Lesson plan

Magnet stations and more magnets/electromagnets

Free play at several stations to figure out how magnets work. Then guided activities to explore other uses of magnets: compass, electromagnet, magnet art.
Science content
Physics: Motion and Forces, Newton’s Laws, Gravity (K, 2, 6)
Physics: Electricity, Electromagnetism (7)

This is a long lesson.

Run magnet stations with a small selection of activities.

Follow with a group magnet activity:
Ask what is the biggest magnet they can think of.... the Earth. Make the compass.
Make your own magnet using electricity. Make the electromagnet.
Make a device that works with a magnet:a speaker.
For a messy but beautiful art project, make and photograph magnetic field patterns in oil.

Look at images of devices that use magnets: door buzzer, speaker, maglev train, scrap yard magnet.


Nelson ran magnet stations: what sticks to magnets?, Magnet pendulum, magnetic force field patterns, magnets through materials to discover the principals of magnets. Then made a magnet using electricity: electromagnet

ingridscience (grade 4/5) did magnet stations (Magnet pendulum, Levitating magnets, Magnetic field patterns) then made a compass together before two electromagnet activities (Electromagnet, Speaker), then Magnetic Field Pattern Art - see lesson plan magnet stations and more magnets

Science Club I tried mixing the materials from different activities, but this was less satisfactory in terms of learning some more defined concepts about magnets and students even got bored a little more quickly. The structured compass activity was added to the end of this lesson.

Grades taught
Gr 2
Gr 4
Gr 5
Teaching Site
ingridscience afterschool
Nelson Elementary