This resource is a collection of interactive activities, videos, and other digital media assembled in a conceptually scaffolded 5E lesson format. It provides alternative or additional Tier I learning options for students to predict and describe how a magnet can be used to push or pull an object—TEKS 1(6)(B). The assignments require student participation with self-checked and teacher-checked formative assessment opportunities. For example, after students record observations and data in their notebooks, they may be prompted to be prepared to share their answers with the class.
Review the resource before assigning it to or working through it with your students to check for prerequisite knowledge, differentiation needs, and student follow-up requirements as necessary.
Magnets have two poles on opposite sides of the magnet. One is the south pole, and one is the north pole. Like poles repel each other, and opposite poles are attracted to each other. For example, north poles repel each other. In the same way, south poles push away from each other. North and south poles are attracted to, or pull toward, each other. Students will notice these things when they interact with magnets.
Students may have varied knowledge of magnets.
As students explore how bar magnets interact, they will find that one end of each bar magnet will pull toward one end of the other bar magnets while the other end pushes away.
Students will click on the photos to watch the short videos.
Use this hands-on activity to lead students in making observations of how magnets push and pull.
- 2 bar magnets
- 2 horseshoe magnets
- 2 ring magnets
- 4 magnetic marbles
- 2 magnetic wands
- science notebook
Instruct students to first illustrate their predictions of how the magnets will interact in their science notebooks.
Instruct students to test their predictions and explore how the magnets interact with each other.
Instruct students to describe how the different magnets interact with each other.
Facilitation Questions and Possible Student Responses
- What kind of movements did you observe when you placed the magnets beside each other? As you stacked the magnets? The magnets pushed away from each other and pulled toward each other.
- Did the behavior of the magnets surprise you? Encourage students to share their observations and any predictions that were not correct. Answers will vary.
- Did the magnets always stick together? No, the magnets did not always stick together; sometimes they pushed away from each other.
- Did you observe more movements when the magnets were near each other or farther apart? The magnets moved more when they were near each other.
- What observations can be made about the pull of magnets and their locations to each other? The pull of magnets is stronger when magnets are closer together.
Students should read Magician Nicki Reveals Magnetic Magic Tricks then try to demonstrate Nicki’s tricks.
Use this hands-on activity to lead students in making observations of how magnets push and pull an object.
- RM 1 (located in Related Resources)
- 2 bar magnets
- Paper clip
- 2 ring magnets
Download and print RM 1 from Related Resources for each pair or group of 2-3 students.
Instruct students to use RM 1: How Close Can It Get? to guide their investigations by placing a bar magnet in the designated space in the center of page 1.
Instruct students to predict and record on page 2 how close the paper clip will be to the magnet before a push or a pull can be detected.
Instruct students to place the paper clip on the farthest line from the magnet.
Instruct students to hold the bar magnet in place with one finger, move the paper clip five spaces closer to the magnet, and lift their hand away from the paper clip.
Ask students if they noticed a push or a pull when the paper clip was moved closer to the magnet.
Instruct students to hold the magnet with one finger and move the paper clip closer to the bar magnet one space at a time. Remind students to lift their finger from the paper clip and make observations each time.
Ask students whether they noticed a push or a pull when the paper clip was moved closer to the magnet.
Instruct students to repeat each step and record their results three times.
Instruct students to follow the same procedures/steps using a ring magnet in place of the bar magnet.
Instruct students to follow the same procedure to predict and test how close the magnets will be to each other before a push or a pull can be detected.
- What happened as you moved the paper clip from 10 spaces away to five spaces away?
- What did you observe as you moved the paper clip closer to the magnet?
- At what distance did the paper clip move?
- What did you observe when the magnet and paper clip were farther apart?
- What did you observe when the magnets were near each other? Did the magnets push and pull when they were near each other?
- What did you observe when you moved the magnets closer together?
Students should find that nothing happens when the paper clip is moved from ten to five spaces away. Students should feel and see the pull of the magnet on the paper clip as they move the paper clip closer.
The distance at which the paper clip moves will vary depending on the magnet(s) used.
Students should observe that when the north and south poles of the magnets were near each other, they pulled toward each other. When two north or two south poles were near each other, the magnets pushed away from each other.
Students should follow the instructions for each question to complete the quiz.