There are only 3 metals that are
naturally magnetic including nickel, cobalt, and iron. Many other metals
are attracted by magnets. The magnets that are included in the kit are
made of Alnico (aluminum, nickel, and cobalt, which are considered
permanent magnets (i.e. does not lose its magnetism).
The more time you allow the children
to discover magnets, the more they will understand on their own about
the magic. Magnetism is a force that must be experienced in order to
discuss it in later grades. They can now understand the power of
magnetism by feeling the power of the magnets.
- In your module you have
magnetic wands, ring magnets, and magnetic marbles. If you do
not have the module, you can substitute different items. We suggest
enough magnets so children can play.
- Give each child one of each
magnet, and have them discover the power of magnetism. First let them
play with the items by themselves for about 10 minutes. Then let them
work with a partner. Emphasize keeping the magnets away from a computer
- After they play for about 20-25
minutes, bring them together and discuss what they have discovered.
- Hopefully students will have
a. The magnetic wands are the most powerful. You
can pick up the rings and marbles with the wand.
b. If you put rings on a pencil in the correct way the rings will
appear to float.
c. You can play a "game" of moving the rings around by using
the wands and not touching the rings.
d. You can balance a ring on the thin side of the wand and it moves
e. Magnetic marbles have to be arranged in a certain way to balance a
- We do not recommend the use of
magnetic iron files. Since they are iron and very small they can easily
get into studentís eye, especially if you have an unruly class. You
can use iron files if you put them into a plastic bag (4 ml) and have
students use them in the bag. However, iron clips, small pieces of
metal, or other magnets are much safer.