purpose of the object and the materials available. Even when materials are sourced from those occurring naturally in the environment, such as paints made by traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures from ochre, there are still deliberate choices made. This unit also explores the end stage of an object’s life by looking at materials, such as paper, that can be recycled into new objects. It becomes apparent that even when recycling, the properties of materials are important and impact on the recycling process.

Cross-curriculum priority

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures


Australian Curriculum content descriptions

Science Understanding

Chemical sciences

Different materials can be combined, including by mixing, for a particular purpose (ACSSU031

Science as a Human Endeavour

Nature and development of science

Science involves asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE034

Use and influence of science

People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE035

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting

Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS037

Planning and conducting

Participate in different types of guided investigations to explore and answer questions, such as manipulating materials, testing ideas, and accessing information sources (ACSIS038

Use informal measurements in the collection and recording of observations, with the assistance of digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS039

Processing and analysing data and information

Use a range of methods to sort information, including drawings and provided tables and through discussion, compare observations with predictions (ACSIS040


Compare observations with those of others (ACSIS041


Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways such as oral and written language, drawing and role play (ACSIS042

Source: Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). 

Achievement standard

This lesson sequence provides opportunities to gather information about students’ achievement of specific components in the standards (which are bolded in the statements below).

By the end of Year 2, students describe changes to objects, materials and living things. They identify that certain materials and resources have different uses and describe examples of where science is used in people’s daily lives.

Students pose questions about their experiences and predict outcomes of investigations. They use informal measurements to make and compare observations. They follow instructions to record and represent their observations and communicate their ideas to others.

Source: Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Dumpling dough, Andrea Nguyen, CC BY 2.0; Pounding red ochre © Queensland Museum, Gary Cranitch; Paper pulp © N Sandry.

Additional information for teachers


Background information (PDF, 607 KB)

Safety advice (PDF, 327 KB)

Materials and equipment (PDF, 483 KB)