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Lesson Plan #: AELP-PHS0001
Submitted by: Justina Schiano
Email: Ldyboss926@aol.com
School/University/Affiliation: Staten Island College
Endorsed by: Robert H. Tai, Staten Island College
Date: December 10, 1998

Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3


  • Science/Physics

Duration: 45 minutes

Description: In this lesson, students will study magnetism and its properties.

Goals: Can we feel and use the force of a magnet? Study of magnets and their physical properties.

Objectives: To identify the two forces of a magnet-push and pull.


1 bar magnet, wooden ruler, penny, paper clips etc. donut magnets (2 for each child in a group), plastic stirrers, ball of clay, trays, plastic objects.


1. Read Mickey’s Magnet by Franklyn M. Branley and Eleanor K. Vaughan.
2. Ask questions-How did Mickey start picking up the pins? What made this job easier?
3. Introduce vocabulary

a. magnet
b. force
c. push
d. pull
e. magnetic force
4. Introduce a bar magnet and ask children to identify what it can do.
5. Have volunteers try to pick up the objects displayed using the bar magnet (e.g., wooden ruler, penny, plastic object, aluminum object, and a variety of iron and steel objects.
6. Ask children-
1. Which items did the magnet pick up?
2. What force did the magnet use to pick up the items?
7. Explain to the children that a magnet has a special force that can move things. One force is a push, the other is a pull. Which type of force did we use in our demonstration?
8. Divide the class into groups of 4 and distribute trays containing a ball of clay, plastic stirrers, and 2 donut magnets for each child in group.
9. Allow children to investigate by themselves for awhile.
10. Ask children to do the following:
a. holding the magnets in each hand at the edges, feel the magnetic force between the magnets by bringing them together very slowly.
b. flip over one magnet and see if you feel something different.
c. hold one magnet flat on the palm of your hand. Take the other magnet and place it on top like a sandwich. Flip magnet over and try again.
11. Have the children work together in their group to make a stand for the magnets by inserting a plastic stirrer into clay. Challenge them to put magnets on the stirrers so they pull towards each other. Repeat this so they push away from each other and appear to be suspended in the air. Assessment:

What did you learn about magnets?
What two forces are found in magnets?
What happens when the ends of a magnet meet? Are both ends the same? Explain.

Useful Internet Resource:
* Bill Nye The Science Guy – Magnetism
Click on Episode Guides, Physical Science, Physics, and then Magnetism.