Boxing clever lesson plan 4-7

In this two part activity, children discover the purpose of food packaging, before looking at what happens to it afterwards (whether it can be recycled or not).

Lesson 1: Exploring the properties of packaging materials

Lesson 2: Investigating the impact of weight and tessellation on packaging, using number, measuring and geometry skills

Download the accompanying worksheet in the related resources section below

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  • Age groups: 4-7s
  • Subjects: Design & technology, Mathematics, Science, PSE
  • Topics: Waste



Pupils should be taught to:

·         distinguish between an object and the material from which it is made

·         identify and name a variety of everyday materials

·         describe the simple physical properties of a variety of everyday materials

·         identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday material including metal, plastic, glass, paper and cardboard for particular uses



Number – addition and subtraction

Pupils should be taught to:

·         solve problems with addition and subtraction:



Pupils should be taught to:

·         measure and begin to record the following:

o   lengths and heights

o   mass/weight

o   capacity and volume

·         choose and use appropriate standard units to estimate and measure length/height in any direction (m/cm); mass (kg/g); temperature (°C); capacity (litres/ml) to the nearest appropriate unit, using rulers, scales, thermometers and measuring vessels


Geometry – properties of shapes

Pupils should be taught to:

·         identify and describe the properties of 2-D shapes, including the number of sides and line symmetry in a vertical line

·         identify and describe the properties of 3-D shapes, including the number of edges, vertices and faces

·         identify 2-D shapes on the surface of 3-D shapes [for example, a circle on a cylinder and a triangle on a pyramid]

·         compare and sort common 2-D and 3-D shapes and everyday objects.


Design and Technology

When designing and making, pupils should be taught to:

·         design appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria


·         explore and evaluate a range of existing products

·         evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria


Living in the wider world

Pupils should have the opportunity to learn: 

·         What improves and harms their local, natural and built environments




Number, money and measure

Number and number processes including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and negative numbers

I can use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division when solving problems, making best use of the mental strategies and written skills I have developed. MNU 1-03a



I can estimate how long or heavy an object is, or what amount it holds, using everyday things as a guide, then measure or weigh it using appropriate instruments and units. MNU 1-11a


Shape, position and movement

Properties of 2D shapes and 3D objects

I have explored simple 3D objects and 2D shapes and can identify, name and describe their features using appropriate vocabulary. MTH 1-16a  

I can explore and discuss how and why different shapes fit together and create a tiling pattern with them. MTH 1-16b


Information handling

Data and analysis

I have used a range of ways to collect information and can sort it in a logical, organised and imaginative way using my own and others’ criteria. MNU 1-20b


Expressive Arts – Art and design


I can create and present work using the visual elements of line, shape, form, colour, tone, pattern and texture EXA 1-03a

I can create a range of visual information through observing and recording from my experiences across the curriculum. EXA 1-04a

Inspired by a range of stimuli, I can express and communicate my ideas, thoughts and feelings through activities within art and design. EXA 1-05a

I can use exploration and imagination to solve design problems related to real-life situations. EXA 1-06a

I can give and accept constructive comment on my own and others’ work. EXA 1-07a




Properties and uses of substances

Through exploring properties and sources of materials, I can choose appropriate materials to solve practical challenges. SCN 1-15a


Social studies

People, place and environment

I can consider ways of looking after my school or community and can encourage others to care for their environment. SOC 1-08a



Technological developments in society and business

Impact, contribution, and relationship of technologies on business, the economy, politics, and the environment.

I can take appropriate action to ensure conservation of materials and resources, considering the impact of my actions on the environment. TCH 1-06a


Craft, design, engineering and graphics

Exploring uses of materials

I can recognise a variety of materials and suggest an appropriate material for a specific use. TCH 1-10a


Representing ideas, concepts and products through a variety of graphic media

I can explore and experiment with sketching, manually or digitally, to represent ideas in different learning contexts. TCH 1-11a



Personal and social development, wellbeing and cultural diversity


Throughout the Foundation Phase, children should be give opportunities to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding through being involved in a range of experiences including:

·         Activities that allow them to begin to understand how they can protect the environment and become environmentally friendly in their everyday lives


Mathematical Development

Developing numerical reasoning

Identifying processes and connections

·         Select appropriate mathematics and techniques to use

·         Select and use relevant number facts and mental strategies

·         Select appropriate equipment and resources

Represent and communicate

·         Present work orally, pictorially and in written form, and use a variety of ways to represent collected data


Using measuring skills

Length, weight/mass, capacity

·         Use standard units to measure:

o   Weight/mass: kilograms or 10 gram weights

o   Capacity: litres


Using geometry skills


Use 2D and 3D shapes and describe how they fit together

Recognise and name regular and irregular 2D and 3D shapes, understand and use the properties of shape


Using data skills

Collect and record data / Present and analyse data / Interpret results

·         Gather and record data from:

o   Lists and tables

·         Extract and interpret information from lists, tables, diagrams and graphs


Knowledge and Understanding of the World


Throughout the Foundation Phase children should be given opportunities to:

·         Work on their own and in pairs and small groups


Places and people

Children should be given opportunities to:

·         Recognise how people’s actions can improve or damage the environment

• reflect on and evaluate their own and others’ work

• experiment with different everyday materials and use their senses to sort them into groups


Myself and non-living things

Children should be given opportunities to:

·         Experiment with different everyday objects and use their senses to sort them into groups according to simple features

·         Experiment with different everyday materials and use their senses to sort them into groups according to simple properties



To experience the familiar world through investigating the indoor and outdoor environment, children should be encouraged to be curious and find out by:

·         Making observations and measurements and keeping records

·         Thinking creatively and imaginatively

·         Reflecting on and evaluating their own and others’ work


Creative Development


Art, craft and design

Children’s art, craft and design skills should be fostered and promoted through using their senses, imagination and experience. Creative art, craft and design activities in the Foundation Phase should enable children to express themselves freely and make progress in their ability to:

·         Explore and experiment with a variety of techniques and materials

·         develop and use their understanding of colour, line, tone, texture, pattern, shape and form

·         develop their understanding of planning, designing, modelling, modifying and reflecting

·         reflect on their own and others’ work


Northern Ireland

Mathematics and numeracy


Understanding number

Pupils should be enabled to:

·         count a variety of objects



Pupils should be enabled to:

·         begin to explore the notion of conservation of length, weight, capacity in practical situations, engage in discussion about their observations;


Shape and space

Pupils should be enabled to:

·         investigate and talk about the properties of shapes

·         describe and name common 3D and 2D shapes



Pupils should be enabled to:

·         explore freely properties of a range of materials and one/two/three property collections, respond to questions about the arrangements


Art and Design

Pupils should be enabled to:

Observe and respond to things seen, handled, remembered and imagined

·         look at a range of natural and man-made objects, exploring and getting to know the characteristics of what is seen by close observation, touch and recording


Investigate and talk about colours, lines, shapes, textures and patterns


Create and develop ideas using colours, lines, shapes, texture and patterns


Talk about own and other pupils’ work and how the work was made


The World Around Us

As pupils progress through the Foundation Stage they should be enabled to:

·         understand that different materials behave in different ways, have different properties and can be used for different purposes;

·         understand that some materials change if kept in different conditions;

·         understand that materials can be joined/assembled in different ways;

·         be aware of the local natural and built environment and their place in it;

·         understand the need to respect and care for themselves, other people, plants, animals and the environment