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Types of Materials and Their Properties for Class 3 Science

This concept mainly deals with types of materials and their properties. After going through this concept, the students will be able to

After reading the concept students will be able to:

  • Know about the physical properties of materials.
  • Recall different properties of materials.
  • Define what is physical appearance of materials.
  • Differentiate between conductors and insulators.

Each concept is explained to class 3 students using descriptions, illustrations, and concept maps. After you go through a concept, assess your learning by solving the two printable worksheets given at the end of the page.
Download the worksheets and check your answers with the worksheet solutions for the concept Materials and Their Properties provided in PDF format.

  • Materials are classified based on their properties.
  • The properties can be defined as a characteristic of a particular material.
  • All materials are different from each other as they have different properties.
  • Some materials may have similar properties, but this does not make them the same; some of their other properties may be different.
Example:   Gold and copper both have the properties of metal, but due to the precious and extravagant nature of gold, it is more expensive than copper.
  • The use of materials has changed over time.
  • Earlier, only a few materials were known to humans, and the same were used for various purposes.
  • But the development of science and technology led to the manufacturing of long-lasting materials.


  1. Iron in vehicles has been replaced by light-weighted metals like aluminium.
  2. Wood in furniture has been replaced by plywood.


Properties of materials:

  1. Physical appearance:
    • Based on the physical appearance, we can classify materials based on the following factors—
      1. Colour
      2. Hard or soft
      3. Hot or cold
      4. Elasticity
      5. Soft or rough
      6. Weight
  2. State of material:
    • Materials can be solid, liquid or gas.
    • For example—
      1. A water bottle made of plastic is solid.
      2. Hair oil is a liquid.
      3. The deodorant we use is a gas.
  3. Temperature tolerance:
    • Every material behaves differently at different temperatures.
    • Every material has a different boiling point, melting point and freezing point.
  4. Brittleness:
  • Some materials are easy to break, whereas some are not easy
Examples:  We can break a piece of chalk with our hands, but we cannot break an iron object.
  • Diamond is the hardest material in the world that cannot be broken even with a hammer.
  • Materials tend to change their shape due to changes in temperature and pressure. This process is called deformation.



    • Some materials get heated easily while some do not.
    • Also, you may feel an electric shock on touching some objects, but in some, you may not.
    • It happens due to the conductivity of materials.
    • The materials which allow heat and electricity to flow through them are called conductors.
Examples:   Iron, graphite, silver, copper, steel, and salt water.
    • The materials which do not allow heat and electricity to pass through them are called insulators.


Examples:   Wood, plastic, cotton and distilled water.
Material Conductivity
  Heat Electricity
Distilled water Bad conductor Bad conductor
Glass Bad conductor Bad conductor
Rubber Bad conductor Bad conductor
Metals Good conductor Good conductor
Seawater Good conductor Good conductor

6.Water absorption:

    • Some materials soak water easily, whereas some do not.
    • Cotton, wool, paper, jute, and sponge absorb water. On the other hand, wood, plastic, and nylon does not absorb water.


  • Magnetism can be defined as the property of an object to get attracted to a magnet.
  • Some metals like iron, nickel, and cobalt get attracted to magnets, whereas materials like plastic, wood, and rubber do not.


8.Ability to pass light:

    • The objects which allow light to pass through them are called transparent objects.
Examples:   Glass, water and air.
    • The objects that do not allow light to pass through them are called opaque objects.
Examples:   Rubber, plastic, wood and brick.
    • The objects that partially allow light to pass through them are called translucent objects.
Examples:   Ground glass, butter paper and coloured glass bottle.



  • The materials that catch fire quickly at room temperature are called flammable substances.
Examples:   Paper, dry twig, cotton, wool and hair.
  • The materials which do not catch fire easily are called inflammable or combustible substances.
Examples:   Steel, iron and glass.



    • Some materials are made using chemicals and are dangerous if they come in contact with any part of our body or are consumed accidentally.
Examples:   Acids, pesticides, weedicide and lead.



    • It is the process by which the quality of materials degrades due to the action of air, moisture, or a chemical reaction on their surface.
    • Metals like iron and copper are more prone to corrosion, whereas materials like plastic, glass, aluminium, wood, and steel do not corrode.


Changes in the properties:

Properties of materials change when they are exposed to various factors.

Example:   Burning paper converts it into ashes. The properties of paper and ash are very different from each other.

Let us see the situations where such changes occur and where they do not.

No change Change in property
Weighing the water Digestion of food
Cutting the fruit Ripening and rotting of fruit
Breaking of a glass Caramelising the sugar
Making wooden furniture Burning the wooden blocks
Hammering the metal object Rusting of metal sheet


New Words:

Pesticides: These chemicals are used to control pests. Pests are unwanted insects or animals that attack crops and livestock like rodents and weeds.

Melting point: The temperature at which a solid start converting into a liquid is called its melting point.

Boiling point: The temperature at which a liquid starts converting into a gas is called its boiling point.


Did You Know?

  • Hardness vs Toughness: Both are different terms. Hardness is a property where the material is resistant to scratches and cutting. On the other hand, toughness explains the property of material not getting fractured or broken easily.
  • Web silk of Darwin’s Bark Spider is the strongest thread in the world. It is stronger and more stretchable than steel.
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