LESSON 1: What is magnetism?
1. What is magnetism?
2. What are vocabulary words associated with magnetism?
3. What are properties of magnets?
Ask students what they know about magnets. Create a KWL chart like the one below. When finished, read students any number of books on magnets. (See Overview).
1. Ask students focus questions such as:
a. Do you know what magnetism is?
b. Why do you think some materials are magnetic while other materials aren't?
c. What makes iron a magnetic material?
Have students log on to either of the following websites to find out more about magnetism, and why some materials are magnets.
After reading about magnetism, have them log on to the Brain Pop web site, to view a short video that shows what magnetism is:
After reading about magnetism, students should be able to state that magnetism is an invisible force that attracts certain materials. They should know that the atoms in a magnetic material all line up in the same direction, so their pulling power has power! The following example is taken from the first website.
|Electrons are not
lined up in the same direction. No magnetic power.
Electrons all lined up in the same direction. Magnetic power.
2. Have students log on to
to fill in the following vocabulary database.
Click here for a blank student vocabulary database.
|magnetic field||The space around a magnet in which a magnetic force can be found.|
|repel||To push away, as similar poles of two magnets push away from each other.|
|attract||To pull toward one another, as opposite poles of two magnets pull toward one another.|
|pole||The end of a magnet.|
|compass||An instrument that uses a freely moving magnetic needle to indicate direction.|
|lodestone||A form of the mineral magnetize that is naturally magnetic or has become magnetized.|
|magnet||An object that attracts metals such as iron and steel.|
|atom||The smallest part of an element .|
|magnetism||An invisible force that can make objects move away, move together, or stay in the same place.|
|domain||Cluster of atoms with its north poles pointing in the same direction.|
Distribute a pair of magnets to each student. Give them time to play
with the magnets. Have them go around the room to discover what the
magnets will stick to and what they won't stick to. (Be careful around
computers and other delicate instruments!). Let them identify the
properties of magnets. They can fill in the following property
Name: ________________________________ Date: ___________
2 bar magnets
Investigate your magnet. Try different things and write down five observations that you make.
Last Update: July 20, 1997
Copyright 1996, 1977, D.M.Candelora. All rights reserved. Reproduction for educational use is encouraged as long as this copyright notice is included.
EXTENSION AND FOLLOW UP
1. Have students write a list of the different uses magnets have in their homes. When finished, have them log on to http://my.execpc.com/~rhoadley/magindex.htm and check their list against the list found on that website. How many did they think of?
2. Have students work with at least five to ten different shapes and kinds of magnets (bar, cylinder, rectangle, U, horseshoe, donut shaped, large, small, etc.) Have them see how strong each magnet is by seeing how many paper clips each magnet can hold. For a student version in scientific method click here. For student samples, click here. When completed, they are to graph their results by logging on to http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/Graphing
The following is an example of a graph created by one student:
3. Have students determine what materials a magnet will work through. Have them experiment with magnets through sand, water, books, desks, and a piece of iron. They will discover that the only thing that can block a magnet's power is the piece of iron. Why? Because the iron becomes attracted to the magnet and blocks the power.
4. For younger students, a "Fishing Game" is fun. Attach a small magnet to a long pole and let the children "fish" for magnetic objects. Separate them into two piles- magnetic and nonmagnetic.
5. For additional magnet activities, the following sites have numerous experiments: