EdPlace's Year 2 Home Learning Science Lesson: Materials

Looking for short lessons to keep your child engaged and learning? Our experienced team of teachers have created English, maths and science lessons for the home, so your child can learn no matter where they are. And, as all activities are self-marked, you really can encourage your child to be an independent learner.  

Get them started on the lesson below and then jump into our teacher-created activities to practice what they've learnt. We've recommended five to ensure they feel secure in their knowledge - 5-a-day helps keeps the learning loss at bay (or so we think!).

Are they keen to start practising straight away? Head to the bottom of the page to find the activities. 

Now...onto the lesson!


Key Stage 1 Statutory Requirements for Science
Year 2 students should be able to identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses.


What are objects made from?

Although we might go through our day without thinking about every object we see and what it is made from, it is important for children to have an awareness of this, which is why ‘materials’ is a focus in the KS1 science curriculum. If you’re unsure about what they need to know, this lesson will take you through each area so your child will feel more confident about this topic. 

We're confident that if you follow the step-by-step approach below your child will be able to:

1) Understand the different uses for everyday materials
2) Apply this understanding to think about the suitability of different materials

3) Explain how and why particular objects are made from particular materials


Step 1: Check their Current Understanding

Before starting something new, it’s important to check in with your child about what they already know about the topic. Here is some key vocabulary that will come up during the lesson – make sure your child is happy with these words before moving on!

Suitability – Something being right for its purpose (metal is a suitable material for a fork). 


Step 2: What do we already know?

Metal fork: Smooth, Shiny, Sharp 

Plastic bottle: Flexible, Smooth 

Wooden chair: Hard, Smooth, Dull 

Glass cup: Smooth, See-through, Hard

In Year 1, children will have focused on identifying different materials, naming them, and being able to describe their properties. Have a look at some of these objects and see if your child knows what material it is made from and see if they could use some interesting vocabulary to describe it. You could also do this with objects around your home.


Step 3: So what next?

 The next step in learning about materials is to understand their uses in everyday life. Look at the different materials below and think about how many different uses it could have. The pictures are there to help, but your child may be able to think of lots more to add to each list!






Remember, some items can be made from different materials – did you notice how there is a char in both the plastic and wood categories? This leads us to think about the suitability of materials for different objects. For example, the plastic chair might be more suitable for a small child as the material is lighter. It would also be more suitable as an outdoor chair as it is waterproof and easy to wipe if it gets dirty. 

Let’s have a think about the suitability of some other materials. Ask your child each question and have a discussion, before reading the points below. 

What would be the most suitable material to make a window from, glass or metal? 

On the one hand, metal would certainly be strong enough and keep the cold out, but you wouldn’t be able to see through it, which is why glass is a more suitable choice! 

What would be the most suitable material for a teapot, glass or cardboard?

We need to think here about what a teapot needs to be able to do – it will have boiling water in it, so would cardboard be able to hold this? Or would it go soggy and break, spilling the tea everywhere? Yes! So that’s why glass would be the best choice in this instance.

What would the most suitable material be to build a house with, paper or bricks?

What does a house need to be? Strong, safe and able to keep us warm. Imagine a house made of paper – what could go wrong? It could blow over in the wind, catch on fire easily or get soggy and break in the rain! So the most suitable material would, of course, be bricks!


Step 4: Show what you know!

Now would be a good time to check your understanding. Have a go at these questions to see how you’re doing – the answers are at the bottom!

What material are these objects made from?






Which materials would be most suitable to make a………?
Explain your reasons why:

6. Necklace? Wood or metal?

7. Jumper? Fabric or glass?

8.  Plate? Paper or metal?

9. Wall? Rock or cardboard?

10. Toy for a baby? Plastic or metal?


Step 5 - Activity time!

Hopefully, your child has a good understanding of animals and their offspring now. Why not keep practising this knowledge by working through some of the below activities:

All activities are created by teachers and automatically marked. Plus, with an EdPlace subscription, we can automatically progress your child at a level tailored to their needs. Sending you progress reports along the way so you can track and measure progress, together - brilliant! 

Activity 1 - Choosing the Right Material

Activity 2 - How We Use Materials

Activity 3 - Properties of Materials

Activity 4 - What is it Made of?

Activity 5 - Choosing Solid Materials



1) Plastic

2) Wood

3) Metal

4) Paper

5) Plastic

For the next 5 questions, any answer could be accepted as long as there is a good explanation as to why!

6) Metal – it’s not as heavy and can be more flexible

7) Fabric – it’s flexible and comfortable. Glass would not be safe!

8) It depends on what is going on the plate! Paper would be better for children but could go soggy!

9) A cardboard wall would fall over more easily and get soggy if wet, so rock would be better!

10) Metal might be a bit too heavy or sharp for a baby – plastic is a safer option!

Keep going! Looking for more activities, different subjects or year groups?

Click the button below to view the EdPlace English, maths, science and 11+ activity library

All English, maths and science from Year 1 - GCSE