Prior to beginning the lesson: (1) Cut out and laminate Vocabulary Cards for display in the classroom; (2) Photocopy Are you Magnetic? (1 per student). (Allow 30-35 minutes for instruction time.)


Group Size: Small groups

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Follow the scientific process by making predictions, conducting an experiment, and recording results.
  • Identify when a magnet attracts an object and when it does not.
  • Explain the meaning of magnetic attraction and magnetic force.

Vocabulary Cards (see attachment), Are you Magnetic? (see attachment), magnets, paper clip, small piece of aluminum foil, small piece of copper wire, glass marble, wood match, brass fastener, dime, soft drink can, needle, small piece of steel wool, small piece of leather


  1. Hold up a magnet and a paper clip. Ask students: Do you think that my magnet will attract the paperclip? Allow students to answer. Then put the magnet next to the paperclip and show students that the magnet attracts the paperclip.
  2. Display vocabulary card "attract". Ask students: What does the word attract mean? Guide students to answer the object sticks to the magnet or the object moves towards the magnet.
  3. Tell students: Today we are going to investigate what objects attract our magnets and what objects do not. Show students the different objects and tell them they will be working in groups to test each object.
  4. Display vocabulary card "predict". Tell students: Before we begin, can someone remind us what a prediction is? Guide students to answer a guess. Remind students that it is okay if their predictions are wrong.
  5. Distribute copies of Are you Magnetic? and tell students: Let’s do the first one together.
  6. Guide students to circle a prediction (yes or no) for aluminum foil. After all students have recorded their predictions, call a student to the front of the room to test the attraction by putting a magnet up to the foil. Then show students on their papers where to circle the result.
  7. Divide students into groups of four. Each group should have one magnet and one object from the list. Give groups a chance to: (1) make predictions; (2) test attraction; (3) record results.
  8. Rotate objects around the room until each group has had a chance to test each object.
  9. Gather the class back together and call on groups to verify correct answers. Ask students: What objects were attracted to the magnet? What objects were not attracted to the magnet? How did your results compare to your predictions?
  10. Display vocabulary card "magnetic force" and explain the magnetic force is the pull you feel when an object is going towards the magnet. Ask students: Did you feel the force when you tested your objects?
  11. Collect papers and tell students: You will continue to explore with these objects tomorrow.
Modifications: For students with special needs, allow them to dictate answers for the teacher to record, or provide one-on-one assistance for students’ to write answers.


Monitor students’ participation for understanding. Circulate classroom and ensure students are writing correct answers.

Benchmark or Standards:

National Science Education Standard K-4.1 Science as Inquiry – As a result of the activities in Grades K-4, all students should:

  • Understand about scientific inquiry.
National Science Education Standard K-4.2 Physical Science – As a result of the activities in Grades K-4, all students should develop an understanding of:

  • Properties of objects and materials.
  • Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism.
Attached Files:

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