Material World Material World Link to the Museum Network Website


Material Information for Teachers:


» Animal


» Clay


» Metal


» Composite


» Paint


» Stone



Material World has been designed for use by KS1 & 2 children during lessons. Pupils will learn about materials, processes and techniques used in art through the different categories of Paint, Wood, Metal, Clay, Animal, Stone and Composite, where information and interactive activities are provided. They can gain more information about key works of art by visiting the ‘Gallery’ and unusual words are defined in the ‘Glossary’. Works of art from 5 museums are featured: The Bowes Museum, Compton Verney, The Holburne Museum of Art, Waddesdon Manor and The Wallace Collection.

Pupils can work individually or in pairs on desktops or the site can also work brilliantly with an interactive whiteboard for whole-class discussions and group work. Whole-class work on the site is especially suitable for younger or less able groups.

How to use the site

Material World can be used as a research tool, both for pupils and for teachers, and as a stimulus for creative work and discussions.

Gallery: The ‘Gallery’ section displays each work of art featured on the site, accompanied by high-quality printable images and in-depth information.

Materials: The ‘Materials’ page (also the homepage) displays the different categories of materials discussed in the site. These are: Animal, Clay, Metal, Paint, Stone, Wood, Composite

Within each section there is information about:

» Where the material comes from.
» The different types of each material.
» The processes that are used with each material.
» How museums care for each material.

The ‘Fun’ section for each of the individual materials contains an interactive activity designed to be used by children using this site. A section for teachers that contains ideas for practical and discussion work is also provided for each material. The links on the left hand side of this page will take you to the suggested linked activities for each of the Materials.

Glossary: The Glossary provides definitions for all difficult words within the website. It can be accessed via the navigation bar across the top of the page. In addition to this, individual words are highlighted within the website text and clicking on these opens up a new window with the definition for that particular word. Closing the new window will allow users to continue.

Aims and objectives of Material World

Material World can be used with classes for a variety of subjects:
  1. Art and Design lessons for learning about different artists, craftspeople, materials and processes. Through using the site children can improve their observational skills and develop their knowledge of art and an understanding of issues surrounding construction. It also provides many interesting starting points for children's own practical work.

  2. Science. This site teaches children about a wide variety of materials and allows them to recognise common types of materials. Material World also helps children to understand where certain materials come from.

  3. Design and Technology. Through exploring the site, children gain knowledge of the tools, equipment and materials used to make quality products. Suggestions for practical activities will help inspire children to create their own product.

  4. IT. By using the site, children will be developing good computer skills and greater confidence on websites.

Key aims and objectives for pupils:

  1. to learn about materials, processes and techniques used by artists and craftspeople
  2. to understand where materials come from
  3. to recognise common types of materials and learn their basic properties
  4. to learn about the properties of certain materials and how materials are selected for different purposes
  5. to discover the roles and purposes of artists, craftspeople and designers working in different times and cultures
  6. to explore a range of starting points for practical work
  7. to develop observational skills
  8. to improve problem-solving and analytical skills

Planning a visit

Click here for information on planning a visit to one of the museums featured on the site, and for details of workshops available.