After hanging horseshoe magnets, students will predict what will happen when the north end of their bar magnets are placed near the north end of their hanging magnets.
- One horseshoe magnet
per student group
- One bar magnet per
- Fishing line/3 ft. per
- Usborn Science Activities--Vol. 1, by Joan and Maurice Martin
(Usborn Publishing Ltd, Usborn House, 83-85 Saffron Hill,
London, EC1N 8RT, England. Copyright 1992, www.edcpub.com or www.ubah.com); ISBN 0-7460-0698-5
- Usborn Science Activities--Science With Magnets, by Joan and
Maurice Martin (Usborn Publishing Ltd, Usborn House, 83-85
Saffron Hill, London, EC1N 8RT, England. Copyright 1992,
www.edcpub.com or www.ubah.com); ISBN 0-7460-1259-4
- World Book, Young Scientist--Light & Electricity--Magnetic Power,
by Hemesh Alles (World Book Inc., 525 West Monroe Street,
Chicago, Illinois 60661. Copyright 1992); ISBN 0-7166-2791-4
- The World Book Student Discovery Encyclopedia--Vol. M,
(World Book Inc., 233 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60601.
http://www.worldbook.com, 1-800-975-3250. Copyright 2000);
- The Magic of Magnetism, (100% Educational Videos; 4921 Robert J.
Matthews Pkwy, El Dorado Hills, California 95762,
http://www.schoolvideos.com/index.cfm); VHS Product #1010S,
DVD Product #S1401
Background for Teachers
Earth has a magnetic field very similar to a bar magnet, with
magnetic field lines flowing away from the North and returning in an
oval pattern to the South Pole. The magnetic North and South Poles are
not the same as the true North and South poles as depicted on globes and
maps. The North Magnetic Pole is slowly drifting across the Arctic. The
Geological Survey of Canada keeps track of this motion by periodically
carrying out magnetic surveys to determine the Pole’s location.
Handling and Storing Magnets
- Always use caution when handling magnets. Strong magnets can
snap together and injure students and teachers, or be damaged.
- Keep magnets away from magnetic media, such as floppy discs,
credit cards, and computer monitors.
- Store magnets in closed containers so they don’t attract metal
- If several magnets are being stored together, they should be stored
in attracting positions.
- Alnico magnets should be stored with “keepers” (iron or magnetic
steel plates that connect the poles of the magnet) as they can
easily become demagnetized otherwise.
- Magnets should be kept away from pacemakers!
Intended Learning Outcomes
1. Use Science Process and Thinking Skills
2. Manifest Scientific Attitudes and Interests
Invitation to Learn
Allow students to hang magnets from the ceiling or another safe
place. You may hang magnets ahead of time. Safety first!
- Hang horseshoe magnets with a string.
- Determine north, south, east, and west directions in your
- Brainstorm magnetism vocabulary words.
- Look at magnets and see if there are similarities in their
- Have students predict what will happen when the north end of
their bar magnets are placed near the north end of the hanging
- Chart and draw results in journals.
- Discuss results with class.
- Measure the distance that hanging magnets are attracted by other
magnets. Measure in centimeters and inches.
- Chart, graph, and journal results.
- Pair special needs students with partners.
- Hang bar and ring magnets in a similar fashion and hypothesize their alignment.
- Allow students to check out magnets and teach parents laws of
magnets learned in class.
- Have students and parents make a list of magnets in their homes
and their uses.
Grade student journals according to Science Writing Rubric.