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Material Magic    Mystery 1

Mystery 1 image

In this Mystery, students explore the different properties of materials used for clothing. In the activity, students select materials they need to construct a hat that protects them from the sun.

Beginning Exploration (1 of 7)
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Beginning Exploration (2 of 7)

Discuss:

Why do people wear clothes? How many reasons can you come up with?

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Beginning Exploration (3 of 7)
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Beginning Exploration (4 of 7)

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Beginning Exploration (5 of 7)

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Beginning Exploration (6 of 7)
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Beginning Exploration (7 of 7)

Discuss:

What kind of hat do you think you need?

What properties will your hat need to have?

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Beginning Activity: Mad Hatter
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Activity Prep

Step 1: Get supplies.

Each student will need:

  • a paper towel
  • a paper plate (a cheap, flexible one is best)
  • a paper lunch bag
  • a square of aluminum foil (about 12” square)
  • a 3-foot piece of thick string, yarn, or ribbon
  • two clothespins (if you don’t have clothespins, you can substitute hair clips or binder clips)
  • a pencil (for writing on the worksheet)

For each table of students, you’ll need a cup of water and a few spoons.

For the class, it’s useful to have a few hand mirrors, so students can see their hats as they work on them. If you want to take a group photo of all the students with their finished hats, make sure you have a smart phone or camera.

Step 2: Prepare supplies.

Cut a 3-foot length of string/yarn/ribbon and tear off a 12” square of aluminum foil for each student.

Step 3: Print worksheets and Inspiration sheets.

Print a Mad Hatter’s Worksheet for each student.

We also created additional instructions for students who are stumped and frustrated by the task of making a hat. We suggest letting students try on their own, providing these Inspiration Sheets only to those who need the help. Print as many Inspiration Sheets as you think you’ll need for your group.

Beginning Activity: Mad Hatter
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Beginning Activity: Mad Hatter
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Beginning Activity: Mad Hatter
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Beginning Activity: Mad Hatter
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Beginning Activity: Mad Hatter
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Beginning Activity: Mad Hatter
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Beginning Activity: Mad Hatter
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Beginning Activity: Mad Hatter
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Beginning Activity: Mad Hatter
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Beginning Complete!

You've completed the Exploration & Activity!

If you have more time, view the assessment, reading and extension activity in the optional extras.

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Optional Extras

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration which you just completed.

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Readings:

These readings are free with registration on ReadWorks, a nonprofit committed to providing teachers with research-proven, Common-Core aligned readings. All readings include comprehension questions.

  • T-Shirts and Shorts includes four readings to help students get ready for Grade 3.
  • The Silk Mystery describes the properties of spider silk and scientists’ efforts to duplicate this natural material.
  • A Playground Problem introduces modeling, an important concept in science, and describes building a playground with recycled materials.
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Online Simulations

Exploring the properties of materials with simulations doesn't substitute for hands-on experiments, but it can help reinforce & expand students' knowledge.

  • Tinkerball: Students experiment with different materials to get a bouncing ball to land in a cup.
  • Grouping materials: Students sort objects into the materials that they are made of.
  • Sorting materials: Students test objects and then sort them into categories.
  • Characteristics of materials: Students test whether materials are flexible, waterproof, transparent, and strong.
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Image & Video Credits

Mystery Science respects the intellectual property rights of the owners of visual assets. We make every effort to use images and videos under appropriate licenses from the owner or by reaching out to the owner to get explicit permission. If you are the owner of a visual and believe we are using it without permission, please contact us—we will reply promptly and make things right.

Exploration
boat by zeesenboot , used under CC BY
shag rocks by David Stanley , used under CC BY
jump by Eric Benacek , used under CC BY-SA
Mission Beach by Paul Toogood , used under CC BY
rain drops by Praveen , used under CC BY
snowflake by Saperaud
sun by Sam Bald , used under CC BY
jacket by Universal Textiles , used under CC BY
long sleeve shirt by Harley-Davidson , used under CC BY
rain coat by H&M , used under CC BY
wool sweater by Joan Rocaguinard , used under CC BY-SA
wool coat by ABADAY , used under CC BY
man in desert by Ammar Hassan , used under CC BY
cotton by H2O-C
t-shirt by Wikimedia Shop , used under CC BY-SA
armor by dewey_decimals , used under CC BY-SA
sun in sky by Karen Roe , used under CC BY
baseball cap by TexasRebel
kid by Tri Nguyen , used under CC BY
helmet by Quant , used under CC BY-SA
pioneer girl by Don Graham , used under CC BY-SA
bonnet by Heritage Costume , used under CC BY
headdress by Party Superstore , used under CC BY
Activity
desert hat by Craghoppers , used under CC BY
umbrella hat by Sourcing Map , used under CC BY
aluminium foil by Lewis Ronald , used under CC BY-SA
paper bag by Denna Jones , used under CC BY
sand by Chris Oatley , used under CC BY
pencil by Charm