Year 4 Science Units
States of Matter
In the States of Matter project, your child will identify and classify solids, liquids and gases. They will learn the properties of solids, liquids and gases and discover that some materials have properties of more than one state. They will learn that particles make up all matter and how their arrangement determines whether the material is a solid, liquid or gas. They will find that materials can change from one state to another and learn about how materials can change state. They will use thermometers to measure the temperature of water and observe what happens when water changes state. They will investigate melting ice and record their data on graphs. They will also learn about melting and boiling points, researching various materials' melting and boiling points.
Grouping and Classifying
In the Grouping and Classifying project, your child will learn why we sort and group things and the important classification skills of observing and questioning. They will learn what classification keys are and how they identify living things. Your child will learn the characteristics of the five vertebrate groups and the six main invertebrate groups. They will learn how to identify vascular and non-vascular plants and sort vascular plants into the three main groups. They will also examine and classify real plants and create a classification key based on their observations. They will learn about some newly discovered plants and animals and use a classification key to classify each discovery.
Electrical Circuits and Conductors
In the Electrical Circuits and Conductors project, your child will learn about the importance of electricity to our daily lives and the two sources, mains electricity and cells or batteries. They will discuss the dangers of mains electricity and safety measures. They will learn about a range of electrical components, such as cells, batteries, wires, lamps, buzzers and motors, and use them to construct series circuits, exploring the effect of adding and removing different components. Your child will learn to recognise the difference between a complete and incomplete circuit and examine ways of fixing incomplete circuits. They will also learn about conductivity and investigate various materials to discover which are conductive or non-conductive. Your child will learn about electrical conductors and insulators and use this knowledge to make switches and examine plugs, identifying their parts, materials and safety features. They will ask and answer research questions about incandescent light bulbs and write a scientific report. They will learn about programmable technologies and then create programs to control a set of traffic lights. Your child will use the knowledge gained throughout the project to design, make and evaluate a nightlight. They will complete their learning by discussing the future of electricity and the natural resources harnessed to create sustainable energy.
Food and the Digestive System
In the Digestive System project, your child will revisit the meaning of scientific vocabulary, including producer, consumer, carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, predator and prey. They will learn about the features of ecosystems and the meaning of new terminology, including 'biotic', which means living, and 'abiotic', which means non-living. They will research an ecosystem and use the information gathered in future lessons. They will learn about two scientific diagrams, a food chain and a food web, finding out what these diagrams are and what they show. They will discuss the similarities and differences between food chains and food webs and sketch examples. They will revisit the word 'interdependence' and its meaning and discuss how living things depend on biotic and abiotic features of ecosystems for their survival. They will discuss the challenges different ecosystems face from human activities such as pollution or natural events such as deforestation. They will then learn about the digestive system of humans, naming the digestive organs, describing their functions and finding out what happens to the food they eat. They will learn the names and functions of the four types of human teeth and identify the differences between the teeth of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. They will formulate and then ask a dental health professional questions to discover the importance of oral hygiene and its role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. They will complete their learning by creating and carrying out an investigation into the effectiveness of fluoride toothpaste.
In the Sound project, your child will learn that sounds are vibrations that travel from sound sources, such as a person's vocal chords, musical instruments or pieces of machinery, through a solid, liquid or gas to the ears. They will explore the parts of instruments that vibrate to make sound and investigate the pitch, volume, distance and direction of sound. They will learn how sound waves are made and how they travel from a sound source to the ear. They will carry out research to find the answer to the question, 'How do we hear sounds?' and use diagrams and words, such as sound waves, vibrate, pinna, ear canal, eardrum, ossicles, cochlea and cochlear nerve, to record their findings. They will investigate the most effective ways to muffle sound and identify scenarios when muffling sound is important to prevent hearing damage. They will plan an investigation to learn how the volume of sound changes as they move away from a sound source and use a sound meter to measure the volume of sound. They will identify low and high-pitched sounds and then follow instructions to investigate the different ways the pitch of a sound can be changed. They will complete their learning by asking a scientific question about an aspect of sound that interests them before planning and carrying out an investigation to find the answer.