Advanced Preparation: rubber bands, paperclips, marbles, pennies, wooden sticks, nail, scissors, erasers, button, soda can, aluminum foil, safety pin, washer, brad fastener, key, bar magnet
This activity will allow the students to test their magnet/attraction knowledge from a previous lesson. They will work independently as they make predictions about the ability of a variety of objects to attract a magnet. They will test their predictions and then report out their findings.
NOTE: Our district is transitioning to the NGSS. Although we are implementing some of the units this year, I am still required to teach units that have now been assigned to other grade levels. This unit is one of those units that has been affected by the shifts in grade levels. I continue to teach this unit because it meets the following Vermont State Standards:
S1-2:2 Students demonstrate their understanding of predicting and hypothesizing
S1-2:3 Students demonstrate their understanding of experimental design
S1-2:4 Students demonstrate their ability to conduct experiments
S1-2:6 Students demonstrate their ability to analyze data
This investigation also addresses the NSES expectation of students understanding that magnets attract certain types of materials.
I want students to gain a sound and working understanding of the scientific method. Although this unit will bring in magnetic concepts, the "major focus" continues to be developing learners to think like scientists through experimental learning.
To get ready for this section, I put one of each of the items that will be tested in a paper bag. I want to make sure that they know what each item is and this will be a way to introduce them in an engaging manner.
The students start by making a circle on the carpet.
"I want to review the meaning of one of the words that we discussed yesterday. Who can tell me what the word attract means?"
It is important that the students understand the meaning of this before they go into the prediction and testing phase of this lesson.
"I have a bunch of items in this bag. I will pull them out one at a time, as I do I want you to say the name. When all of the items are laid out, I want you to make a prediction about what we might be doing."
I will show them the bar magnet before they make a prediction.
"You are correct, we are going to test each item with a magnet to see if the magnet is attracted to the item."
I make a copy of the Attracted or Not Attracted Recording Sheet for each student. I go over the sheet and how to use the table and then have them start working on their own.
"I have a recording sheet for each of you to use today. On the left side, you will Make Predictions about whether or not the magnet will be attracted to the item. Then you will test it. You will repeat this process for each item on the list."
As students are working, I will circulate amongst them and observe and discuss their predictions with them. I want to dialogue with them about what they are noticing and if they can use the results of one item to help them decide on another item.
"Once you have competed your testing, I would like you to answer the two questions at the bottom of the recording sheet."
I gather the students back onto the carpet for a discussion about the task. I have them sit in a circle so that they can easily talk with a neighbor.
"I would like you to bring your recording sheet to the carpet and sit in a circle. You will talk with a partner and share what you learned from today's activity. What did you find out about the items? Did you each get the same results for each item?"
I have them talk with their partner for a few minutes and then wrap up the discussion with a whole group talk.
"Did people get the same results? Were there any differences in your results? Why do you think there were similar results with so many items?"
"I would like you to open up your science notebook and set up the page for today's entry. Remember to use the anchor chart as a resource. I am going to give you a piece of paper to glue into your page. Please use a glue stick to stick this onto the page The prompt on the paper says, 'A magnet will attract to . . .' Your job is to complete this statement with words and/or pictures. If you draw pictures, you must label what the items are."
I am having the students complete this prompt because students need to learn that magnets are attracted to certain types of materials.
I look back through the students answer to the questions on the recording sheet and their answer in their science notebook. This lets me know how each student is doing with the goal of understanding that magnets are attracted to specific types of material.