Section 2: Exploring solids

Key Focus Question: How can you encourage pupil inquiry to explore properties and changes in solids?

Keywords: solids; inquiry; properties; investigation; rust; discussion

Learning outcomes

By the end of this section, you will have:

  • supported pupils as they carry out their own science investigations (inquiry-based learning);
  • explored different ways to present the results of their investigations;
  • used informal discussion with your pupils to share ideas and develop interesting areas of inquiry.


The emphasis in this section is on one state of matter – solids. We consider how to encourage pupils to inquire into the origin of the solids they encounter daily. You will help them learn about these solids and communicate what they learn to each other.

To do this we use an approach sometimes known as inquiry-based learning – learning by finding something out for yourself. This is very different from being told something, because the pupils have to wrestle with their own ideas and explain their thinking.

Inquiry-based learning