During our last full week of school (last week) I got out the magnets for us to explore. The first day, I gave the children a pile of things on their table to explore with. That’s all we did! We just experimented with how things stuck to the magnets and what things around our classroom were magnetic. The kids LOVED it! I can tell when they are into something because it either gets really loud due to all the conversation going on or it gets really quiet due to their intense concentration. During this time it was REALLY loud! 🙂 The kids were shouting out all the things they were finding that were magnetic and letting each other know what wasn’t magnetic.
We experimented until someone asked the “magic question” I’d been hoping for! “Mrs. Poindexter, why doesn’t my magnet stick to this metal thing?” Aha! Inquiry at it’s finest!
That moved us on to finding out what metal objects will “stick” to a magnet and which ones won’t.
I quickly made up this sheet (I’ll share a cleaner version below) so that my students could write down their predictions. We predicted as a whole class first about what we thought would happen and then I sent the children off to write their own predictions down next to each picture on this sheet. I also created bags of materials I had at home and in my class room for them to test. In their baggies I had a square of aluminum foil, a silver cupcake liner, a roofing nail, a paper clip, and a screw or nut. I think it might of cost me $5 if I had to go buy everything–which I didn’t because I had everything already! 🙂
Wednesday, we got out the objects and tried out our magnet wands to test our predictions. We drew either a happy face or a sad face next to indicate whether or not it was magnetic or not.
Here is the sheet I’m going to share with you:
We also read a book about magnets:
What Magnets Can do by Allan Fowler