Unit/Lesson Plan Title: Forces and Motion: Magnetism Primary Subject Integrated Subjects

Unit/Lesson Plan Title: Forces and Motion: Magnetism
Primary Subject
Integrated Subjects
Grade Level(s)
Length of Unit
Research Sources
Forces and Motion: Magnetism
Science, ELA, Math
Fourth Grade
2-3 weeks
Harcourt Science Textbooks
Science Saurus text
What Magnets Can Do by Allan Fowler
Unit Summary
Students will explore and investigate the effect of magnets
on different types of materials. They will be asked to design
and create a vehicle that can be moved using magnets.
Key Vocabulary
magnet, magnetism, attraction, north, south, pole, vehicle,
friction, magnetic field, frictional force, force
NC Essential Standards For 4.P.1.1- Explain how magnets interact with all things made
of iron and with other magnets to produce motion without
touching them.
Common Core Standards
for Mathematics
CCSS.Math.Content.4.MD.A.1 Know relative sizes of
measurement units within one system of units including km, m,
cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of
measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of a
smaller unit. Record measurement equivalents in a two-column
table. For example, know that 1 ft is 12 times as long as 1 in.
Express the length of a 4 ft snake as 48 in. Generate a
conversion table for feet and inches listing the number pairs (1,
12), (2, 24), (3, 36), ...
Common Core Standards
for ELA & Literacy
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2 Write informative/explanatory texts
to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3 Write narratives to develop real or
imagined experiences or events using effective technique,
descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
How do magnets interact with iron and other materials?
Essential Questions
Materials & Resources
Safety Requirements
meter stick, various types of magnets, scrap paper, fabric,
cardboard, markers, crayons, scissors, tape, glue, pencils,
paper clips, other materials, Horizons Magnets and Motors
kit, LabQuest probes and magnetic field sensors (optional)
Caution using scissors, some materials
• Essential Question
• Explore/Engage
• Explain
• Elaborate (Inquiry)
• Evaluate
EQ: How can I build a vehicle that can be moved without touching it?
How can I use magnets to move an object? What materials react with
Day 1- Students take a Pretest to assess prior knowledge of magnets.
Introduce the problem with Keynote slides. Create a Know/Need to
Know chart in partners or whole group. Go over necessary vocabulary
from charts, and review materials that will be available (mention
availability of outside materials and materials brought from home).
Students will create an exit ticket or journal entry to solidify their
thinking and begin to create a blueprint. This can be done as a
drawing, diagram, or a list of steps.
Day 2- Review parameters of the problem and the Know/Need to
Know charts from previous day. Divide students into groups (teacher or
student choice). Have students create a blueprint of a plan for a
vehicle. They may touch and investigate with the materials, but no
group may start building on this day. A finished blueprint should be
turned in by each group by the end of the day.
Day 3- Students use their blueprints to build their cars. Testing and
practice trials should be performed throughout. Students should take
pictures using cameras or iPads for use during final presentations.
Students should record the steps in their construction. If desired,
students can use LabQuest software to test the strength of magnets as
they build.
Day 4- Students continue to build their vehicles. Vehicles should be
ready for official trials by the end of the day.
Day 5- Run official trials with each groupʼs vehicle. Record data to
show which vehicles successfully moved 1 meter, which moved farther,
and which failed to move 1 meter. Short discussion of results whole
group or in partners.
Day 6-8- Students do research using internet sites and various
authentic texts to find out why certain vehicles performed better or
worse than others. Students should ensure that vocabulary words are
correctly used and defined. Students begin to create presentations to
share their process and data. Presentations should include: materials
used, question asked, hypothesis, how their blueprint changed, results
of their official trial, conclusions they drew based on their results, and
what they would do differently next time. This can be done as an
iMovie, Keynote, essay, poster with diagrams and explanations, etc.
Day 9- Students complete the web investigation about the MagLev
train. They view a video and answer questions about it. Site link: http://
• Essential Question
• Explore/Engage
• Explain
• Elaborate (Inquiry)
• Evaluate
Day 10- Students share their presentations with the whole class. This
may continue over several days depending on the length of the
Accommodations for
Differentiated Instruction
Students will meet with the teacher discuss plans and the
teacher will share concerns and make suggestions based
on the individual group. Roles can be assigned within the
group based on students abilities/needs.
Cross Curricular
ELA- Students will research magnetism and friction before
beginning the lesson. Students will explain in writing key
features of their vehicles in their science journals. Students
will discuss their designs and make changes based on
whole/small group discussions. Students will orally present
their findings to their group, modeling appropriate fluency.
ELA Resource- Read Works leveled reading selection
Media/Technology- Use of Vernier Labquest probes
Math- Students measure the distance their magnet cars
traveled and compare lengths.
Tina Harrill- [email protected]
Anna Irvin- [email protected]
Hillary Nixon- [email protected]
Dianne Young- [email protected]
Forces and Motion Keynote
Maglev Train Questions
Read Works leveled text
Pretest/Post test
Created by
Supporting Documents
Day 11- Students take a Post Test to measure how much they learned
over the course of the unit.