MATERIAL RESOURCES / Natural Resources: Origins of Everyday Objects

MATERIAL RESOURCES / Natural Resources: Origins of Everyday Objects
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This is a color-read-cut-and-assemble activity about natural resources. I created it with my middle schoolers in mind, but it would be appropriate for students who are a little younger or a little older.

Where do everyday objects come from? For some of us, this is an interesting topic for study. For others, it is a required topic. Although information abounds on the origins of everyday items, there are not a lot of teaching resources on this topic out there. For this reason, I made this classroom activity.

Students will receive paper out of which they will make a poster 11 x 16.5 inches. They will also receive three pages of 29 illustrated handouts that depict and describe several everyday items ranging from baby bottles to tires to honey and clothing. Students can color the illustrations (or not). Then, students will cut the illustrations and carefully read the text that describes the origins of the objects. They will place each picture/text piece onto the poster according to the category of materials primarily responsible for its making. The end product is a very cool looking poster that contains lots of information!

The categories of materials included in this activity are fossil fuels (natural gas/methane, petroleum, coal) and many common items made from fossil fuels including plastics, nylon, polyester, waxes, inks, and fertilizers. Additionally, this activity includes items made from animal products including leather (especially sports equipment), down, honey, and clothing items. There are items made from plant origin, specifically items made from plant fibers such as cotton and linen and items made from wood products. There are also items made from earthen materials such as porcelain, gems, and metals.

As a science teacher and an artist, I make many science-related items that include kid-friendly illustrations. You can find them on my Teachers Pay Teachers store at

Material Resources: What are the natural origins of everyday objects? by Kelly Terry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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