Grade: Elementary
Subject: Science

#3923. Marvelous Magnetic Fields

Science, level: Elementary
Posted Mon Feb 12 11:51:49 PST 2007 by Carla Rogers (
Liberty Elementary School, Liberty, SC
Materials Required: Wooly Willys, ring magnets, cow magnets, magnetic field cards, paint, paper, box tops
Activity Time: about 40 minutes, 10 per activity
Concepts Taught: Students will experiment with magnets and discover magnetic fields

Short Range Lesson Plan (PD 2)

Title of Lesson: Marvelous Magnetic Fields

Subject: Science

Grade level: Second Grade

Objectives: (PD 4) Upon completion of the lesson the student will have a greater understanding of magnetic fields and the strength of magnets.

SCSDE Curriculum Standard(s) Addressed: (PD 4, 6)
I.B.1.c. Use simple equipment, such as hand lenses, thermometers, balances, rulers, etc., to gather data and extend the senses.
IV.B.1.a. Investigate and classify the result of magnetic forces on common objects (metals/nonmetals).
IV.B.1.b. Demonstrate and describe how the poles of magnets attract and repel each other.

Overview of Lesson: In this lesson the students will discover that magnetic fields can reach through different objects. They will complete 3 different investigations to make their discoveries.

Materials/Resources: (PD 6)
p Wooly Willys
p ring magnets
p cow magnets
p magnetic field cards
p paint
p paper
p box tops

Introductory Activity: (PD 4)
The teacher will ask the students if they have every seen a Wooly Willy (holds up game) before? She will show them how to use it and ask them if they have any guesses at how it might work.

Procedures: (PD 5, 6, 7)
1. After finishing the introductory activity the teacher will ask the student if they know what a magnetic field is. Then she will continue to prompt their conversation by asking if they can see the magnetic field.
2. Then the teacher will show the students one of the magnetic field cards. She will explain to them that a magnetic field is an invisible force that surrounds the magnet.
3. The teacher will explain to the students that they are going to complete a number of experiments to test and observe magnetic fields.
4. The teacher will review the rules that must be followed when doing science experiments.
5. Then the teacher will explain the different stations to the students, how much time they are going to have at each, and how they will rotate.
6. The teacher will separate the students into different heterogeneous groups and tell them which station that they will start at.
7. The teacher will keep up with the time and ring a bell that will tell students when they have five minutes left at a station then the students will have a signal that will notify them that it is time to rotate stations.

Adaptations: (PD 7)
Students will be place in heterogeneous groups so that they can help one another. The teacher will be hovering around from station to station in order to answer any questions. Directions will be placed at each station to ensure understanding.

If a group finishes answering their questions in their station they can continue to experiment with the materials in the station until the first bell rings.

After the students have rotated through each group they will return to their seats. Then the teacher will go over the Investigation Sheet with the entire class to insure that everyone understands magnetic fields and their properties. Then the teacher will ask the students to think about the question that she asked them at the beginning of the lesson, Do you think that a magnetic field can reach through some object. She will tell the students that if their guess was wrong that it is okay because sometimes they will have to make guesses in while they are doing an experiment and that is called a hypothesis. The teacher will explain that it is not a bad thing for their hypothesis to be wrong because it is just a guess about what will happen.

Assessment: (PD 3)
The students will be assessed informally through observations. The teacher will be watching to make sure that the students stay on task, cooperate with their group members, respect station materials, and have an understanding of magnetic fields.
The students will also complete a worksheet as they move from station to station. This sheet will be reviewed in order to observe which students have an understanding of magnetic fields.

Wow, this lesson was exhausting. I love for students to get to work cooperatively in groups because it simulates real world situations. It is important for the students to be able to work together and be successful. The students loved doing this lesson because they got to experiment on their own within their groups without me telling them what to do every second. They really did a pretty good job considering their age and that they do not get to work in groups regularly. The activities went smoothly, but I will make two changes before the next time I do the lesson. Next time I will place the ring magnet in a plastic sandwich bag and I will get some art paper for the magnet painting station.

1. Pick up a Wooly Willy
2. Give Willy a new look
3. Think about how this game works
4. Read and record your answer on your Investigations Sheet.
5. See how many new looks you can give Willy until you hear the bell
6. When you hear the bell, clean up your station and get ready to rotate.

1. Sit down around the table.
2. Watch, listen, and wait for your turn.
3. When it is your turn, take the cow magnet and move it around under the box lid.
4. Think about how this works.
5. Read the question and record your answer on your Investigation Sheet.
6. Continue to share until the bell rings, when the bell rings clean up your station for the next group and get ready to rotate.


1. Pick up a ring magnet and a magnetic field card.
2. Place the ring magnet under the card.
3. Look at the magnetic field.
4. Can you make the magnetic field get bigger or smaller?
5. Read the question and record your answer on your Investigation Sheet.
6. Continue to experiment with the ring magnet and the card until the bell rings.
7. When the bell rings, clean up your station and get ready to rotate.

Name _________________

Magnetic Fields Investigation Sheet

Directions: Answer the questions as you go to all 3 stations.

Station #1
1. Why do the tiny pieces of iron stick to the end of the red stick?



2. Why do the pieces of iron fall down when I pick up my Wooly Willy?



Station #2
1. Can a magnetic field go through some objects? Y N

2. Tell what happens to the ring magnet when you move the cow magnet under the box?



Station #3
Draw a picture in the box below that shows what the magnetic field card looked like when you put your ring magnet under it.