Products and Properties

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SWBAT identify the predominant materials in selected products and explain how those materials support the function of the product.

Big Idea

So many objects, so few materials! Scientists identify materials used in products. Then create a tally chart to discover the materials used most frequently.

NGSS Connections and Class Preparation

30 minutes

NGSS Standards

PS1.A:  Structure and Properties of Matter

Students diagram and label an object's materials and its properties and how these support the purpose of the product.

2-PS1-3.        Make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object

Students gather data to discover how a few materials can be used to create a variety of objects.

Science Practices

- Developing and Using Models (SP 2)

Students create diagrams to identify the objects' materials and the properties of the materials that support the object's purpose.

- Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking (SP 5)

Students collaborate to create a class tally chart of materials used in their products to discover and develop an evidenced based conclusion about which material are used in most objects.  Students use tally marks to create a bar graph to analyze and interpret their data.

- Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (Sp 6)

Students review the materials' properties to construct an explanation why certain materials can be used in a  variety of objects.

Cross-cutting Concepts - Appendix G

- Structure and Function (XC 6)

Students learn how the materials' properties supports the function of the object.

Lesson Preparation

Identify 12 or more objects for pairs of students to diagram. Possible objects to include:

markers, chair, ball, book, shoe, clothing, scissors, musical instrument, desk, stapler, tape dispenser, notebook, pencil box, crayon, water bottle, pen, backpack, pencil sharpener

I have selected objects that do not have internal pieces that students could not easily access in one lesson. 

Decide how many students will work on a poster. My students will work in pairs.


Construction paper for the poster; one poster/team

Gather the objects students will use

Have extra pens in the designated colors available for teams to use


Question for the Day

5 minutes

I post a question at the beginning of each science lesson. This provides an opportunity for students to consider today's topic before the lesson has officially begun. I have established this routine with the kiddos to keep transition time short and effective and redirect student's attention back to content while allowing time for focused peer interaction.

Question for the Day: Look around our classroom, what materials do you think are used the most to make the products that you see?

I show the definition for product and review the term before students turn and talk. 

Product - something that is made or grown to be used and/or sold.

Students read the question and discuss their ideas with their should partner. After partners have shared, they turn to face me. 

I call volunteers to share their ideas, and write their answers on the board.

"This is your hypothesis to this question. What do scientists do to find out if their hypothesis is correct? Right! We test and make observations!"

"Please return to your seats and I will explain how we will gather data to help us prove or disprove our hypothesis."

Breaking Down a Product

10 minutes

"I have made a list of products that we use everyday. You will work with a partner to 'decompose a product' to identify its materials. After your product diagrams are complete, we will use your diagram data to create a bar graph to learn which material is used most often."

Providing my students with an overview of the lesson, helps them make connections with their learning experience and goals of the lesson.

I show my students the pencil poster we made in a previous lesson on materials. I explain that they will be making a similar poster for a product they choose. 

I teach 2 classes. One of my classes did the 'Ball Point Pen' Lesson which would also help scaffold the experience for this lesson.

"Let's review the parts of the poster so you will know what to include on your poster:

- There is a drawing of the product

- Materials used for the product are labeled

- Properties of the materials are labeled in another color 

- There is an explanation how the materials' properties help the product do its job

- Properties and materials are written in different colors

As the parts of the poster are noted, I project a checklist for students to reference as they work on their product diagram.

With the students, the material and property colors that they will use on their poster are selected. I make a key to remind the students of their color choices for material and property labels.

Students write with a pencil to explain how the property helps the the material support the purpose of the product.

Students select the product that they want to 'decompose'. They will work in pairs to create their product diagram.

I direct students to sit with their partner at the desks. Then one student from each pair picks up the product that they will diagram.

I have selected items that are familiar to the students and do not have lots of internal parts which students cannot observe or identify.

Decomposing a Product to Compose a Poster

30 minutes

After students have had a couple of minutes to discuss and handle their product, I signal their attention. With student input we develop a word bank for materials and properties. The word bank is posted on the board as a reference as students begin to work on their posters.

I will use the 'material word bank column' later in the lesson when students tally the materials used in their product.

I pass out the poster paper and check that each group has the designated colored pens to label materials and properties. I check in with the groups and help them identify the different materials and properties and how the parts help the system of the product.

When teams finish their posters, I direct them to tally mark the materials used in their product on the material column of the word bank.

Some Materials Have Many Uses

10 minutes

I signal students to meet me on the rug to review the tally marks.

"Let's total the tally marks to discover which materials are used in most of the products we looked at."

After the tally marks are counted, the class sorts the materials from greatest to least occurring materials.

I use the observation results to start a discussion on the application of the top used material.

"What can we say about our products?" Right, most products have --------- material. What does this tell us about this material? Yes, it can be used for lots of different products.

Why do you think it used in most products? Think about the properties of this material that may make it useful for the other products."

I list their ideas on the board, with the students we discuss the merits of each idea. I circle the ones that can be referenced back to the material properties. I save the data and student ideas. Later this week students will use this information to create a bar graph and conclusion.

If time I lead a discussion on the resources used to produce this material and the impact it has on the Earth.

I congratulate the students on their participation, remind them to write their name on their poster and place them on the back table. I will hang their work in the classroom.