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Topic: The students have already learned about circuits, electric force, and how to

calculate and draw electric field lines. We will be talking about magnetic fields, their
purpose, and how to draw them.
Do Now: In 1859, it was observed that our sun was going through intense solar
activity and ejected a super solar flare. Telegraph systems around the world failed
and gave their operators shocks. Some saw sparks. What happened?
Aim: What is a magnet and how do we draw and interpret magnetic field lines?
New York City Standards:
5.1t Gravitational forces are only attractive, whereas electrical and magnetic forces
can be attractive or repulsive.
Behavioral or Performance Objectives: SWBAT draw magnetic field lines
SWBAT describe the properties an object must have to be considered a magnet
Vocabulary: magnetized – if all magnetic domains are aligned, an object is said to be
Magnet – an object with a net magnetization
Material List:
Iron filings
Safety and Disposal: Students will collect iron filings into a cup, which will then be
collected by the teacher and then put into a Ziploc bag.
Motivation: Do Now.
Procedure or Development of Lesson:
Ask students Do Now/ motivation
Explain how the solar flare affected
electronics on earth via its magnetic field.
Tell students about discovery of magnetic
fields of the earth, and how that creates
the aurora borealis.
One of the first handheld magnets
discovered was a lodestone. This rock
was said to have magical properties and
changed the way people thought about
forces for the rest of human’s existence.
Explain the answer to students. Through
mapping field lines we are able to harness
the power of the physical world around us
to better out lives.
Explain/model procedure to students:
1. Place one bar magnet under a piece of
cardboard covered by a piece of paper

Students will
Discuss in groups and then share

Observe demonstration

Take notes

Listen/repeat procedure

and sprinkle iron filings on the paper
above where the magnet is. Stop when
you see some lines being formed. If you
sprinkle too much, it will be hard to see
the field lines that form. Tap the
cardboard to help the filings settle into
lines. Sketch the magnet and the
resulting field lines on the back of this
2. Take a compass and place it in several
different places around your magnet. Your
compass will give you the direction of
your field lines. Add arrowheads into each
of your sketches.
3. When you are finished with your
drawing, carefully lift the paper with
filings up from the ends so the filings fall
toward the center. Carefully pour the
filings in the cup provided to collect the
3. Place two bar magnets next to each
other lengthwise with the north poles
facing each other. Make sure there are 3
or 4 finger widths between the two
magnets. Sketch the outlines of the bar
magnets and repeat numbers 1, 2 and 3
above, paying special attention to the
area between the north poles.
4. Now place the north pole of one
magnet facing the south pole of the other
magnet with 3 or 4 finger widths between
the two magnets. Sketch the outlines of
the magnets and follow instructions for 1,
2, and 3 above, paying special attention
to the area between the opposite poles.
Facilitate students’ completion of lab
Collect material, ask students about data
Where is the field the strongest?
Discuss materials that are often
magnetic, magnetic domains and
alignment, and how an object can be
considered a magnet.
Ask students what happens if a magnet
were to be cut in half. Would you be able
to get a single north or south pole?
Display evaluation questions – Rock Paper
Scissors tournament

Students take data
Make data public
Take notes

Students answer questions and pass
them up

Summary: Magnetic field lines flow out of the North Pole of a magnet into the South
An object is considered magnetized if all of its domains are aligned.

Evaluation: Where are magnetic field lines the strongest?
Does the North end of the compass needle point to the magnetic south or magnetic
Can you separate the poles of a magnet?
How are the domains of an unmagnetized object oriented?
Homework: Given on UTexas
Differentiation: All lab instructions and notes will be displayed on the SMART board
for hearing impaired students, and slides can be sent to them early if they would
like to read along with the class instead. All lab instructions will be given as
handouts for sight or hearing impaired students. Concepts are explained via words
and pictures for assisting ELL students. Ensure that all visually-impaired students
have their screen-reader software active.