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Engineering Towers | Elementary School Educator Curriculum

Properties of Solids Sort

Observe and make conclusions about properties of solids.

Students will experiment with different solid materials and identify unique properties that will inform their design abilities.

OBJECTIVE: Learners will observe and explain various properties of solids.


  1. Observe several solid materials.
  2. Organize them based on material properties.
  3. Reflect on the properties of each material.
  4. Make a claim/selection of which material you will use to build your tower. Provide reasoning based on material properties to explain why it is a good material for your tower design.


  • What do you believe are the best materials for building a tower?
  • What properties make these materials well-suited for building a structure?

Evaluate Materials


To complete this exercise, you may refer to the list of “Properties of Solids Sort” available as a downloadable pdf under Related Materials in the right rail.


Claim: I believe to be best materials for building a tower is/are . . .


Evidence: What observations of the materials support your claim? What did you see?


Reasoning: How would this property be good for building a structure?