A magnet is a metal object, such as iron, that creates a magnetic field. The magnetic field is invisible to the human eye, but you can see how it works. Magnets are attracted to metals such as iron, nickel, and cobalt.
Legend says that naturally-occurring magnets called lodestones were first discovered by an ancient Greek shepherd named Magnes. Scientists believe that magnetic properties were first discovered by the Greeks or Chinese. The Vikings used lodestones and iron as an early compass to guide their ships as early as 1000 A.D.
Whoever discovered them and whatever the scientific explanation for how they work, magnets are fascinating and useful.
All magnets have a north pole and a south pole. If you break a magnet into two pieces, each new piece will have a north and south pole. Each pole attracts its opposite pole and repels its same. You can feel this pressure to repel when you try to force both north poles, for example, of a magnet together.
You can try placing two magnets on a flat surface with their north poles facing each other. Begin to slide one closer to the other. Once the magnet being pushed enters the magnetic field of the one lying on the flat surface, the second magnet will spin around so that its south pole attracts to the north pole of one being pushed.
Magnets are used in a variety of ways. They are used in compasses to show geographic orientation, doorbells, trains (Maglev trains operate by the repulsion force of magnets), vending machines to detect real money from counterfeit or coins from other objects, and speakers, computers, cars, and cell phones.01of 09
Print the Magnets Vocabulary Sheet
In this activity, students will begin to familiarize themselves with terminology related to magnets. Instruct students to use a dictionary or the Internet to look up each word. Then, write the words on the blank lines next to each correct definition.
Print the Magnets Crossword Puzzle
Use this activity as a fun way for students to review the vocabulary associated with magnets.They will fill out the crossword puzzle with magnet-related words using the clues provided. Students may wish to refer back to the vocabulary sheet during this review activity.03of 09
Print the Magnets Word Search
Use this magnet-themed word search as a stress-free way for students to review the vocabulary associated with magnets. Each term in the word bank can be found among the jumbled up letters in the word search.
Print the Magnets Challenge
Challenge your students to show what they know about magnets! For each clue provided, students will circle the correct word from the multiple choice options. They may wish to use the vocabulary printable for any terms whose meaning they can't remember.05of 09
Print the Magnets Alphabet Activity
Use this activity to help your students practice correctly alphabetizing words while also reviewing magnet terminology. Students will write each magnet-related word from the word bank in correct alphabetical order on the blank lines provided.06of 09
Draw and Write Worksheet
Print the Magnets Draw and Write Page
This activity allows your children to tap into their creativity while practicing their handwriting, composition, and drawing skills. Instruct students to draw a picture depicting something they've learned about magnets. Then, they can use the blank lines to write about their drawing.07of 09
Fun With Magnets Tic-Tac-Toe
Print the Magnets Tic-Tac-Toe Page
Have fun playing magnet tic-tac-toe while discussing the concept of opposite poles attracting and like poles repelling.
Print the page and cut along the dark dotted line. Then, cut the playing pieces apart along the lighter dotted lines.
For best results, print on card stock.08of 09
Print the Magnet Coloring Page
Students can color this picture of a horseshoe magnet while you read aloud about types of magnets.09of 09
Print the Magnet Theme Paper
Ask your students to write a story, poem or essay about magnets. Then, they can neatly write their final draft on this magnet theme paper.
Updated by Kris Bales