Fish and Clip


Winnie Koo


4332 N Paulina Street

CHICAGO   IL 60609





Have first grade students understand some of the characteristic of magnets.



For each group:

2 trays

30 big paper clips- big fish

50 little paper clips-small fish

15 string, tied to any type of magnet, attached to dowel or non-sharp pencil fishing pole.








Number of large fish





Number of small fish


Trial #1



Trial #2



Trial #3



Trial #4



Trial #5












Step 1: Through story telling technique some volunteers will come out to do an activity that will show the class the main characteristic of magnets. The characteristic is that metal contains iron will be attracted by magnets.


Step 2: For the following activity students should work in groups of 2-4 and take turns fishing within their groups. When calculating averages, express answers in whole fish with remainders dropped. Use the table provided for the activity.



(1)  Put 30 big paper clips on one tray and put 50 small paper clips on the other tray.

(2)  With the fishing pole, students fish for big paper clips and record the catch.

(3)  Fish for small clips and record the catch.

(4)  Perform 5 trials for (2) and (3).

(5)  Find the average number per catch for both small and large clips. Briefly review the concept of average if necessary.


Performance Assessment:


Students will be assessed for their understanding about magnet through the following discussion.

(1)  Did the magnet attract more small clips or more large clips? Why?

(2)  Did any group catch the same number of small or large clips in each of their trials? Why or why not?

(3)  Since each group is using a magnet of the same size, did any two or more groups catch the same number of either small or large clips in any trials? Why or why not?

(4)  If the activity is being done differently, such as by wrapping two magnets of the same size together, what kind of result will be expected?




Even if magnet of the same size and shape, they may vary in magnetic strength.