From Materials to Goods

Developed by Abbey Kaknes, PCM Play Intensive 2021
(FOCUS: Civics & Culture, K-2, History & Humanities, Creativity & Making, Design Thinking (An innovative problem-solving process))

Downloadable PDF

Where do the materials we use to make goods or products come from? How are they made? What is the process?

The materials we use to make goods come from resources in our world and in our community. Some materials come from plants, animals, the earth. We use the resources in our community to make materials to make goods or commodities to buy and sell in markets.

Today, you will use paper to make a material. You can decide what kind of material you need and how you will make the material. You might use “tape” to make a sturdy or firm material or you might rip paper into strips to create a string like material. You decide what kind of material you need.

Use a good or product you would like to produce as inspiration. What kind of material do you need to make that product? How can you transform paper into a usable material?

Today we will read the book From Sheep to Sweater. We learn about the process of making wool, the material used in used to make sweaters.

What it is? Materials are the stuff that our products are made of.

Why it matters? We need materials to make goods to buy and sell goods. People have wants and needs. People make decisions about what to buy and sell.


• Construction paper (all sizes and colors)
• Tape
From Sheep to Sweater Book
Sheep to Sweater Slides

Set Up

Place bins of paper and tape in center of tables for students to work from.

Student’s Job

Make a material to be used to make a good or a product.

Use a good or product you would like to produce as inspiration. What kind of material do you need to make that product? How can you transform paper into a usable material?

What material can you make out of paper?
How can this material be used to make a good or product to sell in a market?

  1. Listen to, participate in Read Aloud of From Sheep to Sweater
  2. Decide on a material needed to make a good or product
  3. Use paper and/or tape to make the material

Further Challenges:

Using the material, you made, what product or good can you make?
How might you sell this product in a market?

Teacher’s Job

Standards Alignment

Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.


Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.


Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because).


Students demonstrate an understanding of basic economic concepts by explaining how the availability of resources affects production of goods and offering of services and their consumption.

Connections to Previous Work?

Resources in our Community
Big Ideas:

  • Places have different resources
  • People make choices as consumers
  • People make exchanges to obtain the goods and services they want and need.
  • Many jobs that people have are connected to the resources in a community
Prepare/ Background Info

Read Aloud From Sheep to Sweater
Provide opportunities for accountable talk: Where to materials come from? How are they made?
Facilitate creative process of creating a material.
Use prompting questions to facilitate curiosity- What words are used to describe materials?

Extend/ Take it Further

Use the paper made material to make a product

Make multiple products, with variations

Create a stall to sell

Facilitation Strategies

Facilitate a whole class discussion using the guiding questions from the introduction: Where do the materials we use to make goods or products come from? How are they made? What is the process?

Facilitate distribution of supplies.

Scaffolding student thinking through individual conferring and questioning with students. Prompts to support this language:

  • What type of material do you need?
  • Describe the purpose of the material?
  • Can you use your senses to describe the material you need?

Record student thinking/observations as formative assessment.

Probing questions to consider:

  • What can you do with paper to make a material?
  • Do you need a soft or hard material?
  • How might you make a soft material, skinny, study, wide, flexible?
Play to Notice 

Experiential: How are students learning from their environment, interacting with the material?

Dynamic: How are students building/revising/inventing their ideas?

Physical: How does movement/creating help students think through problems?

Social: How are students interacting with their peers?

Content Matter to Notice

Economy/Markets: What do people want? What do people need? What choices do people make when they buy something? How do resources influence a market? How do resources shape the community?

SEL to Notice
  • Problem-solving
  • Risk-taking
  • Revision, what can you do if it doesn’t work?
  • Positive reinforcement to support confidence to persevere, take risks.


Photo Gallery & Resource Links

About Us

Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning for all through play, creativity, and exploration.

Hours and Admissions

WEDNESDAY – SUNDAY (beginning 9/7/22)
9:30am to 12:30pm and 
1:30pm or 4:30pm

Reservations are available online. Reserve your ticket now, or purchase walk-up tickets when you arrive.

Masks are optional for most activities at PCM.

Group Visits

Providence Children's Museum is the ideal place for school field trips, camp outings, homeschool and community group trips and Scout excursions.

For Families

We’ve collected an extensive resource of creative activities that will engage kids and their caregivers wherever you may be.

About Play

While society often overlooks and undervalues play, we are here to celebrate and elevate it. Because we know play isn’t frivolous. It’s foundational.

PCM Lesson Plans

Check out our library of lesson plans for teachers and families. PCM has created a variety of lesson plans for teachers by teachers for children pre-k through early elementary.

Become a Partner

PCM has brought the magic of learning to life for over 40 years. As a trusted resource for families and children in southern New England, PCM is an anchor in our community.

More than a Museum
PCM is committed to serving the children of southern New England – regardless of their financial ability. 40% of the Museum’s budget is dedicated to welcoming one-third of the Museum’s total audience free of charge or at greatly reduced rates through a variety of outreach programs.