What's The Attraction

Elizabeth A. Abioro Delano Elementary
3937 W. Wilcox
Chicago IL 60624


To experiment with magnetic attraction. (Primary)

Materials Needed:

magnets, two shoe boxes, a marker, assorted magnetic objects, assorted non-
magnetic objects


1. First label one box "yes" and the other box "no" and place both boxes
on a table along with the magnets and assorted objects.

2. Ask the children to predict whether or not a magnet will pick up each
object, then touch a magnet to the object to test their predictions. Tell
students to place the objects the magnet picks up in the "yes" box and the
objects the magnet does not pick up in the "no" box.

3. Let students propose their own generalizations about what a magnet will
pick up before you explain that only the objects made with iron are magnetic.

NOTE: It's important to include objects that appear similar but are made of
different substance. (For example, some paper fasteners are made with iron and
some with brass, which is not magnetic; stainless-steel eating utensils will
attract a magnet, but silver or silver-plated ones will not.) Include metal
objects that are not magnetic - coins and most keys are made out of non-magnetic
metals. Also be sure to include both magnetic and non-magnetic objects that
have similar shapes and colors.

Performance Assessment:

Teacher observation


MacMillan Early Science Activities
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