Lesson Plan


In this lesson students will build their own electromagnet, determine the relationship between winds and strength of magnet, and find creative uses for electromagnets.
Anna P.
Classroom teacher
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My Grades 4
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...

build an electromagnet.

find the relationship between the number of winds of wire around a core and the strength of the magnetic force.

investigate ways to change the strength of an electromagnet's force. 

Grades 3 - 5
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Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Investigating

This will grab students' attention and capture their interest. It will spark a connection to prior knowledge of magnetism. 

Show a video of a junkyard crane lifting up cars, moving them, and droping them in a new location. After the video, students will discuss how they think this works. 

Link to the video: youtube.com/v=gk6PpeXg-M8



2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Exploring

New concepts are being introduced through research and discussion.

Continue the discuss as a class about what is happening in the video. Teacher will facilitate the discussion and guide the students to realize that the crane is a magnet that is being turned on and off. Students will then research what these magnets are and how they work. Students will work together with partners to research on the Internet and gain an understanding of what an electromagnet is. The class will have a discussion on what an electromagnet is and why they are used.

A challenge will be given: Can you build an electromagnet? 

3 Guided Practice

Activity: Investigating

Students are practicing with scaffolding. There are opportunities for students to ask questions and clarify their understanding. 

Students will work in their science groups and follow a self-paced, segmented PowerPoint to create an electromagnet. As they work through the PowerPoint, they will create their own electromagnet. They will test their electromagnet to see how many washers it can pick up and transfer. Students will be asked how they could make the electromagnet pick up more washers. As a group, students will discuss how they can make it pick up more and try out their theories.

Groups will also follow this link http://www.fossweb.com/modules3-6/MagnetismandElectricity/activities/ele... to a digital game in which they can change the force of magnetism in an electromagnet to pick up more or fewer washers.

After students have tested their theories, an online discussion will be had to discuss student theories on what can be done to change the amount of washers their electromagnet can pick up. In the end, the teacher will facilitate and guide students to the correct answer (The amound of winds of wire around the rivet directly relates to the amount of washers that can be picked up. More winds= more washers). 

4 Independent Practice

This gives opportunities for individualized practice, mastery, and assessment. 

Students will independently create a video that shows how to build an electromagnet. This video will be an assessment of the student's ability to recall the parts of an electromagnet and how it is build. Students will access directions on Schoology. The directions are listed below. 

Directions for Electromagnet Video:

They can either use educreations to draw out an example with their voice over, or they can use their video camera on their iPad to video themselves building an electromagnet while they discuss the steps. Students will upload their videos to Schoology for the teacher to watch, assess, and provide feedback. 

Students will be assessed on a rubric:

Retell of Electromagnet

4- Student was able to retell all of the steps necessary in making an electromagnet.

3- Students was able to retell most of the steps necessary in making an electromagnet

2- Students was able to retell some of the steps necessary in making an electromagnet

1- Student could not retell the steps necessary in making an electromagnet


4- Student spoke clearly the entire time.

3- Student spoke clearly most of the time.

2- Student spoke clearly some of the time.

1- Students did not speak clearly.


5 Wrap-Up

This is an extension activity

Students will use the Write About This! app on their iPads to produce a creative writing piece. Their writing prompt is as follows: Using your knowledge of electromagnets, create a new use for an electromagnet. Think of an everyday problem you have and solve it by using an electromagnet. Students will access the directions via Schoology. The directions are also listed below:

Directions for Writing:

Think of an everyday problem that you have. Find a way to solve it with the use of an electromagnet. Take a picture or upload one from the Internet to the App. Write about your new use for an electromagnet in the app and email me your final product. 

Students will be assessed on a rubric:


4- Writing was free of any grammatical  or mechanical errors.

3- Writing had a few minor errors in grammar or mechanics.

2- Writing had 3-6 errors in grammar or mechanics.

1- Writing had 7 or more errors in grammar or mechanics.


4- Student created a well thought out use for an electromagnet and described it in detail.

3- Student created a good use for an electromagnet.

2- Not much effort was put into creating a new use for an electromagnet and it was not described in much detail

1- Student did not create a new use for an electromagnet.


4- The picture perfectly accompanied the writing.

3- The picture accompanied the writing properly.

2- The picture somewhat accompanied the writing.

1- The picture did not accompany the writing.