Strand:Energy and Forces

Lesson: Magnets

This topic was taught over a series of lessons

Aim: To help the children create an awareness of various properties and characteristics of materials e.g. metal, glass, plastic, fabric, wood and brick (stone).

Materials Needed

Set up 'Material Area' with Labels as follows: Wood, Plastic, Metal, Glass
Collect a variety of materials such as:
logs, wooden toy objects, containers, cutlery, scissors, tools
Magnets: Two Horse Shoe magnets
4 magnetic wands
Story: Three Little Pigs
Textbook: Look Around Workbook - Folens (Senior Infants)
CD Rom - Smudge the Scientist Part 2- Smudge's Basket



Firstly we need to gather materials. The children bring in various items - wood, plastic, metal etc. The lesson will be introduced by having a class discussion on the items collected. We will use the Poster entitled 'Material in our World' (which accompanies Textbook) as a focal point.

The children will talk about the different materials brought in. How are they different? What do they look like? What do the feel like? Where would we find them? Where would we find a fork? Where would we find a glass jar? Where would we find fabric material? Where would we find a wooden table? Where would we find scissors ?



They will sort materials into different categories observing different characteristics e.g. colour, texture, shape, weight:

a) Glass, b) Wood, c) Plastic, and d) Metal.

We will make a display of the above materials.


Metal Forces at Work:

Finding out more about 'Metal Forces at Work. Magnetism - Predictions - Experiments.

Finding out what is/isn't magnetic in our classroom.

Working in groups of six using two large horseshoe magnets and 4 magnetic wands. The children explore for themselves. They talk about what they discover and record findings in their copies.

Working from 'Look Around workbook' - What do you notice? What happens with the magnets?

Fun with iron fillings - Pattern Making using wands and 2 sheets of paper with the wand under 1 sheet of paper and the iron fillings on top. What happens when you move the wands under the paper? Do the fillings move? Why do they move?

The digital camera is used to take pictures of:

Magnets attracting metal objects
Sorting non-magnetic materials
Patterns with iron fillings

Conclusion/Follow Up Activities

Use CD Rom - Smudge the Scientist Part 2- Smudge's Basket to reinforce what was already discovered in practical lessons.


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