11 January 2008

New Year; New Unit

We have just begun our third unit of inquiry on materials. Our central idea is that the world is made up of different materials which have different uses.

We began by asking the question 'What is a material?' and decided that materials are what things are made of, although there was a bit of confusion about the word when it is applied to fabric.

Once we had agreed on our definition, we had a brainstorming session; to think of as many different materials as possible - and we came up with a pretty impressive list including: glass, plastic, wood, metal, paper, leather, silk, iron, clay, stone.......and as we learn more during the unit, we will add to it! Every now and then we reminded ourselves of our definition, by asking the question, 'Can things be made from this?' or by thinking of something and asking, 'What is it made of?'

Then we split up into 4 groups, with each group choosing one material which they would take a closer look at; these were glass, plastic, wood and metal.

We hunted through magazines to find as many different things made from our material. We cut these out and used them to make a collage in the shape of a wine glass; a wooden boat; a metal can; a plastic carrier bag.

We went on a 'treasure hunt' with a digital camera, in and around the school and made a collection of photographs of our materials. We spotted a glass fish tank; a wooden train set; the metal school bell; a plastic sand tray.

We brought in treasures from home to share at school. Giulia shared a metal vase and a glass bead; Sofia brought in a black glass ring; Patricia showed us a plastic toy cat; Matthew found a plastic toy inside his snack.

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