Describing materials to a partner
Each person in the group has a turn at picking out one material and describing it to the rest of the group using as many words as possible. The group can help if you get stuck.
Each person has a turn as before but you are only allowed 5 seconds to hold the material before putting it back in the box and in that time you have to try and say at least 3 words to describe it.
Each person has a turn as above but one or all in the group write down the words used to describe the material. Total up at the end the number of different words used to describe the materials.
After this activity:
Discuss the suitability of some of the words used. The meaning of some words might not be clear eg. squidgy. Shape words might not be useful since most materials can be made into various shapes - fixed shape is a property of a solid compared to a liquid or gas but within solid materials the shape does not tell us anything about the special characteristics of the material itself. Colour can also mislead since plastics and cloth etc. can be coloured using dyes etc. We are more concerned with words such as:
shiny, strong, stretchy, transparent, smooth, flexible, heavy, cold to the touch etc.