For Key Stage 2 Science pupils

Each section below gives an overview of the subject covered by the webpage, and further activities, which may be online exercises, Worksheets, experiments and interesting facts – for use in the classroom or as homework.

Click a section below.

» Testing Time – Solids, liquids and gases

  • Pupils learn what solids, liquids and gases as states of matter are
  • They identify everyday household toiletries and cosmetics as a solid, liquid or gas
  • Online quiz to identify solids, liquids and gases in personal care products.
Further activities
Demonstrate how water can exist in three states by melting an ice cube over a heat source, boiling the resulting water and watching the water vapour disappear. Explain the change of state.

» Testing Time – Physical changes

  • Pupils learn about the heating, melting and cooling of lipstick, with reference to molecules.
Further activities
Lipstick melts at around 55-90°C so care needs to be taken with handling hot liquid (although it is not boiling).
Find some old lipsticks at home, or ask pupils to bring in some. Bring in some ice cube trays, chocolate moulds or similar. In supervised small groups, using tealight holders or a stove, pupils heat the lipstick, observing the melting process, and pour the melted lipstick into a tray or mould to cool and set. Pupils can time how long the lipstick takes to set, and examine the solid product.

» Testing Time – How aerosols work

  • Pupils learn about what aerosols can contain, what is inside the containers and the mechanism which releases the spray.

The British Aerosol Manufacturer’s Association has a website packed with interesting facts about the different types of aerosol can:

Further activities
An interesting piece of homework could be to look at aerosols during a shopping trip – how many different aerosol products can pupils find?
Deodorant and hairspray are obvious ones, but what about squirty cream, paint, carpet cleaner or fly spray?
What is the most unusual product pupils can find in an aerosol can?
Arrange the class’s findings on a graph. What is the most common aerosol product? What is the least common?

» Good sense – Light and reflection

  • Pupils learn about reflection, thinking about what they see in mirrors
  • Two fun interactive activities demonstrate how angles of incidence and angles of reflection work
  • An online diagram helpfully explains angles of incidence and angles of reflection.
Further activities
Recreate the online experiment in the classroom using a large mirror, a line of objects and some volunteers.

» Good sense – Evaporation and diffusion

  • Pupils learn about sense of smell
  • how perfume comes out of a bottle as droplets
  • how heat from your body makes liquid evaporate and perfume molecules rise into the air, and reach our noses
  • Perfume oils evaporate more slowly than liquid perfume.
Resources for this section
Further activities
  • Bring in a selection of products from home with different fragrances. Ask the pupils to think of suitable words to describe each one. Get them to imagine they are writing an advert for one fragrance. How will they sell the smell?
  • Ask pupils to carry out research on the other senses: touch, taste sight and hearing. Use books and the internet to find out as much as you can about the senses.

» Good sense – Hearing and pitch

  • Pupils learn about sound as waves
  • Why three bottles filled with different amounts of water make different sounds
  • Low and high pitched sounds, and their wavelengths
  • A fun interactive exercise demonstrates pitch using the three bottles
  • How a tune is created.
Further activities
Ask the pupils if they have heard of a glass harp or glass harmonica.
  • A glass harp is a collection of glasses filled with different amounts of water, and each gives a different pitch. In the hands of an expert it is extraordinary:
  • A glass harmonica takes the idea a step further. It is an instrument made of different-sized rotating glasses that is played with wet hands:

The glass harmonica was invented by the extraordinary Benjamin Franklin in 1761. Franklin was one of America’s Founding Fathers, a politician, diplomat, scientist (famously flying a kite in a thunderstorm), inventor, writer and musician.

Franklin saw the glass harp being played and set out to invent a ‘more convenient’ instrument. He called it the ‘Glass Armonica’ after the Italian word for harmony – armonia. Both Mozart and Beethoven wrote pieces for the glass harmonica.

As live music moved into large concert halls, instruments became larger to amplify their sound – amplifiers had not been invented. Unfortunately the glass harmonica could not feasibly be made any bigger, so it became impossible to hear in a public performance, and so dropped into obscurity. Now of course, anything can be amplified, but there are very few glass harmonicas in existence. Some film soundtracks, such as ‘Gravity’ make extensive use of the glass harmonica for its eerie, ethereal sound.

Create your own class glass orchestra!
  • Collect glass bottles, fill them with different amounts of water and arrange them from high pitched to low-pitched.
  • Ask the class to create a familiar tune, or compose their own!

» Plant life – Classifying plants

Pupils will learn that scientists categorise plants into four groups. They are:
  • Mosses (bryophytes) – They cannot hold water or transport it to another part of the plant. Bryophytes have no vascular system (xylem or phloem cells). They do not produce seeds. They reproduce with spores, which are single-celled and more primitive than seeds
  • Ferns – have a vascular system (xylem and phloem cells) and do not produce seeds. Like bryophytes, they reproduce with spores
  • Conifers (gymnosperms) these have ‘naked seeds’ (like those in a pine cone)
  • Flowering plants (angiosperms) – seeds surrounded by ovule – e.g. an apple
  • The different parts of plants that we can use
  • Identifying parts of plants.
Further activities
If you could find some moss, a fern, a pine cone and pine needles, a flower and a fruit, it’s great to ask the pupils to look at these in detail and explain the four categories to them.
Ask pupils to research pictures of different types and sizes of seeds. Create a wall chart showing the smallest seeds (tropical orchids) to the largest (coco de mer).

» Plant life – Relating plants to habitats

  • Pupils will learn how plants adapt to their environments
  • Identifying which plants come from which environments.
Further activities
Ask pupils to research extreme environments – (e.g. deserts, volcanoes, ocean, the Arctic and Antarctic), and try to find the most bizarre plant they can. What does it look like? How is it adapted?
The Welwitschia plant of the Namib desert is one of the strangest. Thought to date from the Jurassic period, each plant can live for up to 1,500 years.

» Plant life – How plants grow

  • Pupils will learn what living things need in order to grow
  • Roots, stems and leaves
  • Photosynthesis
  • Oxygen from carbon dioxide.
Further activities
Grow a runner bean in a jar!
  • Line a jar with 3-4 layers of kitchen paper so they fit snugly against the side of the jar
  • Slide a runner bean seed between the jar and the kitchen paper – about halfway down, and upright
  • Pour a little water into the jar so the kitchen roll soaks it up, but also leaves a little in the bottom. Make sure there’s always a little water in the bottom
  • Place the jar on a bright windowsill and observe how it germinates, produces roots, a shoot and leaves.
If you grow the beans in April or May, the plants can be planted out in containers with canes to climb up, and should produce beans by July.

The resources have been developed by educational specialists, with funding from the CTPA.