Separating Solids in Year 5


Particles’ properties and size facilitate sifting, sorting and separating…

Year 5 is learning about separating solids through the exploration of various materials’ properties and size. Student groups were given a tray of sand, in which was a mixture of gravel, stones, wood blocks, paperclips and other diverse items to represent particles. While hand sorting is sometimes the best method to separate solids, sieves are often necessary when the ‘particles’ are different sizes. Magnets were also employed to separate out magnetic ‘particles’. This hands-on learning activity generated many questions from our Year 5 scientists – their curiosity had been peaked and they were now becoming curious about separating solids from liquids, particularly those that have been dissolved! Such questions link student learning back to the unit theme of water and how it can be cleaned in order to make it potable.