Magnetic Energy and Electromagnetism

Lesson Plan

State Standards:

STE 3-5: Magnetic Energy
9 Recognize that magnets have poles that repel and attract each other.
10 Identify and classify objects and amterials that magnet will attract and objects that and materials that an object will not attract

STE HS: Electromagnetism
5.1 Recognize that an electric charge tends to be static on insulators and can move on and in conductors. Explain that energy can produce a separation of charges.
5.4 Describe conceptually the attractive or repulsive forces between objects relative to their charges and the distances between them

Essential Question:

How can understanding the realtionship between charges and attraction or replusion relate to my daily life?

Lesson Question:

-What types of materials work best for creating static electricity?
-What is happening to the charges as they move together and apart?
-How are charges in static electricity like a magnet?


We know that electricity is part of our world. Without it we would not be reading these words on a computer screen. Electricity powers stuff. But is that all it does?

Thermostat shock

Quick story:
Last winter I was walking around my house on Saturday morning. I had my fuzzy socks on because it was cold. I went to touch my digital thermostat to turn the heat up and an arc came out of my finger and went into the thermostat! It shocked me (yes it hurt) and reset my digital thermostat to factory settings.


To investigate static electricity and charges in our everyday life. Through a variety of inquiry activities that incoroporate Web 2.0 technology you will be able to answer the questions that I've posed above and the essential and lesson questions posted.

Lesson Experiences:


Mrs. Goodpaster's 2nd grade class wants to create a story board type toy that they can use to tell thier creative stories they wrote. The story board toy needs to be movable, and characters need to be easily put up on the board and taken down. They will not have access to electricity where they go, so they cannot use their computer programs.

What kinds of solutions can you develop for them?

Conceptual Knowledge

Watch the Bill Nye Video on Static Electricity.

What is the main idea that Bill is trying to get across to you?
Make connections between the inquiry activity and video.

Procedural Knowledge
Using the following simulations gather information about what kinds of materials generate charges and what happens to those charges. Be sure to identify how charges are moving and identify if the charges are positive or negative.

Knowledge Expression
Using the online brainstorming tool, BubblUs, create a concept map to show what you learned from the two simulations.


Think back to the story I told in the beginning;

After completing this lesson, you should be able to explain that there are certain materials that gain charges and certain materials that give away charges. These charges are like magnets because opposites attract and similar charges repel.

Further, these charges expain what happens during the winter when you wear a wool sweater or some type of wool product. The wool allows us to easily collect charges which we then depart to objects that are lacking charge ()like door knobs and unsuspecting classmates). It also explains how static charges work to keep items stuck to walls, through attraction of opposite charges.


1. Prezi of inquiry results for which craft materials will make a toy story board.
2. Glog summary of knowlege gained.


  1. Classzone Satic Electricity Link
  2. Phet Simulation Static Electricity
  3. BubblUs
  4. Glogster
  5. Prezi
  6. Bill Nye the Science Guy Static Electricity Video