Web Analytics

Year 1 and year 2 Materials workshop

Learn about different materials and decide on the

best ones to build a three little pigs house or a space base!



National Curriculum suggested year group:



Half day, normally two classes either side of break (either y1 + y2 or two of the same year)

NC objectives covered:

All NC2014 materials objectives, from identifying in Y1 to 'uses of' in Y2

This Key Stage One materials workshop takes pupils on a journey of scientific discovery through hands on activities that are both fun and challenging.


Available in two versions of either the 3 Little Pigs or Space (linking to Neil Armstrong for Y2), the sessions are designed to introduce pupils to the differences between materials from either a very basic level at the start of Y1 or a more advanced level at the end of Y2.

Watch the promo!

Starting with a 'Mystery Materials' feely box task at the front of class, and ending with two unique problem solving building challenges, both versions are available for either Y1 or Y2 depending on your preference In a single (approx.) one hour session, which can be combined into a half day for your Y1 and Y2 classes.

Activities in this Key Stage One materials workshop

Both versions of the workshop start with this real puzzle as pupils take turns to come to the front of the class and feel secret materials in boxes, each of which has a different texture and other characteristics.


Using a reference board with the materials samples, we remove the fear of putting their hand in boxes and make it a problem solving activity relying on touch alone.   

and then a choice of one of these:

1) Three little pigs house building challenge (natural materials)

The three Little Pigs version of the workshop begins front of class with a fun retelling of the story using puppets and pupils to be the 3 Little pigs.


Pupils then work in groups to open a bag of natural materials to make a house for our soft toy piggy.  This is then tested with the big bad wolf (aka Mr B0 trying to blow the house down with an air cannon.


This is a really nice, deliberately challenging teamwork task which all pupils can succeed in given a little guidance.

2) Space base challenge (man-made materials)

In the 'Space base' version the pupils are challenged to create a space base with pretend crashed spaceship parts from a selection of man made materials.


This is a good challenge that requires a little more concentration than the Three Little Pigs version due to the light weight of the materials, which even include foam blocks covered with genuine gold Kapton foil of the same type as used in the moon landings.

As per the piggy version, this is then tested with the air cannon acting as a planetary storm, with the added difficulty of meteorite impacts in the form of small grey 'rocks' that are bounced on the structure to test its strength.

"A perfect alternative to a school trip with more learning and less hassle to organise!" year 5 teacher, Salford

Primary school science workshops for key stage one and key stage two in the North West including Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Bury, Tameside, Trafford, Oldham, Liverpool, Lancashire, Stockport and Cheadle

Website design and images copyright Balestra Education Ltd 2020