Most kids love science and finding engaging ways for them to learn is easy, especially when you use food! In this post I’ll share a fun properties of matter cracker lab where students use their senses to observe, describe and then taste the properties of crackers.
Properties of Matter Cracker Lab
During our matter unit second grade scientists learn that matter has observable, physical properties and comes in many different shapes, colors, materials and sizes.
You will need crackers in a variety of shapes, textures, colors, and sizes too. All of the supplies needed for this simple science activity are available at Dollar Tree or any grocery store.
Materials per student:
- a variety of crackers-5 or 6 per student
- hand lens
- optional ruler
- student lab sheet (source)
During our lab students used hand lenses to look closely at the observable properties and features of each cracker. I asked them to take notice of any patterns they observed such as criss-cross or lattice textures and rows of tiny holes. I also encouraged students to choose specific, descriptive adjectives to use to describe the properties of each cracker.
During our matter unit students learned that properties can be observed, measured, and tested. We focused on the fact that engineers, designers, and architects consider the properties of the materials they want to use to determine if they are right for a job. Engineers measure the strength, durability, and even flexibility of the materials they use. They also measure size.
To add a math element to our cracker lab, students used a ruler to measure the length or width of their crackers then recorded the measurements of their lab sheets.
This easy to do cracker lab is a fun one for students, aligned to NGSS, and is a hands-on way to reinforce science, ELA, and math concepts.
Click here to see the properties of matter science unit I use that includes the this cracker lab, the teaching Power Point shown above plus detailed lesson plans and 8 high engagement science experiments. Each lesson is carefully detailed with book and video links, science centers, and student science journal activities.
I hope you’ll try this simple cracker lab with your students as you teach the properties of matter. Be sure to save it for later on Pinterest so you have it when you plan!
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For creative properties of matter activities check out Marvelous Ways to Teach Matter!
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