Materials in my kitchen

For Class 6 : (age group 10-12 years) Science.
Activity : Materials in my kitchen

Topics that can be taught using this activity :

Different types of food; solids and liquids;the principle of classification.
( Note : A series of questions that are given at the end of the activity should be used as per the topic for which you are using this activity)

Expected learning outcomes : (Outcomes that can be assessed)

1.Knowledge of the materials found in our kitchen and their English as well as Indian language names.
2.Uses of some materials
3.Principle of classification ( that it is based on characteristics of materials).
4. Development of process skills such as observation, analysis, making connections, reasoning, predicting, inferring, self-study through reading and writing without aid of textbook.

PREPARATION FOR CLASS : Two periods (80 minutes)

Materials, instruction sheets printed and xeroxed, plan of lesson, questions for assessment.

1.The materials for the class may be put into these groups. Ensure that each group of students get at least one material from A-E.

Coriander seeds; fenugreek seeds; mustard seeds; pepper seeds. Turmeric powder, asafoetida powder, wheat flour. Coconut oil( any oil available ), water, lemon juice. Onion, potato, carrot, okra(ladies finger), brinjal and beans. Whole Green gram, Red gram, broken black gram. Sugar, and powdered gud

Group A :Coriander seeds; fenugreek seeds; mustard seeds; whole Green gram, red gram, broken
black gram.
Group B : Turmeric powder, asafoetida powder, wheat flour, sugar, powdered gud.
Group C : Coconut oil, water, lemon juice.
Group D : Onion, potato, carrot, okra(ladies finger), brinjal and beans

2.Equipment needed for this activity :Weighing scale used in kitchen. Measuring jar ( 10ml/20ml)

Each child should have :

a) 2 small containers for each group; b) a small rod/spoon for mixing materials ;c) a small napkin to wipe their hands; d) Water for washing/cleaning.
(Try as far as possible to use reusable plastic containers, or throwaway matchboxes, chalk boxes, small cardboard carton etc in place of glass equipment.)

3.Writing materials;

4. Instruction sheet prepared by the teacher

5. Questions to be asked after the activity.


  1. Divide your class into groups. Make sure that there are not more than 5 in each group. Its best to put up the groups and their seating plan in advance to save time. So if you prepare the groups and put it up in the class notice-board ( or announce it to them, then time management would be easier.) Also do not change groups frequently. Let a group work together for at least a fortnight if not one month.
  2. Distribute the instruction sheet and materials. Once the students are seated first distribute the instruction sheets and then ask them to collect their equipment and materials from you/your table. One student from each group will come to your table and collect the equipment needed to carry out the activity. Now give them 2-3 minutes to read quietly.
  3. Ask one student from each group in turn to read aloud what is given on the printed sheet. This should not take you more than 5 minutes. At this point do not encourage any other questions other than meanings of difficult words .
  4. Now ask them to start working. They are allowed to discuss but softly. Give them a fixed time to finish their work. Since this is a project the activity would continue for more than one class.
  5. As the students work you may go around and clarify in case the groups get stuck on their work.
  6. Once they are through with their work – you start asking them questions

Instruction sheet to be given to students
(available in pdf format)

Read the instructions given below carefully and do as given there:

  1. Make sure that you have six packets each numbered from 1 to 6.
  2. Open one packet at a time ,observe it carefully and write any five characteristics of these materials.
  3. Do you recognize the material? If so write down its English name and the name it is referred to in Hindi(or Gujarati/Tamil/Punjabi/…..whatever is the local language)
  4. For each one of them write down their colour, appearance , smell, and taste. Is it possible to write the size? Why?
  5. Experiment with these materials. Mix any two of them and see what happens. Make a note of what you see happening everytime you mix any two materials.
  6. You can even rub some of these materials on a piece of paper and see the results. Note down everything you try and the results of your experiments.
  7. Now you know something about their characteristics from all of your experiments and observations.
  8. Use this information to:
    • Sort the materials into two groups. Write down why you have put each of the material into a particular group.
    • Can you sort them out in any other way? Is it possible to form some other groups into which these materials can be sorted?

Questions for the teacher to ask after the activity is over
(available in pdf format)

(These questions can be pinned on the class notice board after the class is over. Not all these questions need to be asked. Choose those questions that best fit the topic for which this activity is done and according to the time you have. Keep also in mind the skills you wish to develop in the students.)

  1. Pick up each one of the food items and ask one child to loudly state its name in local language and in English. Ask one of the students to come up to the board and write the names while you discuss.
  2. For each food item ask : Do you eat this raw or cooked?
  3. Do you like it or dislike it ? Why?
  4. Do you know one good thing that your body gets by eating this food. ( if students are not able to answer then the teacher should lead them to the answer with further questions)
  5. Which part of the plant produces this food item?
  6. Why do you say that this is solid or liquid?
  7. Can you find its weight? How?
  8. Predict the weigh of coriander seeds in the container.( Keep some standard 50gm packets of these seeds for students to verify, if you do not have a weight scale)
  9. Can you find its volume? How? Estimate the volume of the oil before actually weighing.
  10. Estimate how may coriander seeds( fenugreek, pepper, mustard) will be found inside the cup(which ever container that is used)
  11. What are the qualities you have used for sorting and grouping?
  12. What is the scientific term used for grouping substances?
  13. What are the 2 main reasons for classifying some of these substances as solids or liquids?
  14. Can these substances be classified in any other way?
  15. How is classification useful?

Some thoughts on group activities;

Time management : Activities require active participation of children and not passive carrying out of instructions. Therefore despite the time given for this activity use your own judgment of the time required based on your pupils’ abilities. What is important is that they learn by performing the activities themselves and that you have time to raise questions to assess how far they have learnt what you wanted them to learn; have time to answer the questions they raise.
Participation & class management: Irrespective of the numbers in class these activities are better done in groups as peer learning would be a great asset to you as a teacher. This way you have better class management especially if the numbers are large. You will be able to observe and help greater no of students too. Finally this way you can also remain a facilitator rather than an instructor. Assign groups carefully and keep shuffling them once in three weeks at least.

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