Good scientists can analyze the results of experiences that they create in order to come up with conclusions about the world around them. Students will learn about the properties of matter and materials, and learn in-depth about the property of hardness. They will conduct a hardness test on various everyday materials. This lesson includes activities about predicting the hardness of objects, an experiment, and post-experiment activities that include sorting materials by their hardness and determining what material would work best for a specific task. This lesson also includes printable worksheets.
Students will be able to conduct a hardness test to determine which types of materials are best suited for specific tasks.
Have students discuss what item would work best in the given scenario. Afterward, explain the best choice would be the clipboard because it is the hardest object of the three. Then, discuss the idea of the hardness of materials as a property, and tell students that they will explore this concept in the lesson and experiment today!
Teach students about the observable properties of matter. Explain that we can use our five senses to help us determine the observable properties of an object. Then, define and explain the property of hardness. Afterward, students can engage in the following activities:
First, students will practice predicting if various given materials are hard or soft. Next, they will prepare and then take part in an experiment where they will determine the hardness of various items. This experiment includes some data collected by the students during the experiment on a provided chart (on a slide and as a printable worksheet). After the experiment, students can discuss their results and answer some given discussion questions. They will then use their experiment results to help them sort the materials that they tested from softest to hardest. Finally, students use their new understanding of the hardness of materials to apply to an activity where they sort three items by their hardness.
Students respond to seven multiple-choice and three true or false questions about properties and the property of hardness.
Students will be given a specific scenario where they must determine which material, from a set of given materials, would work best for a specific task. Students will answer their questions in writing and explain their reasoning. This closing activity includes a printable worksheet.
For this lesson’s experiment, the following materials will be needed: pencils, paperclips, chunk erasers, rocks/pebbles, crayons, apples, pennies, and popsicle sticks. This lesson also includes two printable worksheets.