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This lesson provided by:
Author:Katie Lewis
System: Montgomery County
School: Montgomery County Board Of Education
Lesson Plan ID: 12225

How Do Magnets Work?


During this lesson students will examine magnets and determine that they have two poles (north and south). They will observe which poles attract and which poles repel.

Content Standard(s):
SC(2) 4. Describe observable effects of forces, including buoyancy, gravity, and magnetism.
TC2(K-2) 1. Identify basic parts of various technology systems.
TC2(K-2) 2. Identify applications and operations of various technology systems.
TC2(K-2) 3. Demonstrate correct posture and finger placement while using a technology system.
TC2(K-2) 4. Identify safe use of technology systems and applications.
TC2(K-2) 5. Practice responsible use of technology systems and applications.
TC2(K-2) 7. Use digital tools to access and retrieve information.
TC2(K-2) 10. Design original works using digital tools.
SC2015(3) 3. Explore objects that can be manipulated in order to determine cause-and-effect relationships (e.g., distance between objects affecting strength of a force, orientation of magnets affecting direction of a magnetic force) of electric interactions between two objects not in contact with one another (e.g., force on hair from an electrically charged balloon, electrical forces between a charged rod and pieces of paper) or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with one another (e.g., force between two permanent magnets or between an electromagnet and steel paperclips, force exerted by one magnet versus the force exerted by two magnets).
Local/National Standards:  
Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will identify which poles of magnets attract and repel each other. Students will give examples of ways magnets are used.

Additional Learning Objective(s):  
Approximate Duration of the Lesson: 61 to 90 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Bar magnets (enough for 4 groups), rulers

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access, spreadsheet software


Students should have experience entering data into a spreadsheet program. Students should have experience navigating a website.

1.)Begin the lesson by telling students they are going to perform a scientific investigation using magnets. Review the steps of a scientific investigation. Have students form a hypothesis about what happens when they bring together the ends of two magnets.

2.)Have students set up a chart using a piece of paper, a pencil, and a ruler labeling two columns. One column should be titled ends, and the other attract or repel.

3.)Divide the class into four groups. Have each group test the hypothesis by bringing the ends of two magnets together, and recording the information on the chart. Make sure students identify the different poles of the magnets.

4.)Have one member of each group enter the information into a spreadsheet program, and then print out the information. Have each group share the information they gathered with the class.

5.)After the groups have shared their findings, have them review a website about magnets to learn more information.
(Magnet Man)
This website gives different facts about magnets and also gives different experiments to try with magnets.

6.)Once students have reviewed the website have them discuss what they learned. Have the students share ways magnets can be used. After the discussion have the students answer the assessment questions.

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Assessment Strategies:

Have the students answer the following questions:
Was your hypothesis correct?
Identify the two poles of a magnet.
Which ends attracted?
Which ends repelled?
Why do you think that occurred?
List ways magnets are used everyday.
Check the students' responses for accuracy.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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