Students will classify matter based on physical properties including: mass, magnetism, physical state (solid, liquid and gas), relative density (sinking and floating), and solubility in water, and the ability to conduct or insulate thermal energy or electric energy.
The student knows that (1) matter has measurable physical properties and (2) those properties determine how matter is classified, changed and used.
Teaching About Magnetism: Lab for Extraterrestrial Physics NASA (website) - Presentation on the basics of magnetism by David P. Stern, Emeritus, Goddard Space Flight Center.
About Magnets: Dowling Magnets (website) - This commercial site provides facts about magnetism and answers a variety of questions, ranging from What is a magnet? to How magnets are made?
Factors Determining Magnetic Properties: School of Champions (website) - Summary explanation of the factors—such as the orientation of electrons, atoms and molecules—that dictate the magnetic properties of different materials.
Lesson Plan for Basic Magnetism: Salt River Project (PDF) - Students investigate and learn about magnets, polarity and magnetism, discuss the properties of magnets, and classify objects as being magnetic or non-magnetic.
- Supporting Lessons
- Assessment Ideas
- Literature Connections
- Additional Resources
Magnetic Pick-ups: Science NetLinks (website) - Students learn that certain materials are attracted to magnets, while others are not.
Science Netlinks, www.sciencenetlinks.comMagnets: My Schoolhouse (website) - Elementary explanation of magnetism, with interactive worksheet.
Elaboration Lessons and Extensions
How Strong is Your Magnet? Science NetLinks (website) - Students measure the strength of a magnet and graph changes in the strength of attraction as distance from the magnet increases, and as a barrier (masking tape) is built between the magnet and an iron object.
Have students record everything they know about magnets before they begin the unit and again upon completion.
As an extension or alternate assessment, give each student a set of objects and have students sort the objects into two piles: magnetic and non-magnetic. Then give each student a magnet with which to test his/her predictions.
Magnetic & Non-Magnetic. Royston, Angela (ISBN 13: 978-0431138343)
Magnetism: A Question and Answer Book. Richardson, Adele (ISBN 13: 978-1429602259)
Magnetism: NDT Resource Center (website) - This tutorial will refresh your memory on magnetism. It is organized into sequenced headings, each containing interactive simulations and reflective questions.
Characteristics of Matter: QUIA (website) - The Quintessential Instructional Archive site contains online science activities, including an online “hangman” game with clues about properties of matter. Elementary, and some secondary, vocabulary words are included in the game. This activity could be used for review, as a center for independent student work, or for differentiated groups.