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A lesson plan on Problem Solving with Magnets


Math, Science  


1, 2  

Title – Magnets, Problem Solving
By – Scott Dan
Subject – Science, Math
Grade Level – 1st – 2nd
Magnets: Problem Solving Activities Using Magnets
1. 2 containers with sand
2. Iron fillings
3. 20 ¾” magnetic buttons
4. Two hand-made mazes ( may be pre-made by teacher)
5. 2 pieces of paper
6. 2 tweezers
7. 2 magnifying glasses
8. 2 magnet wands
9. 2 siphons / containers to pour into.
10. String / scissors
11. Paper clips (various sizes)
12. 24 Doughnut Magnets
13. 4 magnet wands
14. 2 cookie sheet pans
15. tape
16. 2 bowls
17. Few sheets of tag board or other think paper (possibly laminated paper)
18. Kindergarten blocks (large, rectangular shapes along with smaller shapes)

1. Teacher could make two mazes. He/she could do this out of wood or possibly a thick tag paper. Another alternate idea is that the students could make one out of blocks.
2. Teacher would need to set up the room so that it can hold five different centers, each having two of the same activities taking place. The students will be working together in pairs of two, but four students will be working on any given activity at once. Each group will have their own materials to work with, but two groups will be side by side.
Center One: The mystery sand
1. In front of the class (before separating for centers), mix up some iron fillings with sand and place it in two separate containers (one for each group). Let them know that they will have to figure out a way to get only the iron fillings out and onto the bowl next to it. Show them all the materials they may use to help them. Those materials are tweezers, magnifying glass, magnet wand, siphon with container. Also at this station will be the two containers with the mixed sand/iron fillings, two bowls, and a working surface. Let them know that they should let you know when they finish. But before they leave, it is their responsibility to mix it back up for the next group.

Center two: Magnet Maze
2. Either show the children the maze that was pre-made or show the children how to make a simple maze. Next, ask the children to find a way make one magnet go all the way through the maze. They may use any of the following tools to help them: A string, magnet wand, paper clip, doughnut shaped ring, and/or a bolt. One last rule, they are not allowed to let any of these objects touch the magnet that is to travel through the maze.

Center 3: Magnet Magic Trick
1. They are to use the tools provided to create some kind of magnet magic trick. The following tools should be provided: magnet wand, 2 doughnut shaped magnets, pieces of string, paper clips, bolts, some iron fillings, piece of tag board, tape, bolts, and any other item you wish to add. Let the children demonstrate their magic trick to the class before every group switches.

Center 4: Make Statue
1. Allow the students to manipulate iron fillings along with other magnets and misc. items to create a figure. Supply a cookie sheet, several doughnut shaped magnets, container of iron fillings, 10 magnetic ¾” buttons, and any other magnetic and non-magnetic supplies that you wish. Do not attach the magnets for them. Let them discover that they need the magnets on the bottom of the sheet if they are not going to use any other magnets in their figure. Let the children share their finished product with the class before each group switches.

Center 5. Magnet Hockey

1. Using blocks (whatever is available), allow children to make two barriers for so that they may play magnet hockey. The barriers should or could look something like this: The children would be where the square blocks are. They are to use three magnets, one for each of them as their hockey sticks, and the third is the puck. They are to try not to let the three magnets ever touch.

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