Prior to beginning the lesson: (1) Cut out and laminate Vocabulary Cards for display in the classroom; (2) Photocopy Magnetic Force Field (1 per student). (Allow 25-30 minutes for instruction time.)

Group Size: Partners

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Understand that magnetic force is stronger the closer an object is to a magnet.
  • Understand that magnetic force is weaker the farther an object is from a magnet.
  • Understand that an invisible field of force exists around a magnet.

Vocabulary Cards (see attachment), Magnetic Force Field (see attachment), magnets, straight pins, paper clips, hair clips, staples


  1. Display Vocabulary Card "magnetic force". Ask students: Who can tell me what this means? Give students a chance to explain.
  2. Display Vocabulary Card "magnetic force field". Tell students: The magnetic force field is the area around a magnet where the magnetic force will hold.
  3. Tell students: Let me show you what I mean by magnetic force field. Hold up a paper clip directly next to a magnet. Tell students: Right now I can feel the pull of the magnet, so I am in the magnetic force field. Slowly move the paper clip away from the magnet, and tell students: I can still feel the pull of the magnet, so I am still within the magnetic force field. Tell students when you are out of the field.
  4. Divide students into partners and tell them: Today, you are going to do an experiment with magnetic force field. Distribute Magnetic Force Field, one magnet, one straight pin, one paper clip, one hair clip, and one staple to each pair of students.
  5. Ask students: Which object will have the largest magnetic force field? Which object will have the smallest magnetic force field? Direct students to fill out their hypothesis at the top of the page.
  6. Show students how to line up their magnet at the edge of the experiment line and how to test each object’s magnetic force field. Make sure students mark the biggest point of each object’s magnetic force field on the line. Give students time to work with their partner and test each object.
  7. Direct partners to answer the questions at the end of the experiment.
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 to ensure students are writing correct answers.

Benchmark or Standards:

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

  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry.
  • Understanding about scientific inquiry.
National Science Education Standards 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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