Barbara J. Baker - Doolittle West School  

About Magnets

Barbara J. Baker Doolittle West School
521 East 35th Street
(773) 535-1050


This lesson is designed for second grade level students.
Conduct simple experiments and observations and explain what
was discovered. Designing a magnet from a sewing needle.
Making a compass. Understanding the vocabulary terms.

Materials Needed:

Magnets, sewing needles, cheerios cereal, nails or screws
paperclips, hair pins, sand, water, paper cups, large
container, cork, contrasting paper towel to place the sand on
for example, if you use white sand, use a brown paper towel


Students will be placed in cooperative groups to work the
procedures and to study the following vocabulary words:

magnetic fields magnetic force
magnetic strength magnetized particles
north & south poles compass
procedure compare
repel contrast
attract iron

Each group will have a recorder and presenter who will work
together to illustrate the phrases by drawings or explanations
which will be shared with the whole class.

By dragging the magnet across the sand, students will observe
that sand often contains particles of iron.

After the cereal has been crushed, magnets will be dragged
across it to see if any iron from the cereal adheres to the

Magnets will be placed in water and later attract pins to test
if water interferes with the magnetic field, the same magnet
will be dragged over the sand to compare and contrast the

Moving the magnet across the needle will magnetized the needle,
the needle will be inserted into a cork and placed in the large
container of water to observe how this handmade compass is

Performance Assessment:

Students should demonstrate comprehension through visual
observation of how the students completed the procedures. The
comprehension of the terms and the use of these terms with 95%
or higher accuracy. If a magnet or a compass is brought in
for show and tell, the student is showing retention and
continued interest in magnets.


The earth and many things in the earth are magnetic.

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