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Learning Resource Type

Classroom Resource

Classifying Objects Based on Their Observable Properties

Subject Area





In this lesson, students will develop an understanding that objects and materials have characteristics or properties. Students will be able to recognize similarities between the properties of certain objects and materials and will be able to group the objects based on these similarities.

Students are introduced to the idea that objects and materials have certain “properties” or “characteristics” that can be used to describe them. After working with a simulation to help students understand the meaning of properties and characteristics, students are given a variety of small common objects to sort based on observable properties. Working in groups, students sort objects and record their groupings on an activity sheet. Students are then guided to come up with different criteria for one more set of groupings. Students participate in a class discussion of the different properties used to make the groupings.

    Science (2015) Grade(s): 2


    Collect and evaluate data to determine appropriate uses of materials based on their properties (e.g., strength, flexibility, hardness, texture, absorbency).*

    Unpacked Content



    • Evaluate
    • Data
    • Graphs
    • Properties
    • Purpose
    • Strength
    • Flexibility
    • Hardness
    • Texture
    • Absorbency
    • Collect
    • Appropriate


    Students know:
    • Properties of materials (e.g., strength, flexibility, hardness, texture, absorbency) Different uses for the materials.
    • The relationship between properties of materials and some potential uses (metal is strong, paper is absorbent, etc.).


    Students are able to:
    • Conduct simple tests to collect and display data about the physical properties of various materials.
    • Analyze data to identify and describe relationships between properties and their potential uses.


    Students understand that:
    • Simple tests can be designed to gather evidence about the relationship between properties of materials and their intended uses.

    Scientific and Engineering Practices

    Analyzing and Interpreting Data

    Crosscutting Concepts

    Cause and Effect
    Link to Resource

    CR Resource Type

    Lesson/Unit Plan

    Resource Provider

    American Chemical Society

    License Type