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Becky McCoy

Magnetism Unit Overview
High School Methods Class
Amanda Gunning

The purpose of this unit is to familiarize the students with the role that magnets play in their lives and the
scientific principles the support them. Students will have opportunities to learn this by participating in
laboratory investigations, completing scientific and historical research, observe demonstrations, and take a field
trip to see a hydroelectric generator. Students must work together and individually to complete assignments and
will be continually challenged to use metacognition to assess their own understanding. Lab skills include
following procedure, making predictions, and manipulating data as well as reporting data through writing.
There will be several opportunities for students to be assessed using a combination of formative and summative
styles, including pop quiz, formal test, end of unit problem, homework assignments, in class discussions, etc.
By the end of the unit, students should be able to explain basic magnetic principles as well as more complicated
processes, such as a hydroelectric generator and Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine.

Class Session Style Objectives Students Will
1 Lab • To explore and define • Use magnets to discover the magnetic
magnetic properties. properties of different materials.
• Manipulate magnets and materials to draw
conclusions about what “magnetism” means.
• Predict how variables affect magnetic
2 Lab • Discover the shape, • Observe teacher demonstrations.
direction, and equation of • Use magnets and iron filings to discover
magnetic fields. the shape of magnetic fields.
• Learn how to use the force equation
associated with magnetic fields.
3 Lecture • Use hand rules to • Answer questions to review last class’
describe magnetic fields. material.
• Demonstrate several • Watch teacher demonstrations.
examples of current • Learn the Right/Left hand rules.
inducing magnetic fields.
• Work with lab groups to practice the hand
4 Lab • Determine the primary • Quick write to activate prior knowledge.
relationships between • Manipulate virtual variables to determine
magnetism and electricity. cause and effect in different magnetic
• Complete lab worksheet using PhET
• Work individually or in pairs.
• Use PhET simulation to introduce
hydroelectric generators and Hoover Dam.
5-6 Lecture • Illustrate the • Watch a video about the Hoover Dam.
relationship between • Learn historical and social facts about the
magnetism and electricity dam.
through the Hoover Dam.
• Take notes on and draw the different parts
of the Hydroelectric generators.
• Make a list of the aspects of the dam to
look out for on the field trip.
• Demonstrate content understanding
through a pop quiz.
7-8 Lab • Investigate the uses and • Watch a video about MRI machines.
science behind the MRI • Take notes on the scientific application
machine. found in MRI machines.
• Discover more about MRI machines
through the PhET lab.
9 Test Review • Review unit content and • Create their own review game questions.
prepare for the test. • Compete against one another for bonus points.
• Review for the test via a trivia-like game.
10 Test • Assess student • Demonstrate understanding of content.
understanding through a
summative exam.
11 Field Trip • C • Go to Hoover Dam.
onnect student learning and • Complete class-made scavenger hunt.
content material to the real-
life application.