Unit/Lesson Plan Title: Magnets at Work Primary Subject Physical Science

Unit/Lesson Plan Title: Magnets at Work
Primary Subject
Physical Science
Integrated Subjects
English and Language Arts, Writing,Mathematics, Social Studies
Grade Level(s)
Fourth Grade
Length of Unit
Three weeks
Research Sources
Elementary Science with Vernier Book
4th Grade Harcourt Science Textbook copyright 2000
Magnetism, Scholastic Science and Reading Kit
Unit Summary
Students will explore magnetism. They will learn how magnets cause
motion by completeing investigations about magnetic properties and
exploring with magnets. Students will also learn how magnets and
electricity are related to each other.
Key Vocabulary
Electric Field
Electric Current
Electric Cell
Magnetic Field
North Pole
South Pole
4.P.1.1 - Explain how magnets interact with all things made of iron and
with other magnets to produce motion without touching them.
NC Essential Standards For
4.P.1.2 - Explain how electrically charged objects push or pull on other
electrically charged objects and produce motion.
4.P.3.1 - Recognize the basic forms of energy (electrical and magnetic)
as the ability to cause motion or create change.
Common Core Standards for
4.OA.3 - Solve multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and
having whole-number answers using the four operations.
4.MD - Represent and interpret data.
Common Core Standards for ELA RI - Reading for Informational Text (4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.7, 4.10)
& Literacy
W - College and Career Readiness (2, 7,8, 9)
W - Writing (4.2, 4.2a, b, c, d, e, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9, 4.9b)
SL - College and Career Readiness (1, 2, 4, 5, 6)
SL - Speaking and Listening (4.1, 4.1a, b, c, d, 4.5)
L - College and Career Readiness (4.6)
L - Language (4.4c, 4.6)
Social Studies - Geography and Environmental Literacy (4.G.1.4)
Essential Questions
What are two basic forms of energy?
What do magnets interact with? How do magnets produce motion
without touching other objects?
How do electrically charged objects cause motion?
How does electricity cause a magnetic field?
I can conduct investigations into magnetic and electromagnetic
I can analyze the results of investigations to draw conclusions.
I can create presentations using correct vocabulary to explain my
I can find the main idea and key supporting details within a science
Materials & Resources
Various magnets of different shapes and sizes, labeled and unlabeled
Magnetism, Scholastic Science and Reading Kit
Wood, aluminum, steel, paper, wool, iron
Two plastic toy cars
Paper clips
Cardboard pieces
Iron filings
Plastic bowl, water
iPads or digital cameras
Vernier Lab Quests
Magnetic field sensors
Nails, other metal objects, masking tape
Electricity and Magnets, Harcourt School
Insulated wires 1 meter long
D Batteries
Safety Requirements
Students will need to be aware of the dangerous nature of of electricity
and how to safely use it in the classroom.
Students will need to be well versed in scientific procedures in the
classroom, including listening to the directions, reading the directions,
and following the procedures in the labs.
Day 1 (30-40 minutes)
Pre-Requisite - Students should already have learned about electricity.
Essential Question:
What are properties of magnetics?
Give students pre-assessment on electricity, magnetism, and
electromagnetism content.
Have several magnets (bar, horseshoe, circular, etc) out for students
to explore. Have a magnet in your hand with a piece of cardboard on
top and another magnet on top of that. Move the magnet in your hand
and have the students explain why the magnet on top is moving.
Suspend a circular magnet from a string. Have students try to get the
north pole of the magnet face south and explain why it won’t work.
Hold a bar magnet in your hand with the south pole facing out. Hand a
student a bar magnet with the south pole facing out and tell the student
to try to push the magnets together. Let four or five students try and
then secretly switch the position of the bar magnet in your hand and
have another student try again. Have students explain the difference
between the magnets not going together compared with when they did
go together.
Vocabulary discussion - attract, repel, north pole, south pole,
magnet, magnetic, magnetic field. Use class observation of the
Explore/Engage section to develop vocabulary definitions.
Homework - create vocabulary illustrations of the terms learned in
class today.
Day 2 (40 minutes )
Essential Question:
I can find the main idea and key details for a reading selection about
Divide class into 5 groups. Assign each group one of the first five
topics from Magnetism (found in the Scholastic Science and Reading
Kit). Groups should read and discuss their assigned pages. In their lab
notebook, they should write the key information the rest of the class will
need to know from their section. Teacher should check these prior to
the next day’s lesson.
Day 3-4 (45 minutes each day) Essential Question:
I can analyze the results of an investigation about magnets.
I can create a presentation using correct magnet vocabulary to
explain my results.
Groups should review the information from their lab notebook and then
complete the Investigate section in their topic. Students can choose to
record or take pictures of their investigation. Using their pictures and/or
video, they should create a keynote or an iMovie to teach the rest of the
class about their topic. It must include content from the reading as well
as their investigation.
Day 4 - Finish products and practice presentation.
Day 5-6 (45 minutes each day) Essential Question:
I can present my research based on my reading and investigation.
Groups will present their products teaching the rest of the class about
their topic. Teacher will use a rubric to score each group presentation.
Give students 4-5 questions they will be trying to answer based on the
presentation. Have them read them and pick out key words to listen
for. Students will be expected to answer the questions during the
presentations or take a few minutes afterwards. After each
presentation the teacher will lead a discussion involving the
investigation, the questions, and any misconceptions.
Day 7 (1 hour)
Essential Question:
I can follow lab procedures to investigate magnetic fields.
I can explore magnetic poles.
Vernier Lab 36- Learning to Use a Magnetic Field Sensor (20 min.)
This lab will be to help the students see how the magnetic field
sensor works and what the readings look like. Everyone will do this lab
in their small groups.
Vernier Lab 37 - Exploring the Poles (without leaving your classroom).
Day 8 (45 minutes)
Essential Question:
I can present my research based on my reading and investigation.
Students will use their lab notebooks to have a scientific discussion
about their data, procedures, and conclusions about lab 37. Teacher
will need to teach, facilitate, and model how to have an effective
discussion, not saying one group is right and one is wrong, but rather
focusing on WHY there may have been differences.
Day 9 (45 minutes)
Essential Question:
I can explain how various items can become magnetic and how they
can lose magnetism.
Use flipchart to teach students about making a magnet and losing
Day 10 (1 hour)
Essential Question:
I can use problem solving skills to create a magnet.
Vernier Lab 38 - Making Magnets
Day 11 (45 minutes)
Essential Question:
I can use correct magnet vocabulary to explain my thinking in
Students will write an informational text in their lab notebook using
sequence to explain the process of creating their own magnet. They
will complete their writing for homework. Teacher will use a rubric to
score their responses.
Day 12 (1 hour)
Essential Question:
I can create an electromagnet.
Show students a group of pictures. Ask them to discuss what they all
have in common (electromagnets power them). (Using EM in NC, video
clips, etc
Vernier Lab 39 - Electromagnets
Day 13 (45 minutes)
Essential Question:
I can compare my hypothesis with my data.
I can read and ask questions about electricity and magnets.
Begin class with a discussion of what the students noticed about their
hypothesis compared to their actual data from the lab yesterday.
Divide class into 4 groups (homogenous). Assign each group a section
to read from either Magnetism or Electricity and Magnets, Harcourt
School. After reading their section, groups should create 3 questions in
their lab notebook they still have or don’t understand from the text.
Day 14 (30 minutes)
Essential Question:
I can apply what I’ve learned about electromagnets to the world
around me.
Teacher led discussion based on the text (uses of electromagnets in
our lives) and the questions the students still had.
Day 15 (30 minutes)
Essential Question:
I can apply my knowledge of electricity, magnetism, and
electromagnets on an assessment.
Give students Post Assessment.
Accommodations for
Differentiated Instruction
During reading activities, books will be provided at lower reading
levels or read aloud on an iPod for students to listen to as well.
Lab directions will be modified as well for students who need more
basic directions or steps.
Cross Curricular
Throughout the unit, students will be working on reading, writing,
speaking, presenting, graphing, and social studies (ways people use
Created by
Anne Hedrick
Rachel Troutman
[email protected]
Supporting Documents
Pre-Assessment/Post Assessment
Making Magnets Flipchart
Maglev Lab Notebook (Available at Horizons)
Maglev Teacher Directions (Availiable at Horizons)
Electromagnets Keynote
Video Links