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WESTERN CAPE PRIMARY SCIENCE PROGRAMME

An example of a learning experience in the Natural Sciences

MATTER
Grade 6
We all need houses
&M ATERIALS
1. We use many different materials to build our houses
2. Different materials have different properties
3. Building materials – introducing a table of properties
4. Investigation: What kinds of materials are suitable for foundations,
damp courses and walls?
5. Investigation: What materials will we use for our roof to keep
our house at a comfortable temperature?
6. Can you make the temperature inside your box house more
comfortable?
7. Investigation: How easily do
our roofing materials burn?
8. What kind of housing
is suitable?
© Western Cape Primary Science Programme (PSP)
Rationale
These materials were written to support teachers in their work with learners around
the content area of Matter and Materials. This is not a complete work schedule. It
offers possibilities for teachers to include other learning experiences and to extend
and develop it further. This example learning experience shows how you can work
towards the three Learning Outcomes in the Natural Sciences of the National
Curriculum Statements (NCS).
LO1: Scientific Investigations
A The learner will be able to act confidently on curiosity about natural phenomena,
and to investigate relationships and solve problems in scientific, technological
and environmental contexts
LO2: Constructing Science Knowledge
A The learner will know and be able to interpret and apply scientific, technological
and environmental knowledge
LO3: Science, Society and the Environment
A The learner will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the interrelationships
between science and technology, society and the environment
We know that children are naturally curious and observant. Children learn about the
world by observing, asking questions and trying to make sense of what they
experience. Science teaching should allow these natural tendencies to keep growing.
Encourage your learners to ask questions. Questions are an opportunity to engage the
class in observations and discussions.
In Science we want students:
A to develop a lively curiosity about the world around them
A to be confident to raise questions
A to link their questions to what they observe in their home environments and in
the world.
This can lead to a rich thinking, talking and writing environment. Children who have
this curiosity will learn and become creative human beings too.

Assessment
The assessment tasks in this group of learning experiences are directly linked to the
Learning Outcomes of the NCS. They are designed to encourage learners to show
what they know, to show what they are thinking and to record and show you their
questions.
Course presented by Nontsikelelo Mahote and Rose Thomas
Booklet designed by Welma Odendaal.
Illustrated by Janet Ranson and Nicci Cairns

Western Cape Primary Science Programme (PSP)


Edith Stephens Wetland Park
Lansdowne Road, Philippi, 7785
P O Box 24158, Lansdowne 7779 South Africa
Tel: 021 691-9039 Fax: 021 691-6350
E-mail: info@psp.org.za Website: www.psp.org.za
Contents
SECTION 1
Learning Experiences: We all need houses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5–40
1. We use many different materials to build our houses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
2. Different materials have different properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
3. Building materials - introducing a table of properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
4. Investigation:
What kinds of materials are suitable for foundations, damp courses and walls? . . . . . .14
5. Investigation:
What materials will we use for our roof to keep our house at a
comfortable temperature? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
6. Assessment task for LO1
Investigation:
Can you make the temperature in your box house more comfortable? . . . . . . . . . . . .27
7. Investigation: How easily do our roofing materials burn? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Assessment task for LO2
Drawing and writing about what we have learnt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
8. Assessment task for LO3
What kind of housing is suitable? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Suggested Workscheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
SECTION 2
Teacher resources
Learner task cards to photocopy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44–60
Assessment Task cards
LO1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
LO2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58
LO3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60
Article: “Are prefabricated houses the solution?” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61
Pictures of houses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62
Classification of materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68
SECTION 3
Extracts from NCS
Core knowledge and concepts in Matter and Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Learning Outcomes and Assessment Standards (NCS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74
SECTION 1
LEARNING EXPERIENCES: We all need houses
Assessment tasks
LO1 Can you make the temperature in your box house more comfortable? . . . .28
LO2 Drawing and writing about what we have learnt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
LO3 What kind of housing is suitable? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Suggested workscheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

4
We use many different
1 materials to build our houses
Key concepts Teacher Task
• Most houses have common
Introduction
features in their structures,
1. Introduce the lesson by discussing a story about building a house such
e.g. roofs, walls, doors etc as ‘The Three Little Pigs’, pointing out the following
• We use different materials L The different parts in the little pigs’ houses e.g. roofs doors etc
to make the different parts
of our houses
L The different solid materials they used to build the parts of their
• We use many different solid houses e.g. roof made of grass etc
materials to build our 2. Give each learner some paper to make a drawing with labels of an
houses.
interesting house (learners can use their home language to label their
houses)

1. Draw a picture of an interesting house


Learner Task 2. Label the parts of your house.

Teacher Note
Flat-roofed house
roof (asbestos) You will have to help
learners with the
names of some
materials, e.g. asbestos.
beams window pane Also help them with
their drawings.
window

foundation
door frame door

thatched roof wooden walls

House with tiled roof

Rondawel / hut with thatched roof

5
1. Make a drawing of a house on the chalkboard or use one of the learner’s
Teacher Task drawings. Refer to the drawing to introduce the names for the different
parts of a house in as many languages as possible. N.B. learners may
have to improve their drawings to include the parts they did not draw.

Checklist
task card to English isiXhosa Afrikaans
photocopy on Roof Uphahla Dak
page 44.
Foundation Isiseko Fondasie

Window panes Ifestile /iglasi ye festile Vensterrame

Wall Udonga Muur

Door frame Umgubasi Deurraam

Window frame Isisekelo se glasi ye festile Vensterraam

2. Let learners choose two different pictures of houses made of different


Learner Task building materials (page 62).
(Can be used to assess LO2)
Comparing the materials used in two different houses
1. Draw a picture of an interesting house.
2. Label the parts of your house.
3. Choose pictures of two different houses.
House 1
4. Look at the pictures of the different houses and
the materials they are made of.
Complete the table below.

Part of the What materials is it made of?


house
House 1 House 2
Roof Zinc Asbestos
Wall Bricks Cement bricks
Door Wood Wood
Window Glass Glass
Door frame Wood Metal
House 2
Window frame Wood Metal
Foundation Stone Concrete

5. Write sentences like the following to compare


each part of your two houses:
One house has a roof made of zinc but the
other house has a roof made of asbestos.

6
Assessment task for LO2
Comparing houses
Assessment task Assessment criteria for LO2
Sentences comparing the materials L The sentences should compare
used in two different houses the same part of the two houses
e.g. compare roof with roof
L The learner must use the key
words for the parts and the
materials correctly (such as walls,
asbestos, roof, zinc, windows,
glass, etc.)

Consolidation
Facilitate a class discussion in order to start learners thinking about
L Why certain materials were used (usually chosen because of their unique
[special] properties, or because of their price or availability)
L Where they came from (they can always be traced back to the
environment). This discussion lays the foundation for the next activity.

Ask
are all houses made
of the same
can a house be made
materials?
of only one
material? why or
why not?
what can you do with
them and how do they
contribute to the
structure of the
house?

what is special
about the different
materials?

think of many
reasons why they
used different
materials.

7
Different materials have
2 different properties
Key concepts Teacher task
• Different solid materials
have different properties
Introduction
e.g. hard, soft, shiny,
transparent, waterproof, Explain
smooth, strong, flexible, Explain to the learners that when we talk about the properties of materials
brittle, hardwearing etc.
we are talking about the unique features of that material that makes it
• The materials are used
because they have suitable
useful in a house. For example we use glass for windows that we want to see
properties for a specific through because it is transparent and strong. But we might choose ‘frosted’
purpose or they look nice glass for our bathroom windows because it lets the light through (is
(they have aesthetic translucent) but is not transparent.
qualities).
Refer to the houses of the three little pigs again and discuss with learners
the properties of the materials that each little pig used to build his
particular house.

Describing the properties of the different materials


1. Use flash cards (labels) to introduce vocabulary to describe the
properties of the different materials used to build the different parts of
the classroom e.g. the classroom brick walls are strong and hard, the
metal chalkboard is rigid and flat etc. Ask the learners to make labels of
the different properties and to prestik them on the appropriate place in
the classroom.
2. Show some examples or pictures of different materials and help learners
to name the materials and describe their properties using adjectives
similar to the ones below and
on the opposite page. Cement (strong
and hard)

at
fl
rigid

Steel (hard,
flexible and
strong)

8
Ceramic tiles (smooth and flat)

Wood (easy to cut, smooth) Glass: (transparent and waterproof)

Brick (hard wearing, rigid and strong)

Plastic (waterproof and flexible) Zinc (shiny, smooth and malleable)

9
3. Send different groups to different parts of the school to
look at the building materials used. (Provide the
task sheet to photocopy following task sheet.)
on page 45.

Learner task Finding out about the properties of the


materials our school is made of
no it is a mirror.
is that metal? it is glass.

Instructions
1. Choose an area of your school building for example, the foyer, the corridor, a classroom, the
bathrooms, etc.
2. Name the different materials used in that area
3. Describe the properties of those materials
4. Record the information on the table below.
Why did the builder use this
Part of the school Materials used for building
material?
Write down the properties below

10
this gutter is made of Teacher task
plastic … 1. Lead a class discussion about what the learners found out.

Ask
M Who went to the corridor/ admin block etc.?
these tiles M What building materials were used to build the corridor/
are made admin block etc., and what are the properties of these
building materials?
of concrete.
M Why do you think the builder decided to use this material?
2. Complete the chart using the learners’ feedback from the
whole class. The learners can copy this into their books at
the same time.

Part of the school Materials used for building Why did the builder use this
material? Write down the
properties below
Foyer
Roof Roof tiles Waterproof
Walls Cement bricks Strong
Windows Glass Transparent
Floor Ceramic tiles Smooth, easy to walk on, easy to
clean
Classroom
Roof Asbestos Weather proof and fireproof
Walls Cement bricks Strong
Door Wood Weather proof
Chalkboard Metals (covered with special paint) Smooth, easy to write on (flat)
School hall
Roof Tiles Water proof
Walls Cement bricks Strong
Doors Wood Weather proof
Foundation Concrete Very strong
Bathroom
Sink Stainless steel Light, smooth, not breakable, can
hold water
Pipes Plastic Light, durable, does not rust,
waterproof
Toilet bowl Porcelain Smooth, easy to clean
Corridor
Roof Fibre glass Translucent, (lets in light)
waterproof
Poles Concrete Strong

11
Consolidation
Help the learners to write sentences like the following describing the
different materials and their properties.

Learner
Our school building
writing task
Our school building is made of different kinds of materials. We use each
material because of its useful properties for a particular purpose.
Glass is used for windows because it is weatherproof and transparent
Cement bricks are used for building walls because they are strong and hard.
Asbestos is used for making the roof of the classrooms because it is weatherproof
and fireproof.
The builder used fibreglass to make the roof of the corridor because it lets in the
light and is waterproof.
Concrete poles are used along the corridor because they are very strong and hold
up the roof.

ceramic tiles

stainless steel

plastic.

12
3
• Certain materials have

see full size


way it can be re-shaped
usually relate to the way

forms of energy, and the


the material responds to
Key concepts

suitable to use for building

table on page 59.


properties that make them

light, water, heat and other


• The properties of materials

Properties of Materials
Explain

Property of the Glass Metals Wood Plastic Plant & Animal Clay products Stone and
properties.

material fibre products (Fired and unfired concrete


How the material (Grass, reeds, paper, clay)
responds to: cardboard, carpet,
Introduce

fibreboard, etc.)

Transmission of Transmits light Does not transmit Does not May


light light; may reflect transmit light transmit light
light

Being re-shaped Can be re-shaped Can be re-shaped Can be re- Can be re- shaped,
by cutting or after after heating shaped by by cutting, bending
heating cutting and etc.
sanding
missing information on the table.

Keeping its shape Retains its shape Many retain their Bends at 200°C Decomposes It goes hard after
at high shape and burns above (undergoes a firing at over 500°C
temperatures this temperature chemical change)
(500°C to 800°C) or melts and burns
and when exposed
to fire
Building materials

Conducting heat Conductor Good heat Bad heat Bad heat


conductor conductor conductor

Conducting Does not conduct Many are good Does not Does not conduct
electricity electricity conductors conduct electricity
electricity
more about the properties of different building materials.

Being tested for Shatters easily Most are strong Strong Stronger than glass
strength
Introduce the following table of materials and some of their useful

Absorbing water Not absorbent Not absorbent


Introducing a table of properties

2. Tell learners that some of the information on the table is missing but
1. Read through the table below with the learners to help them find out

properties. After each investigation we will be able to fill in more of the


they will do investigations to find out more about the materials and their

13
4 Investigation
What kinds of materials are suitable for
foundations, damp courses and walls?
Key concepts Introduction
• Some materials naturally
1. Lead a class discussion about houses and the materials they are made of.
absorb water and some are
waterproof Ask
• Sometimes walls are made
from materials that can
absorb water from the soil.
what materials are houses
In this case the water will made of?
rise up the wall making it
damp; this is called rising
damp
• Inserting a damp course, what are formal houses
made of a waterproof
material, into a building made of?
between the foundation
and the walls can stop
rising damp.
what are informal houses
made of?

What would happen to your house if there were heavy rains


or floods?
Look at the pictures of the houses. What will happen to these houses in
heavy rains or in a flood?
See page 62 for pictures of houses

2. Read the following article with the learners

Rising damp
In the early 1990s when Khayelitsha near Cape
Town was being developed into a new suburb of
Cape Town, developers built many houses. People
bought the houses but soon afterwards took to the
streets to toyi-toyi because their houses had been
badly built.
One of the complaints was that after a few years
all the houses had developed rising damp in the
walls.
People complained about the black mould and
fungus that was damaging their carpets and
cupboards that stood against the damp walls. In
addition people were complaining of asthma and
skin irritations because of allergies to the fungus
and mould.

14
Ask
why do you think
these houses had
rising damp?
what do you
think went
wrong when
these houses were
built?
whose fault is it
that they are
damp?

Teacher Note
The problem of rising damp
One of the problems for a builder is that water from the soil will slowly rise up
the foundations and walls of a building, even when the material is fairly hard
and waterproof. The water rises up the tiny pores and cracks in the material.
This is called rising damp and it occurs naturally. If rising damp is not stopped
it will eventually make the walls soft and spongy and will cause the roof beams
to rot if it reaches that high. Also you will see fungus and mould growing on
the walls and carpets (this has serious health implications for people especially
asthmatics). The fungus likes to grow on the damp walls. It feeds on the
minerals in the wall.
Preventing rising damp
The builder can prevent rising damp by laying down a damp course. The damp
course is usually made of a waterproof material such as a thick sheet of plastic.
The builder lays down a thick plastic sheet on top of the foundations and
under the floor of the house. This forms a waterproof barrier and prevents
water from rising any further. So the walls and floor will stay dry.
The need to have building plans
Most municipalities provide strict regulations for new buildings. These
regulations require that the builder must submit his plans for the building. The
plan must comply with various specifications for safety reasons. For example,
the roof beams must be strong enough to support the roofing material; the
foundations must be deep and strong enough to support the walls and there
must be a damp course between the foundations and the walls. During the
building process the building inspector has to come and check that the builder
is actually making the building according to the plan.

15
House showing the position of a damp course
roof

door

window
the floor inside window pane
the house is
above the damp wall above
course damp course

foundation black plastic


damp course
note the
position of a
damp course.
Introducing the idea of a damp course
Make a simple drawing of a house on the chalkboard. Introduce the idea of a
damp course by colouring it in, in the correct position on your drawing of a
house.

Testing building materials and showing how a damp course


works
Explain to the learners that they are going to test and compare some bricks
to see if they absorb water and if the water rises up the outside. They are
also going to test to see what happens to the water and the bricks when we
lay a damp course between the bricks. We will also test wood and cardboard
because these materials are used for walls in informal housing as well as in
some formal housing.
1. Ask learners to collect the following materials in shapes that can be
stacked on top of each other.
Teacher Note L commercial fired clay bricks or smaller pieces of brick
You may like to get the L cement bricks or smaller pieces
learners to make some L pieces of thick cardboard
sun-dried bricks out of L they can make bricks from any other material
clay. They must mix
2. Provide sheets of plastic (cut from a shopping bag) for the damp course.
clay with grass and
3. Provide ice cream containers or trays to stand the bricks in.
shape it into bricks and
dry them in the sun. 4. Put water into the container so that the first layer of bricks at the
You can get the clay bottom is standing in water (about half way up the bricks).
from a craft shop or 5. Leave the bricks for at least a week. Make sure they are always standing
pottery supply shop or in water.
find it in the local Each group can test a different kind of brick and then share their results
environment. with another group.

16
Making a clay brick

small pieces of
grass or straw

raw clay

finished brick to dry in the sun

Task card to photocopy


Investigation
on page 48. Will all kinds of bricks absorb water? And does a damp course protect
the bricks from the water?
1. Set up your bricks like this:

A B

The bricks
are damp
and wet.

Do the bricks absorb the water? Does the water rise up the bricks?
A. One pile of bricks 2. Leave the bricks like this for at least a week, making sure the bricks at
has a damp course the bottom are always standing in water.
B. The other does not.
3. Write and draw to show what happened to your bricks when there was no
damp course.
4. Draw and write to show what happened to the
bricks that had a damp course.
5. Write to tell what happened to the bricks
above the damp course.
The bricks above the damp course
remained dry.
6. Explain why we must have a damp course laid
when we are building our house?
We want to stop the water rising from the
ground up through the foundations into the floor
and walls.
The bricks below the damp course are wet. The
bricks above are dry

17
Investigation continued

7. Now look at your drawing of a house and draw where you would put the
damp course.
8. Write to explain why a house should have a damp course.
A house should have a damp course to protect the walls and floor from
rising damp. After some time rising damp will make the people ill and
weaken the structure of the house.

1. Set up a demonstration to show how a damp course works. Fill some


Teacher task matchboxes with sand. Set them up like this:
A. Without a damp course

matchbox bricks

container

rising damp

water level

B. With a damp course

dry matchbox bricks

container

damp course (sheet of


plastic)

wet matchbox bricks

no rising damp

water level

Explain that the damp course (sheet of plastic) prevented the damp from
rising in the matchbox bricks.

18
Consolidation
Help learners to share their results. Each group must present a short report
on their results. Place all the different bricks at the front of the classroom
and together with the learners decide on the best materials to use for the
L Walls
L The damp course
L The foundations.
Explain that if we know about the properties of a material it helps us to
choose the best one for a particular purpose.
Finally the learners complete the following writing task and table.

Learner task 1. What are the best materials to use for our foundations, walls, and damp
course? Explain why you have chosen those materials.
2. Copy and complete the table of properties.

Property Glass Metals Wood Plastic Plant and Clay products


animal fibres (fired and
(cardboard, unfired clay)
grass, fibre
board, etc)

Absorbs Not Not Absorbs Does not Absorbs Hard bricks


water absorbent absorbent water absorb water water Do not absorb
water but get
damp on the
outside
Dried clay
Absorbs
water

19
5 Investigation
What materials will we use for our roof to
keep our house at a comfortable temperature?
Key concepts Introduction Teacher task
• Different roofing materials A. Planning: Developing questions to investigate
can affect the air
temperature inside a house Start by asking:
• Different roofing materials What makes a room comfortable to live in?
absorb or reflect heat
differently.
(Learners will give answers like: comfortable furniture, right size, enough
light, not too much noise, carpet, curtains, security, comfortable
temperature, good view etc.)

not too hot,


not too cold.
just right!

L What is a comfortable room temperature?


Teacher Note L How can we find out what is a comfortable temperature?

Let learners make some


guesses about what is a don’t hold the thermometer by the bulb when
comfortable tempera- you are measuring the air temperature.
ture.
the air must be in contact with the bulb.
Discuss: is the tempera-
ture in the classroom
today comfortable?
Explain why or why
not.
Introduce the labora-
tory thermometer and
demonstrate how to use
it. Take the temperature
in the classroom.
Now decide what will
be a comfortable
temperature range in
the classroom (Usually
21°C –27°C)
L Does the temperature in the room stay the same all day? Why or why not?

20
1. Ask learners what factors (things) might influence the temperature inside
Teacher task a house?
L Do you think the materials that the roof is made of can influence
the temperature inside the house?
2. Make a mind map on the chalkboard of all the factors that could
influence the air temperature inside a house.

The weather How many


If it has a
The size windows and
ceiling or not
of the house doors it has

If the doors
and windows If there are carpets or not
are open or shut FACTORS THAT
AFFECT THE AIR
If it has air
TEMPERATURE
conditioning
The roofing material INSIDE A HOUSE
– is there a tiled
roof or a plastic roof? If other buildings
If there are curtains to or trees nearby
If there is heating block out the sun
block out the sun or keep
in the heat Etc.

Teacher task 3. Develop a question for investigation:


Take an idea from the mind map and develop a question that could be
investigated. For example:
L Does our roofing material keep our house at a comfortable
temperature?
4. Make a hypothesis
Help the learners to make a statement like the one below as a hypothesis
(a statement that they believe might be true).
For example:
L Hypothesis
We think that: Our roofing material helps to maintain a comfortable
temperature (about 21°C to 27°C) in our houses during the day.

Explain
after doing the investigation you will
be able to decide whether your
statement is true or not.

21
B. Conducting the investigation and collecting data
Prepare
a) Collect the cardboard lids from A4 size photocopy paper boxes - one per
group. Every group should have the same sized box.
(Alternatively collect shoeboxes)
b) Collect a different roof material for each group e.g. tiles, black plastic,
Teacher Note tin foil, cardboard, transparent plastic, grass, newspaper etc.
Before the learners do c) Provide laboratory thermometers (one per group) and sticky tape
this task, make sure d) Provide graph paper for each learner. The learners must draw the vertical
they know how to plot
a graph correctly.
(y) axis to plot the temperature in °C and the time of the day on the
horizontal (x) axis.
Task card to photocopy on page 50.

Learner task A. Making box houses with different roofing materials


1. Make a box house like the one below.

grass
wood

black plastic
thermometer

hole for thermometer

thermometer

2. Choose one of the materials and make a roof for your box. Use sticky
tape to seal it.
3. Insert the thermometer in the hole and seal the hole with Prestik. The
bulb of the thermometer must be inside the house and the rest of the
thermometer must stick out so that you can read the temperature without
taking it out of the box.
4. Put the box houses next to each other outside your classroom in a sunny
place.
5. Measure the temperature every hour and record it below.

22
Learner task B. Measuring the temperature in my box house to find out:
Does our roofing material keep our house at a comfortable
temperature?
1. What material is the roof of your box house made of?
Black plastic
2. What are some of the properties of your roof material?
Not transparent (opaque), strong, waterproof, flexible, smooth, shiny
3. Our hypothesis
We think that: Our roofing material helps to maintain a comfortable
temperature (about 21°C to 27°C) in our houses during the day.

is it fair to compare the no the boxes must all be


temperatures if the boxes the same size.
are not the same size?

TEMPERATURES INSIDE MY HOUSE

ROOF MATERIAL: Black plastic

Time of day Air temperature measurement inside


the box in °C

8 am (Before school) 13°C

9 am 15°C

10 am 20°C

11 am 23°C

12 pm 29°C

1 pm 35°C

2 pm 44°C

Etc.

C. Evaluating data and communicating findings


1. Make a graph to show the temperature inside the house at different
times of the day.
Your graphs must have a suitable scale of numbers to show the
temperature e.g. 10, 20, 30, 40 °C.
Plot the time on the X-axis and the temperature on the Y-axis.

23
Learner task
A graph to show how the air temperature changes inside
my box house.

24
task card to
photocopy on
Questions about the graph
page 51
1. What is the highest air temperature inside your box house?
The highest temperature in the house was 44°C
2. Would your box house be comfortable to live in? Explain why or why not.
No, the box house would not be comfortable to live in because the temperature reaches 44°C during
the day. After 12 pm the temperature is already 29°C, which is too hot for comfort. A comfortable
temperature in the house would be 21°C to 27°C. Above that temperature it becomes uncomfortable.
3. Was your hypothesis correct or not? Explain why or why not.
No, our hypothesis was not correct. We thought that the roof would keep the temperature even
throughout the day. But we have proved that this is wrong, because we measured the temperature
and it went up.

Teacher task Compare the temperature in different houses


1. Gather the class results on a chart like this on the chalkboard. The
learners can copy this into their books.
2. Facilitate a class discussion.

GROUP ROOFING PROPERTIES OF HIGHEST LOWEST


MATERIALS THE MATERIAL TEMPERATURE TEMPERATURE

A Aluminium foil Smooth, flexible, 28°C 13°C


shiny

B Cardboard Thick, dense, dull, 36°C 13°C


inflexible

Thatch/grass Flexible, dull, 32°C 13°C


C dense when
bundled together

D Black plastic Shiny, black, thin, 44°C 13°C


waterproof, flexible

E Tiles (clay) Rigid, hard, dense, 30°C 13°C


dull

Clear plastic Thin, flexible, 39°C 13°C


F waterproof,
transparent

task card to
photocopy on
page 53,

25
Ask
what do these
readings tell us?

These readings tell us that none of the roofing materials keeps the
temperature even throughout the day. Aluminium foil is the best to keep
the temperature cooler in the house. On the other hand, black plastic
makes the house very hot. We can see that the roofing material does
have an influence on the temperature inside the house.

Learner task Consolidation


1. Fill in the table of properties of the different materials.

Property Glass Metals Wood Plastic Card, paper, Ceramic


board, fibre tiles

Does it keep Yes Absorbs some Yes Clear Wood, card Absorbs some
the heat in? heat but traps the or paper heat
(Absorbs reflects a lot heat absorbs some
heat) heat
Black Grass or
absorbs heat reed
very much absorbs some
heat

Writing task
L What material will you use for your roof if you want to keep a steady
temperature in the house?
L Write a few sentences to explain why you would choose it.

26
6 Investigation
Can you make the temperature inside
your box house more comfortable?
Key concepts Explain Teacher input
• Materials respond to heat Different materials respond to heat and light energy in different ways. Some
and light energy in different materials absorb energy whilst others reflect the energy. Transparent
ways materials let light through and you can also see clearly through them.
• Some materials absorb
Transparent materials trap heat energy.
energy while others reflect
the energy With the help of the drawings explain the following
• Translucent and transparent L Transparent surfaces transmit heat and trap it
materials trap energy
L Shiny surfaces reflect heat
L Dark surfaces absorb heat.

sunlight energy

some energy is
reflected
Clear plastic
(transparent)
energy is
trapped

energy is
reflected
away
Aluminium Foil
(shiny)

only a little energy


is reflected
black plastic
Black plastic absorbs a lot of
(dark) energy and
heats up the air
in the box

L Explain that some materials prevent the heat from coming in or going
out – these materials are called heat insulators.

27
Introduction
Ask
L Can we make our houses in such a way that the temperature inside
remains even and steady? (By ventilating the house; by opening doors
and windows and by insulating the house;)
L Explain to the learners that they will be doing a project in which they
will experiment with materials to make the temperature in their box
houses more comfortable (steady and even throughout the day at a
suitable temperature).
Task card to photocopy on page 55.

Work in groups Assessment task for LO1


Refer to Assessment Investigation: Can you make the temperature inside your
Standards for LO1
box house more comfortable?
Grade 6 on page 79.
1. Plan
L Design and carry out an investigation to find out what is the best way of
keeping the temperature of your box house comfortable and steady.
L You can do anything to your house to achieve this.
L For example, you can insulate it, make doors and windows, make the walls
and roof thicker, use different combinations of materials, etc.
2. Do and record
L Make and set up your box-house.
L Take temperature measurements and record them on a table.
L Draw graphs to prove that your house has a comfortable, steady
temperature.
L Hand in the recording and the graph for assessment.
3. Report
A. Your group must show your house and tell and explain
to the rest of the class about
L the materials you used to build the house
L the properties of the materials
L what you did with the materials to make the house more comfortable.

B. Your group must write a few paragraphs on what you


learnt about
L the materials you used to build the house
L the temperature inside your house (from the graph).

Houses made by learners.

28
Suggested guide for assessment
Assessment task Assessment criteria for LO1
1. Plan The learners must
Planning and making the house L Make their own choice of suitable materials
(Planning investigations) L Use the materials imaginatively and with
knowledge of their properties to control the
temperature better.

To earn 80% and above The learner must choose a selection of unusual
materials and use them exceptionally imaginatively.

2. Do and record The learners must


(Conducting investigations and collecting data) L Make and set up their box house correctly
L Measure the temperature correctly every hour
L Record the temperatures on a table correctly
(including the units of measurement)
L Draw a graph of their results
(The graph must be correctly plotted, the X
and Y axes labelled, an appropriate scale
provided, and it must have an appropriate
heading).
To earn 80% and above
The learner must work exceptionally logically: The
tables, readings and graphs must show outstanding
attention to detail, accuracy and neatness.
3. Writing a report The writing must
Writing about what they have learnt L Contain detailed information under the given
(Evaluating data and communicating findings) headings
L Show that the learners understand the concept
of a comfortable temperature
L Show whether the learners have succeeded or
not in achieving a more comfortable
temperature. (They should understand how
their results relate to the investigation question)
L Show that the learners have learnt something
about the properties of the materials they used
L Be written in a logical and coherent way. It
must make sense.
To earn 80% and above The learner’s report must be exceptionally clear
and logical to read, and contain detailed
explanations about what they did and why. It
should include any changes or innovations they
made to their method and how this improved their
results or not.

29
7
Key concepts
Investigation
How easily do our roofing materials burn?
Safety Note for Teachers
• Some materials burn more When learners are testing their roofing materials to see how well they burn,
easily than others, which take the following precautions
make them unsafe to use • Burn very small amounts of each roofing material. Cut the materials into
as building materials pieces no more than the size of a child’s little finger nail
• Materials that burn easily • Do not burn substances that produce poisonous fumes like linoleum and
are called flammable polystyrene, etc.
materials and those that do • Open the windows because this activity produces bad fumes and smoke.
not burn easily are called
Some materials will not catch alight very easily when placed on top of the
non-flammable
gauze mat. They can be held directly in the flame using a piece of wire or
needle stuck into a cork.

Teacher task Introduction


Start a discussion about the learners’ experiences of fires that have
destroyed houses, particularly in the case of informal housing.

Ask
A.
There are L Have any of you experienced or heard
many
about a house or houses burning down?
different
causes of L What kinds of houses catch fire?
house fires L How does a house catch fire? What are
some of the causes of fires in houses?
L Why do houses burn so easily?

B.
L How can we prevent a fire in our house?

30
A. Planning: Developing questions for investigation
Ask learners to think about the materials that houses are made of. Ask which
materials they think will burn easily.
1. Tell the learners that they are going to test roofing materials to find out
how they burn and which ones will burn more easily.
2. Introduce the following vocabulary in as many languages as possible:
Flammable (something that burns easily); ezitsha lula, vlambaar
Non-flammable (something that does not burn easily), ezingatshi lula,
nie-vlambaar
Sooty, umsizi, vol roet; fumes, umsi, dampe; bad smell, uvumba elibi,
slegte reuk; poisonous substances, ezinetyefu, gifstowwe; etc.

B. Carrying out the investigation and recording data


1. Give each group of learners the following apparatus
L Spirit burner
L Tripod stand
L Wire gauze
L Matches
L A sample of each roofing material (very small amounts, about the size
of your fingernail)
L A needle or a piece of wire and a cork.
Task card to photocopy on page 56.
Learner task
Observing how easily our roofing materials
will burn
Instructions
1. Place a small piece of each roofing material (about the size of your small
finger nail) on the wire gauze – one at a time.
2. Light the spirit burner and place it under the wire gauze.

small piece of roof cork wire


material
wire gauze
piece of
material
tripod
flame

spirit burner Holding a piece of material


Spirit burner in a flame.
with tripod 3. Record your observation on the recording sheet.
and wire gauze mat
4. Do the same with all the other samples.

31
Observing how easily our roofing materials will burn
OBSERVATION SHEET
Black Tin foil Ceramic Cardboard Grass Paper
plastic tiles

Does the Yes No No No Yes Yes


material catch
fire easily?

Does it burn Big flame – No flame No flame Small flame Big flame Big
with a big or and it melts flame
a small flame?

What colour Yellow flame No flame No flame Orange Yellow/ orange Yellow/
is the flame? orange

Does it make Yes No No Yes Yes, a lot Yes


smoke?

How does it Very, very A little bit – Bad, a very Very bad, catches Bad
smell when it bad, chemical bad acrid smell at the back of
burns?
smell your throat

What is left Sticky stuff White ash – Black ash Black and white White
after it has ash ash
burnt?

C. Evaluating data and communicating findings


Sequencing the roofing materials
1. Make a list of the roofing materials and sequence them from the most
flammable (dangerous) to the least flammable (much safer). Use your
results from the table above.
2. Use everything you have learnt about the materials to decide
L Which roofing material is the best. Explain why you say so.

Fill in the table of properties of the different materials


Property Glass Metals Wood Plastic Card, paper, Ceramic tiles
board, fibre

Does it burn No Doesn’t burn. Yes Clear: Yes Wood, card No


easily? Changes to and it melts or paper:
(Flammable Yes it burns
white ash
or non-
Black: Yes Grass or
flammable)
and it melts reeds: Yes it
burns

32
Teacher Note Teacher task
Most people who live
Class discussion
in informal settlements 1. Facilitate a class discussion on choosing safer materials for roofing
in South Africa have
very little choice about Ask
the materials they use L Which roofing material is most likely to suffocate people or damage
for building. This is their lungs when it burns?
because of the cost of
L Which material gives off unpleasant (probably poisonous) fumes?
the materials. Many
cheap and recycled L Which material just smoulders and gives off lots of smoke?
materials do have L Which material melts as it burns? Why is this very dangerous as roof
useful properties, material when it is on fire? (Because as plastic melts it drops down
which make them
onto people and sticks to their skin causing bad burns)
suitable for building.
However these useful L Why do people choose flammable materials to build their homes?
properties must also be L Are there other materials that they could choose?
weighed up against L What else could people do to prevent fires?
their adverse
(unfavourable)
properties such as their we keep a bucket
flammability. While
poor communities may of sand in our
not be able to replace house to put out
their building materials fires
with more suitable
ones, at least if they
are aware of the
flammability of the
material, such as a
plastic roof, they may
be able to take special
precautions to use fire
more safely in their
homes. Task card to photocopy on page 58.

Learner task
Refer to the Assessment
Standards for LO2
Assessment task for LO2
Grade 6 on page 80. Drawing and writing about what we have learnt about
materials and houses
A. Complete a table
1. Complete the table of the properties of materials on page 34 using the
information from the investigations you have done so far and using your
own knowledge.
2. Is there any information on the table that you could not fill in yet?
Which information?
3. If you could not fill it in yet explain why?

33
34
Properties of Materials
Property of the Glass Metals Wood Plastic Plant & Animal Clay products Stone and
material fibre products (Fired and unfired concrete
How the material (Grass, reeds, paper, clay)
responds to: cardboard, carpet,
fibreboard, etc.)

Transmission of Transmits light Does not transmit Does not May Do not transmit Do not transmit Do not transmit
light light; may reflect transmit light transmit light light light light
light

Being re-shaped Can be re-shaped Can be re-shaped Can be re- Can be re- shaped, Can be re-shaped, Can be re-shaped, Stone can be cut
by cutting or after after heating shaped by by cutting, bending by cutting, bending, before heating into shape
heating cutting and etc.
folding. (before it is fired).
sanding

Keeping its shape Retains its shape Many retain their Bends at 200°C Decomposes It burns It goes hard after Keep its shape
at high shape and burns above (undergoes a firing at over 500°C
temperatures this temperature chemical change)
(500°C to 800°C) or melts and burns
and when exposed
to fire

Conducting heat Conductor Good heat Bad heat Bad heat Bad heat Bad heat Bad heat
conductor conductor conductor conductor conductor conductor

Conducting Does not conduct Many are good Does not Does not conduct Does not conduct Does not conduct Does not conduct
electricity electricity conductors conduct electricity electricity electricity electricity
electricity

Being tested for Shatters easily Most are strong Strong Stronger than glass Strength varies Fired clay is strong Very strong
strength depending on the but shatters when
thickness hit or dropped
Absorbing water Not absorbent Not absorbent Absorbs water Is waterproof Absorbs water Fired clay does not Does not absorb
absorb water water
Unfired clay does

See uncompleted table on page 59.


Learner task B. Write and draw
Writing task (work individually or in pairs)
Writing task about different roofing materials
1. Read the following
In class we have talked about the properties of different building materials.
We tested materials to see the effect of a damp course. We have also
tested and compared how the different roofing materials affect the
temperature in the house. We also tested to see whether the roofing
material burns.
2. Draw and write to tell everything you have learnt about different roofing
materials and how they can affect the comfort and safety of your home.
You can include anything you have learnt in class and at home and what
you know from your own experience.

35
Suggested guide for assessment
Assessment task Assessment criteria for LO2
Filling in the table of properties of materials The table must
M Be filled in correctly except for the information
that learners have not had access to, for
example the information about the conduction
of electricity by the materials. Some of the
other information they will be able to fill in
from their own knowledge
M Contain the key words describing the
properties used correctly e.g. Transmit,
conduct, absorb, shatter, etc.

To earn 80% and above The learner can fill in all the information correctly
(even that which they have not investigated).

Write and draw to tell what you have learnt The drawing and writing about materials and their
about different roofing materials properties should show that the learner
M Understands the effect of materials and their
properties on the temperature and safety and
comfort inside the house
M Has correct concepts about materials and their
properties
M Can make connections to their own context
e.g. drawings and writing about the role of the
materials in shack fires, effects of flooding on
the material, effects of smoke inhalation, etc
M Can write clear and correct explanations.

To earn 80% and above Can include any other relevant information which
shows deeper understanding.

36
What kind of housing is
8 suitable?
Key concepts Introduction
1. Collect some pictures of different types of houses and show them to the
• All people should have
suitable housing. This is a learners (examples to photocopy on pages 61–66).
human right Ask
• There are many different
M Which house has the most advantages? Give reasons for those advantages
kinds of suitable houses
• Governments, towns and M Which house has the most disadvantages? Give reasons for those
individuals supervise the disadvantages.
building of houses
• People choose building 2. Read the newspaper article called ‘Are
materials that are easily
accessible and that have prefabricated houses the solution?’ with the Teacher Note
suitable properties learners on page 39. Alternatively, find other
appropriate newspaper articles about housing. Learners will have
different opinions
Help learners with the difficult words. Explain
about which type of
that ‘Prefabricated housing’ refers to buildings housing is most
that are made in pieces in a factory and then suitable. The
assembled at the place where the house must advantages of the
be built. house may depend on
the access to services
3. Let learners carry out the learner task below. more than the actual
You must pretend to be the mayor (or choose construction of the
a learner to play the role of the mayor). Make house.
sure that all the questions are dealt with. Each
group takes one or two questions from part B.

Task card to photocopy


Teacher Note Assessment Task for LO3 on page 60.
Note about assess- Refer to the Assessment Standards for LO3 Grade 6 on page 82.
ment of this task
You will have to move How do we provide suitable housing for people?
around the classroom
and listen to the A. Read (whole class)
discussion in order to
assess part B (the Read the newspaper article called ‘Are prefabricated houses the solution?’ Or
discussion). You can find your own newspaper article about housing.
assess part C while 1. Do you think that prefab housing like this will be a good way to provide
listening to the people with housing in the future? Discuss why or why not?
learners’ suggestions.
B. Discuss (in groups)
Suggested guide for Pretend you are the mayor or town planner of a town. There are people in
assessment on page 40. the town who do not have homes and they do not have access to building
materials to build their own homes. There are also people who have built
their own homes out of any materials they could find.
1. What would you do to help those people to get houses?
Would you let people build their own houses? Why or why not?

37
2. If you were a building inspector, what rules would you make for building
safe, comfortable houses? Make up six rules and give reasons for making
those rules.
3. How would you help or advise people about the best (safest, strongest,
cheapest, etc.) materials to build houses?
4. Would you supply people with building materials if they want to build
their own houses? Why? Would they have to pay for them? Why or why
not?
5. What kind of materials would be suitable for people to build with and
why? Would the same materials be suitable for all towns in South Africa?
Why?
6. Should people build their own houses? Why? Who should teach them?
7. Why is it important to think and make decisions about housing?

C. Presenting ideas
1. Each group must take two of the above questions and prepare some ideas
about housing that you can suggest to the mayor. Pretend you are
talking to the mayor.
2. You must have 5 or 6 good suggestions about the question. Each person
in the class must present one good suggestion to the mayor.
3. You must write down and draw your ideas and then talk about them.

38
Are prefabricated houses the solution?
This is an article about an idea of how people could address the housing
shortage in South Africa. This idea was put forward by Mr Paul Garner. He is
an engineer who wrote an article in the newspaper. He suggests that we use
prefabricated (built in a factory) buildings to supply houses more quickly.

Are prefabricated houses the solution?


Housing shortage after have been waiting 20
the war years for proper
Paul Garner grew up in housing. In the
England after the meantime they have
Second World War. After built their own
the War there was a ‘informal’ houses or
huge housing shortage. ‘shacks’. We know that
More than half a million informal houses (or
houses had been shacks) can burn very
destroyed or damaged easily. Every year we
by bombs. At the same have terrible shack fires
time, many soldiers were in Cape Town.
returning and needed a
Mr Garner makes a
place to live.
suggestion
Factories made walls Homeless … A fact of life for many without housing Mr Garner suggested
and roofs that the government
The British government needed a quick way to starts to make prefabricated non-burning steel
provide houses for everybody. They decided that the houses. He says the houses will be 20m2 in size
factories that had made guns and bombs during the (about 5 metres long and 4 metres wide). They will
war should now make houses. The factories made have ceiling and roof insulation so that they don’t
the walls and roofs for the houses from big, flat get too hot or too cold. The pieces will be put
pieces of wood and metal. Then lorries took the together (assembled) at the place where the houses
pieces (walls and roofs) straight to the building site. are to stand. The walls will be welded together at
As a child, Paul Garner saw lorries driving past the the corners.
street where he lived, each carrying half a house. Mr Garner suggested that these prefabricated
Every half-hour another lorry drove past. houses could be produced in factories in the
The factories thought that these prefabricated townships. People in the community could be
houses would last about 20 years. But some are still trained to weld the pieces together. He says the
in use today, 60 years later! houses will be quick to make and assemble. Each
house will cost about R10 000 to make. At a later
Housing crisis in South Africa
date, a bathroom with a toilet can be bolted on to
Here in South Africa, we also have a housing
the house. In this way we can begin to provide
crisis. In 1965 our population was 20 million. Today
people with houses quickly.
it is more than 43 million. In the Western Cape
alone, we are short of 360 000 homes. Less than 17
000 houses were built in 2003/2004. And in Adapted from Paul Garner’s article published in the
2004/2005 just over 14 500 were built. Many people Cape Times of Tuesday 10 May 2005

Questions
1. Measure out the size of a 20m2 house on the ground near your classroom.
Do you think this house is a good size for a family? Why?
3. What are some of the advantages of making prefabricated houses?
What are some disadvantages?

39
Suggested guide for assessment

Assessment task for LO3 Assessment criteria

B Discussion about housing The learners must


(Participation in the group) M Be active in the discussion
M Contribute ideas about the questions being
discussed
M Show that they have understood the problems
of housing in the past and the future
M Be able to talk about their own possible
solutions to the problem of housing.
To earn 80% and above The learners must explore a range of issues in their
discussion: the structure of houses; social issues;
historical issues; health; economic issues; etc. and
show that they have depth of understanding.

C Presenting ideas The learners must


(Individual presentation) M Be able to articulate their suggestion clearly and
audibly to the mayor
M Speak logically
M Use key words relevant to the topic
M Use eye contact and appropriate body language
M Show understanding about how to make
housing accessible to those who need it: with
reference to issues of cost, availability of
materials, suitability of materials, ease of
construction, etc.
To earn 80% and above The learners must discuss and present their own
creative and insightful ideas about how to solve the
housing crisis.

Consolidation
Ask learners to talk about everything they have learnt about materials, their
properties and the materials we use for housing. Capture their ideas on a class
mind map. (The learners can copy the mind map into their books)

40
Suggested work scheme
PERIOD 1 PERIOD 2 PERIOD 3 PERIOD 4 PERIOD 5

Learning exp. 2 Contd.


Learning exp. 1 Contd.
• Teacher explains • Teacher leads discussion Contd.
• Teacher tells story about • Learners compare the
properties and and compiles all the Consolidation
houses materials used in two
introduces materials observations onto a class • Learners write sentences
• Learners draw pictures different houses- table
• Learners make table about materials and their
of houses and sentences
observations of materials • Learners copy table of properties
• Teacher names parts of a • Teacher consolidates –
and properties in school- combined results
house asks questions
complete a table

PERIOD 6 PERIOD 7 PERIOD 8 PERIOD 9 PERIOD 10

Learning exp. 3 Contd. Contd. Learning exp. 5 Contd.


• Teacher introduces the • Teacher explains and • Learners make • Teacher asks questions • Teacher and learners
Table of Properties draws a damp course on observations over the about making a room develop a question and
picture of house and next week comfortable make a hypothesis about
Learning Exp. 4
introduces investigation • Teacher demonstrates • Learners take the roofing material and
• Teacher leads discussion
• Learners set up their damp course with temperature in the temp
about houses and reads
investigation matchbox bricks classroom • Learners make box
article about rising
NB Give learners time to • Teacher and learners houses
damp.
make their observations make a mind map about
and consolidate after the factors affecting
they have done so. temperature

PERIOD 11 PERIOD 12 PERIOD 13 PERIOD 14 PERIOD 15

Contd. Contd. Contd. Contd. Learning exp. 6


• Learners set up box • Learners draw graphs • Teacher compiles chart • Teacher consolidates • Teacher explains
houses and record the from their results and of highest and lowest • Learners complete table absorption, transmission
temperatures answer questions about temperatures recorded in of properties and write and reflection of energy
the graph the box houses sentences by materials
• Learners copy table Assessment task for
• Teacher leads discussion LO1
about the findings • Teacher introduces
assessment task and
criteria
• Learners start
assessment task

PERIOD 16 PERIOD 17 PERIOD 18 PERIOD 19 PERIOD 20

Contd. Contd. Contd. Contd. Learning exp. 7


• Learners try to make • Learners draw graphs • Learners show and tell • Learners write • Teacher leads discussion
their own box houses about their houses and paragraphs about what about fire and houses
more comfortable graphs they have learnt • Teacher asks learners to
• Learners take the NB Make time to give predict which materials
temperatures learners feedback after will burn easily
the assessment has • Teacher introduces
been marked vocabulary about fires
and burning

PERIOD 21 PERIOD 22 PERIOD 23 PERIOD 24 PERIOD 25

Contd. Contd. Contd. Assessment task for Learning Exp. 8


• Learners set up • Learners list materials • Teacher facilitates class LO2 • Teacher leads discussion
apparatus and burn from most flammable to discussion about results • Learners do assessment about advantages and
different materials least flammable and • Teacher introduces task (Complete a table, disadvantages of
• Learners record their complete the table of assessment task draw and write) different houses
results properties NB Make time to give • Teacher and learners
learners feedback after read article about
the assessment has prefabricated houses
been marked

Work scheme continued on page 42

41
PERIOD 26 PERIOD 27 PERIOD 28 PERIOD 29

Contd. Contd. Contd. Contd.


Assessment task for • Learners prepare to • Learners present their • Teacher consolidates
LO3 present their ideas ideas whole section and
• Teacher introduces NB Make time to give captures learners’ ideas
Assessment task and learners feedback after on a mind map
criteria the assessment has
• Learners discuss the been marked
questions about housing

42
SECTION 2
Teacher resources
Learner task cards to photocopy
Task card 1 Comparing the materials used in two different houses . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Task card 2 Finding out about the properties of the materials
our school is made of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Task card 3 A. Investigation: Will all kinds of bricks absorb water?
And does a damp course protect the bricks from the water? . . . . . . . 48
Task card 4 A. Making box houses with different roofing materials . . . . . . . . . . 50
Task card 5 Assessment task for LO1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Investigation: Can you make the temperature in your box
house more comfortable?
Task card 6 Investigation: Observing how easily our roofing materials
will burn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Task card 7 Assessment task for LO2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Writing and drawing to tell everything we have
learnt about houses and materials
Properties of Materials: Uncompleted table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59
Task card 8 Assessment task for LO3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
How do we provide suitable housing for people?
Article: “Are prefabricated houses the solution?” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Pictures of houses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62-67
Classification of materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68

43
TASK CARD 1 Task card to photocopy

Learner Task
Comparing the materials used in two different houses
1. Draw a picture of an interesting house.
2. Label the parts of your house.

3. Choose pictures of two different houses.


4. Look at the pictures of the different houses and the materials they are made of.
Complete the table below.

What materials is it made of?


Part of the house
HOUSE 1 HOUSE 2
Roof

Wall

Door

Window

Door frame

Window frame

Foundation

5. Write more sentences like the following to compare each part of your two houses:

One house has a roof made of …………………………………… but the other house has a roof
made of ………………………………………

44
TASK CARD 2 Task card to photocopy

Learner Task
Finding out about the properties of the materials our
school is made of
Instructions
1. Choose an area of your school building for example, the foyer, the corridor, a classroom,
the bathroom, etc.
2. Name the different materials used in that area.
3. Describe the properties of those materials.
4. Record the information on the table below.

Part of the school Materials used for building Why did the builder use this
material? Write down the
properties below.

45
TASK CARD 2 (Continued) Task card to photocopy

Learner Task
5. Complete the chart using the feedback from the whole class.

Part of the school Materials used for building Why did the builder use this material?

Write down the properties below


Foyer

Classroom

School hall

Bathroom

Corridor

46
TASK CARD 2 (Continued) Task card to photocopy

Learner Task
Write sentences like the following describing the different materials and their properties.
Write sentences about at least six different materials.

Our school building

Our school building is made of different kinds of materials. We use each material in the building because

of its useful properties. Glass is used for windows because it is weatherproof and transparent.

47
TASK CARD 3 Task card to photocopy

A. Task INVESTIGATION
Learner
Will all kinds of bricks absorb water? And does a damp
course protect the bricks from the water?
Instructions
Each group can test a different kind of brick and then share their results with another group.
1. Set up your bricks like this.

2. Leave the bricks like this for at least a week, making sure that the bricks at the bottom are always
standing in water.
3. Write and draw to show what happened to your bricks when there was no damp course.
4. Draw and write to show what happened to the bricks that had a damp course.

48
TASK CARD 3 (Continued) Task card to photocopy

Learner Task
5. Write to tell what happened to the bricks above the damp course.
6. Explain why we must have a damp course laid when we are building our house.
7. Now look at your drawing of a house (on task card 1) and draw where you would
put the damp course.
8. Write to explain why a house should have a damp course.

Learner task
1. What are the best materials to use for our foundations, walls, and damp course?
Explain why you have chosen those materials.
2. Copy and complete the table of properties.

Property Glass Metals Wood Plastic Plant and


animal
fibres
(cardboard,
grass, fibre
board, etc
Clay
products

Absorbs Not Not Hard brick:


water absorbent absorbent

Dried clay:

49
TASK CARD 4 Task card to photocopy

Learner Task
A. Making box houses with different roofing materials
1. Make a box house like the one below.

2. Choose one
of the
materials and
make a roof
for your box.
Use sticky tape
to seal it.

A box house with roof material of your choice

3. Insert the thermometer in the hole and seal the hole with prestik. The bulb of the thermometer
must be inside the house and the rest of the thermometer must stick out so that you can read the
temperature without taking it
out of the box. is it fair to compare the
temperatures if the boxes are no the boxes must all be
4. Put the box houses next to
not the same size? the same size.
each other outside your
classroom in a sunny place.
5. Measure the temperature every
hour and record it below.

ROOF MATERIAL: Black plastic

Time of day Air temperature measurement inside


the box °C

8 am (before school)

9 am

10 am

11 am

12 pm

1 pm

2 pm

Etc.

50
TASK CARD 4 (Continued) Task card to photocopy

Learner Task B. Measuring the temperature in my box house


to find out:
Does our roofing material keep our house at a comfortable temperature?
1. What material is the roof of your box house made of?

.............................
2. What are some of the properties of your roof material? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

...............................................................................
3. Our hypothesis: We think that: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

...............................................................................

C. Evaluating data and communicating findings


1. Make a graph to show the temperature inside the house at different times of the day.
Your graph must have a suitable scale of numbers to show the temperature e.g. 10, 20, 30, 40 °C.
Plot the time on the X-axis and the temperature on the Y-axis (Graph paper overleaf).

Questions about the graph


1. What is the highest temperature of air inside your box house? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2. Would your box house be comfortable to live in? Explain why or why not.
.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................
3. Was your hypothesis correct or not? Explain why or why not.
.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

..................................................................

51
52
TASK CARD 4 (Continued) Task card to photocopy

Learner Task
D. Compare the temperature in different houses
1. Gather the class results on a chart like this.

Properties of the Highest Lowest


Group Roofing materials
material temperature temperature

Discuss this question in your group and then write to tell


What do these temperature readings tell us?

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

53
TASK CARD 4 (Continued) Task card to photocopy

Learner Task
E. Fill in the table of properties of the different materials
Property Glass Metals Wood Plastic Card, Ceramic
paper, tiles
board, fibre

Does it Yes Yes Clear Wood, card


keep the or paper
heat in?
(Absorbs
heat) Black Grass or
reed

1. Writing task
M What material will you use for your roof if you want to keep a steady temperature in the house?
M Write a few sentences to explain why you would choose it.

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

.............................................................................

54
TASK CARD 5 Task card to photocopy

Learner Task Assessment task for LO1


Investigation: Can you make the temperature in your box
house more comfortable?
Work in groups

1. Plan
M Design and carry out an investigation to find out what is the best way of keeping the
temperature of your box house comfortable and steady.
M You can do anything to your house to achieve this.
M For example, you can insulate it, make doors and windows, make the walls and roof
thicker, use different combinations of materials, etc.

2. Do and record
M Make and set up your box house.
M Take temperature measurements and record them on a table.
M Draw graphs to prove that your house has a comfortable, steady temperature.
M Hand in the recording and the graph for assessment.

3. Report
A. Your group must show your house and tell and explain to the rest of the class about
M the materials you used to build the house
M the properties of the materials
M what you did with the materials to make the house more comfortable.
B. Your group must write a few paragraphs on what you learnt about
M the materials you used to build the house
M the temperature inside your house (from the graph).

55
TASK CARD 6 Task card to photocopy

Learner TaskInvestigation
Observing how easily our roofing materials will burn
Instructions
1. Place a small piece of each roofing material (about the size of your small finger nail) on the wire
gauze - one at a time.
2. Light the spirit burner and place it under the wire gauze.
3. Record your observation on the recording sheet.
4. Do the same with all the other samples.
cork wire
small piece of roof
material piece of
material
wire gauze
flame
tripod

spirit burner
Holding a piece of material
in a flame.
Spirit burner with tripod
and wire gauze mat

Observing how easily our roofing materials will burn


Observation recording sheet
Black plastic Tin foil Ceramic tiles Cardboard Grass Paper

Does the material


catch fire easily?

Does it burn with a


big or a small flame?

What colour is the


flame?

Does it make
smoke?

How does it smell


when it burns?

What is left after it


has burnt?

56
TASK CARD 6 (Continued) Task card to photocopy

Learner Task
Evaluating data and communicating findings
Sequencing the roofing materials
1. Make a list of the roofing materials and sequence them from the most flammable
(dangerous) to the least flammable (much safer). Use your results from the table above.
2. Use everything you have learnt about the materials to decide which roofing material is
the best. Explain why you say so.
3. Fill in the table of properties of the different materials.

Property Glass Metals Wood Plastic Card, paper, Ceramic tiles


board, fibre

Does it burn Clear: Wood, card


easily? or paper:
(Flammable
or non- Black: Grass or
flammable)
reeds:

4. Discuss these questions with your class.


1. Which roofing material is the most likely to suffocate people or damage their
lungs when it burns?
2. Which material gives off unpleasant (probably poisonous) fumes?
3. Which material just smoulders and gives off lots of smoke?
4. Which material melts as it burns? Why is this a very dangerous roof material
when it is on fire?
5. Why do people choose flammable materials to build their homes?
6. Are there other materials that they could choose?
7. What else could people do to prevent fires?

we keep a bucket
of sand in our
house to put out
fires

57
TASK CARD 7 Task card to photocopy

Learner Task Assessment task for LO2


Writing and drawing to tell everything we have learnt
about houses and materials
A. Complete a table
1. Complete the table of the properties of materials using the information from the
investigations you have done so far and using your own knowledge.
2. Is there any information on the table that you could not fill in yet? Which information?
3. If you could not fill it in yet, explain why.
B. Write and draw (work individually or in pairs)
Writing task about different roofing materials
1. Read the following.
In class we have talked about the properties of different building materials. We
tested materials to see the effect of a damp course. We have also tested and
compared how the different roofing materials affect the temperature in the house.
We also tested to see whether the roofing material burns.
2. Draw and write to tell everything you have learnt about different roofing materials and
how they can affect the comfort and safety of peoples’ homes. You can include anything
you have learnt in class and at home and what you know from your own experience.

58
Properties of Materials
Property of the Glass Metals Wood Plastic Plant & Animal Clay products Stone and
material fibre products (Fired and unfired concrete
How the material (Grass, reeds, paper, clay)
responds to: cardboard, carpet,
fibreboard, etc.)

Transmission of Transmits light Does not transmit Does not May


light light; may reflect transmit light transmit light
light

Being re-shaped Can be re-shaped Can be re-shaped Can be re- Can be re- shaped,
by cutting or after after heating shaped by by cutting, bending
heating cutting and etc.
sanding

Keeping its shape Retains its shape Many retain their Bends at 200°C Decomposes It goes hard after
at high shape and burns above (undergoes a firing at over 500°C
temperatures this temperature chemical change)
(500°C to 800°C) or melts and burns
and when exposed
to fire

Conducting heat Conductor Good heat Bad heat Bad heat


conductor conductor conductor

Conducting Does not conduct Many are good Does not Does not conduct
electricity electricity conductors conduct electricity
electricity

Being tested for Shatters easily Most are strong Strong Stronger than glass
strength

Absorbing water Not absorbent Not absorbent

59
TASK CARD 8 Task card to photocopy

Learner Task Assessment Task for LO3


How do we provide suitable housing for people?
A. Read and discuss
Read the newspaper article called ‘Are prefabricated houses the solution?’ Or find your own
newspaper article about housing.
1. Do you think that prefab housing like this will be a good way to provide people with housing
in the future? Discuss why or why not?
B. Discuss
Pretend you are the mayor or town planner of a town. There are people in the town who
do not have homes and they do not have access to building materials to build their own
homes. There are also people who have built their own homes out of any materials they
could find.
1. What would you do to help those people to get houses?
Would you let people build their own houses? Why or why not?
2. If you were a building inspector, what rules would you make for building safe, comfortable
houses? Make up six rules and give reasons for making those rules.
3. How would you help or advise people about the best (safest, strongest, cheapest, etc.)
materials to build houses?
4. Would you supply people with building materials if they want to build their own houses?
Why? Would they have to pay for them? Why or why not?
5. What kind of materials would be suitable for people to build with and why? Would the same
materials be suitable for all towns in South Africa? Why?
6. Should people build their own houses? Why?
Who should teach them?
C. Presenting ideas
1. Each group must take two of the above
questions and prepare some ideas about
housing that you can suggest to the mayor.
Pretend your teacher is the mayor.
2. You must have at least six suggestions
about the question. Each person in
the class must present one good
suggestion to the mayor.
3. You must write down and/or draw
your ideas and then talk
about them.

60
Are prefabricated houses the solution?
Housing shortage after have been waiting 20
the war years for proper
Paul Garner grew up in housing. In the
England after the meantime they have
Second World War. After built their own
the War there was a ‘informal’ houses or
huge housing shortage. ‘shacks’. We know that
More than half a million informal houses (or
houses had been shacks) can burn very
destroyed or damaged easily. Every year we
by bombs. At the same have terrible shack fires
time, many soldiers were in Cape Town.
returning and needed a Homeless … A fact of life for many without housing Mr Garner makes a
place to live.
suggestion
Factories made walls and roofs Mr Garner suggested that the government starts
The British government needed a quick way to to make prefabricated non-burning steel houses. He
provide houses for everybody. They decided that the says the houses will be 20m2 in size (about 5 metres
factories that had made guns and bombs during the long and 4 metres wide). They will have ceiling and
war should now make houses. The factories made roof insulation so that they don’t get too hot or too
the walls and roofs for the houses from big, flat cold. The pieces will be put together (assembled) at
pieces of wood and metal. Then lorries took the the place where the houses are to stand. The walls
pieces (walls and roofs) straight to the building site. will be welded together at the corners.
As a child, Paul Garner saw lorries driving past the Mr Garner suggested that these prefabricated
street where he lived, each carrying half a house. houses could be produced in factories in the
Every half-hour another lorry drove past. townships. People in the community could be
The factories thought that these prefabricated trained to weld the pieces together. He says the
houses would last about 20 years. But some are still houses will be quick to make and assemble. Each
in use today, 60 years later! house will cost about R10 000 to make. At a later
date, a bathroom with a toilet can be bolted on to
Housing crisis in South Africa
the house. In this way we can begin to provide
Here in South Africa, we also have a housing
people with houses quickly.
crisis. In 1965 our population was 20 million. Today
it is more than 43 million. In the Western Cape
alone, we are short of 360 000 homes. Less than 17 Adapted from Paul Garner’s article published in the
000 houses were built in 2003/2004. And in Cape Times of Tuesday 10 May 2005
2004/2005 just over 14 500 were built. Many people

Housing shortages exist in other parts of the world …

In south-east Asia wooden houses are built on stilts as Even in wealthy societies in Europe, housing shortages
protection against floods. have to be addressed.

61
62
63
64
65
66
A stone-and-mud house with a roof of natural grasses in rural Ethiopia …
completely environmentally friendly!

67
68
CLASSIFICATION OF MATERIALS
Stars (elements)

Earth’s crust, air and water

LIVING THINGS NON-LIVING THINGS


Carbon-based life forms
photosynthesis

wood + plant materials coal + oil & gas leather stone clay sand metals pigments
(fibres) (eg metal oxide)

paper polymers walls ceramics glass gold eg iron oxides


fabrics (eg rayon) foundations copper copper oxides
cups glasses iron aluminium oxides
mugs glazes windowpanes etc
chemicals nylon bricks insulators lightbulbs
polyester tiles
lycra plastics
jewellery
oils electrical wires
solvents steel
paints + dyes etc
SECTION 3
Extracts from the National
Curriculum Statements for
Natural Sciences grades R-9
1. Core knowledge and concepts for Matter and Materials (NCS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70
2. Outcomes and assessment standards (NCS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74

69
Natural Sciences

CORE KNOWLEDGE AND CONCEPTS IN MATTER AND MATERIALS

Properties and Uses of Materials Structure, Reactions and


Changes of Materials
Unifying statement: We can classify materials by their Unifying statement: We can modify
properties, in order to establish types and patterns. Properties materials in ways we choose,
determine the selection of materials for particular uses. through our understanding of their
sub-structure.

Foundation Phase
v Materials have different properties such as texture, colour, v Substances can be mixed and
strength and heaviness, and can be classified by these sometimes changes can be seen,
properties. We make things with materials which have the such as the dissolving of a
properties we want. solid, or new colours when
food colourings/paints are
mixed.

Intermediate Phase
v Pure substances have melting temperatures and boiling v Some changes to materials are
temperatures which are characteristic for each substance, temporary but other changes are
and help us to identify the substance. permanent.
v Materials are evaluated and classified by their properties v Substances change when they
(such as hardness, flexibility, thermal conductivity or receive or lose energy as heat.
insulation, electrical conductivity or insulation whether These changes include contrac-
they can be magnetised, solubility and rusting). tion and expansion, melting,
evaporation, condensation and
solidification. (Links with
Energy and Change)
v Major classes of materials are metals, ceramics (including v The dissolving of a substance in
glasses) and polymers (including plastics and fibres). a solvent depends on variables
Composite materials combine the properties of two or more which affect the rate of
materials. dissolving.

Core Knowledge and Concepts in Matter and Materials

70
National Curriculum Statements Grades R–9 (Schools)

Properties and Uses of Materials Structure, Reactions and


Changes of Materials Changes of Materials
Senior Phase
v Substances in different states (‘phases’) have distinct v A particle model of matter can
properties such as crystalline structures, or explain physical changes of
compressibility/incompressibility, or tendency to diffuse. substances such as melting,
v Dark-coloured surfaces get hotter than light-coloured evaporation, condensation,
surfaces when exposed to radiating sources of energy solidification, diffusion and heating
like the sun. Dark-coloured objects radiate their energy by conduction.
as heat more readily than shiny light-coloured objects. v Many household substances are
(Links with Energy and Change) acidic or basic. Indicators are
v Some materials are magnetised by electric currents or substances that react with acids and
magnets. Some materials can be electrically changed soluble bases to produce products
by rubbing them with a different material. (Links with that have distinctive colours. Acids
Energy and Change) and bases neutralise one another to
v Some conductors and circuit components reduce the form salts. Acids have characteristic
current in an electric circuit to a significant extent and reactions with metals, metal oxides,
are called resistors. Resistors can be selected or hydroxides and carbonates.
designed to control currents. v Many chemical reactions need some
v A pure substance cannot be separated into different energy to get started; many chemical
substances while a mixture can be separated usually by reactions give off energy as they
physical means. Differences in properties can be used happen.
to separate mixtures of different substances (by v Elements are made of just one kind
methods such as filtration, distillation, evaporation, of atom, whereas compounds are
chromatography or magnetism). (Links with Matter made of two or more kinds of atoms
and Materials) in fixed proportions. Elements may
v Specific gases may be separated from the air or react to form compounds, and
produced in reactions, and have many uses in industry compounds may be decomposed into
and other sectors of the economy. Oxygen, hydrogen their elements. Energy input is
and carbon dioxide have characteristic properties and needed to break a compound into its
reactions by which we can identify them. elements, whereas energy is given
v Extracting useful materials from raw materials depends out when elements react to form a
on chemical reactions and methods of separation. compound.
v Raw materials, from which processed materials are
made, must be mined, grown or imported from other
countries. Raw materials that are mined are non-
renewable and mining has environmental costs.
Growing raw materials involves choices about the
use of arable land and water catchment areas.

Core Knowledge and Concepts in Matter and Materials

71
Natural Sciences

Properties and Uses of Materials Structure, Reactions and


Changes of Materials Changes of Materials
(There are no further core knowledge statements for Matter v Oxygen has characteristic
and Materials in this Phase.) reactions with metals and non-
metals, forming oxides. Some of
these oxides dissolve in water to
form acidic or alkaline solutions.
Some metals react more readily
with oxygen than other metals.
Corrosion of iron is an
economically important reaction
which can be prevented through
an understanding of the reactions
between iron, water and oxygen.
v The reaction of oxygen with food
releases energy in the cells of
living things. (Links with Life and
Living)

Core Knowledge and Concepts in Matter and Materials

72
74
75
76
77
78
79
WESTERN CAPE PRIMARY SCIENCE
PROGRAMME TRUST (PSP)

The PSP is an in-service education organisation that supports primary school


teachers in the field of Natural Sciences and related learning areas particularly in
township primary schools in the Western Cape. We are based at the Edith Stephens
Wetland Park, Philippi, situated close to many disadvantaged communities in the
Cape Flats.
The PSP has been operating since 1984 and has built up good relationships with
over 200 primary schools from all the township areas, including the Boland and
West Coast rural areas. More than 1050 teachers from grades 4 to 7 and 126,000
children benefit from the work of the PSP.
The PSP works in an environment where most teachers and learners have to
operate in a 2nd or 3rd additional language. We therefore also work on developing
learners’ communication skills while focusing on science related learning areas and
environment.
The PSP currently operates with a complement of 9 staff.

CONTACT DETAILS
Western Cape Primary Science Programme (PSP)
Edith Stephens Wetland Park
Lansdowne Road
Philippi, Cape Flats, 7785.

P.O. Box 24158


Lansdowne 7779
South Africa
Tel: (021) 6919039 ( Fax: (021) 6916350
e-mail: info@psp.org.za (website: www.psp.org.za)

NPO: 015-822
Registration Number: IT2806/99