The Magical Magnetic Coins

Shirley Cesair


In different parts of the world there are  different  kinds of currency and   coins  that have a magnetic property.  It is the purpose of this lesson to introduce third graders to the magnetic property of different kinds of coins.



1.  Identify the different kinds of coins and countries.

2.  Identify the characteristics of magnetic coins

3.  Be able to perform a simple experiment to determine magnetic ability

4. Record data and observations in a journal

5. Make language arts and technology connections with science



State Goal 11:  Have a working knowledge of the processes of  scientific

                        inquiry and technological design to investigate questions,

                        conduct experiments and solve  problems.

Standards:  Asking and answering questions and comparing experimental results

                   to what is already known

Goals:  To conduct experiments and observations and explain what was discovered

Session Activities:   

Activity One Name and  Description of Coins


Below are the names and descriptions of coins.  Match the name with the correct description.


a small British coin worth less than a penny and no longer in use


a coin of the U.S. and of Canada equal to ten cents: one tenth of a dollar


the basic unit of money in the Netherlands


the basic unit of money in France


the basic unit of money in Mexico, Spain


an older British plural of penny


the basic unit of money in the United Kingdom (UK) equal to 100 pennies


U.S. or Canadian cent.   a British coin equal to 1/100 of a pound


a coin of the U.S. or Canada  worth fifty cents

 half dollar

a coin in the U.S. or Canada made of copper and nickel worth five cents

silver dollar

a coin of the U.S. equal to twenty-five cents


a coin in the U.S. equal to 100 pennies

  Activity Two: 

Magical Magnetic Coins

Directions:  Place a Y to indicate the magnetic coin. Place a N to indicate a nonmagnetic coin.


American Coins:

  Silver Dollar       Half Dollar        Quarter        Dime        Nickel        Penny

Canadian Coins:

Canada  Five Cents        Ten Cents         One Cent


1/2 Franc        20 Centi        10 Centi


Un Peso      


L50            L10        L5


10 Cent Duppeltje        One Cent


One Farthing    One Penny    Two Pence        Ten Pence        One Pound


Activity Three:

Coin Profile Sheet


Magnetism of coin.  Did it attract or repel?





Name of Coin                                                                                  Shape of coin


Activity Four:

     Write a story, poem or song about what you have learned about magical magnetic coins.

Activity Five

"Feely Bag"


   Put the coins in a paper bag.  Ask the people at your table to reach in and identify the coin by feeling. They should state what shape they think they have chosen and what characteristics they can identify before they pull it out from the bag. They should then pull the shape from the bag, check to see that they are correct and then pass the bag on to the next person at the table.



English  ...  Dutch  ...  Italian   ...   Spanish  ...   French  ...   Canadian 

Dutch Money {magnetic)


U. S. Coins (non-magnetic)



How did I test for the characteristic?



What did I experience?



Describe the characteristic.  What does this mean?

Scoring Rubric

Communication:  Written explanation for the solution process.

4   Complete written explanation of the solution process

3  Nearly complete explanation of the solution process

2   Some explanation of the solution process

1  Minimal explanation.  Explanation does not match solution

0  No written explanation of the solution process

Back to the SMART index page

ęShirley M. Cesair