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Lesson 2: The Magnetic Field

Stage/Year: Stage 3, Year 6 Time: 1 hour Objective: To extend on children’s exploration from lesson one with a greater focus on the magnetic field and how it affects the way in which two magnets interact with each other. Syllabus Links: Resources: SC4-10PW(2)- The action of forces that act at a • Iron filings- enough for 15 pairs distance may be observed and related to everyday • 30 bar magnets (in zip lock bags) situations. • 15 pieces of White paper • use the term 'field' in describing forces acting at a • 30 netball bibs (15 of each distance. colour) • describe the behaviour of magnetic poles when they are brought close together (NSW BOS, 2012a, p. 107). ST3-4WS - investigates by posing questions, including testable questions, making predictions and gathering data to draw evidence-based conclusions and develop explanations. • with guidance, posing questions to clarify practical problems or inform a scientific investigation • accurately observing, measuring and recording data as appropriate (NSW BOS, 2012a, p. 62). EN3-1A - communicates effectively for a variety of audiences and purposes using increasingly challenging topics, ideas, issues and language forms and features. • participate in and contribute to discussions, clarifying and interrogating ideas, developing and supporting arguments, sharing and evaluating information, experiences and opinions (NSW BOS, 2012b, p. 98). Summary table of KSK: • Magnetism is a force of attraction or repulsion, due to a magnetic field. This magnetic field is inbuilt in magnetic objects and caused by the movement of electrically charged particles. Individual particles, such as electrons, can have magnetic fields, however larger objects, such as a piece of iron, can also have a magnetic field. This magnetic field occurs as “a sum of the fields of its particles” (Kurtus, 2013). If a larger object exhibits a sufficient magnetic field, which is an invisible area of magnetism surrounding it, it is called a magnet (Kurtus, 2013; Woodford, 2013). • Magnets have two poles, called the north or north-seeking and south or south-seeking poles. When two magnets or magnetic objects are close to each other, there is a force that will attract or repel depending on these poles. When two opposing, or unlike, poles are placed together, they will attract each other. When two magnetic objects have like poles in front of each other, the magnetic force pushes them apart (Kurtus, 2013; Woodford, 2013). • If you were to cut a bar magnet in half the result would not be a south magnet and a north magnet, instead creating two smaller magnets (Woodford, 2013).

Lesson Overview: Introduction (10 minutes)Ask children to recall what they know about the properties of magnets from their prior learning and the exploration of magnetic resources last week. Introduce the magnetic field- what it is and how we know it is there. Body (35 minutes)• Have children get into pairs and provide then with a bar magnet (in a zip lock bag for easier cleanup). Place a piece of paper on top of the bar magnet and ask children to observe what occurs when they sprinkle iron filings on top. As a class, verbally discuss what the children are observing, using questioning techniques to get them thinking such as- Where are the most iron filings building up? What can you see happening on the sides of the magnets? Do the lines the magnetic field create cross each other? • Next, show the class the following YouTube video (2:30) Have children draw what they are observing in their science books, using some of the rules mentioned in the video. • Provide each group with a second magnet and ask them to continue playing with the magnets and the iron filings. What do you see if you put the like poles together? What happens if you put opposite poles together? Ask the children to draw the answers to these questions in their books. • Lastly ask the children- What would happen if you were to saw a magnet in half? Explain that if you were to saw a bar magnet in half it would not result in a north and south magnet, but two smaller magnets. You can use two magnets stuck together to demonstrate this. Conclusion (15 minutes)Go outside to large grass area. Ask the children what they have observed and remember about how magnets interact with each other- talk about repelling and attraction. Next, assign the children into two teams (can be distinguished with different coloured netball bibs). One team will be south and the other will be north. Intersperse the children and explain they are going to play a game. The aim of the game is for them to join all of their team, however an opposing pole could stand in between them and repel them away from itself. For example a teacher would say ‘I want all the north poles to join each other’. It would then be the children on the south pole teams job to repel them away from their team. The roles of the teams can then be switched. Simplification: Pairing and groups can be strategies so that children can support each others learning. Extension: Is there any way to test if two magnets together are stronger than one using the iron filings? How should the magnets be placed together to get the best results to this question?

Additional Learning Opportunities: To extend on this further children could make a magnet float, using a ring magnet on a secured pipe or pole, as displayed on the following website (Miniscience, n.d.)