Magnetic Poles

Student Side of Lesson

  1. Magnets have a North Pole and a South Pole.
    When working with two magnets, one pole, or end of the first magnet will attract a like pole from the second magnet but will repel the other.
    If the magnet's poles are not labeled, can you still determine which end is North (A) and which end is South (B)? Key to reading this chart: S = South Pole, N= north pole, F = force

    Magnet Chart

  2. Create a Wonderful Wordle Word Cloud!
    Think of all the words you might use when you are thinking about magnetism ´╗┐and type them into a Wordle using this connection!! Wordle and identify common vocabulary

  3. Watch the following video paying attention to the characteristics of how magnets attract/repel.

  4. The energy force in a magnet leaves at the north pole and enters at the south pole. Take a look at this:

    Magnetic field

    Did you see how like poles repelled each other while opposite poles attracted each other?
    Soon it will be time for you to try an inquiry in class using magnets! Be sure to be prepared by having your science notebook in class so you are ready to investigate and record your observations!

    Before we do that, we need to learn some of the common words, or vocabulary, associated with magnetism. You will be taking a science vocabulary quiz at the end of this unit, so be sure to study the meanings of these words!

    Let's look at some of the words and definitions we will be working with during our magnetism unit. Try this!
    Magnet Flash Cards

  5. Do you think you are ready?
    • Will you be able to predict which bar magnet pole will attract to the North Pole of another bar magnet?
    • Will you be ready to share your ideas with your science buddies?
    Get ready for some magnetic fun!

Teacher Side of Lesson

Lesson Plan

State Standards:

Physical Sciences: Magnetic Energy; #9: Recognize that magnets have poles that repel and attract each other

Essential Question:

A bar magnet

Imagine that you have two bar magnets like the one pictured on the right. Will the North Pole of one bar magnet repel or attract the North Pole of the other bar magnet?
Are all the sides, or faces of the first magnet attracted to the sides, or faces of the other magnet?

Lesson Question:

Can you identify which end of a bar magnet will stick to, or attract, the north pole of another bar magnet?


We will be studying magnetism and electricity in this unit! You will be using different types of magnets in inquiry investigations to see that magnets have poles that repel and attract each other!


  1. Building Schema:
    Students review a visual chart depicting north/south pole attract/repel
  2. Brainstorm:
    Students create a Wordle using all the words they can think of that might be associated with magnetism
  3. Building Schema:
    Students watch a video of other children manipulating magnets to show how poles attract/repel
  4. Students study associated vocabulary for the study of magnetism using pre-made flashcards

Lesson Experiences:

  1. For students who work best with visual tools, the chart might provide insight as student observes configurations of poles attracting/repelling
  2. As a means to get the brain "juices" flowing, students will create an interesting version of a word wall and identify common vocabulary
  3. For students who might appreciate a hands-on or kinesthetic approach, the video will show other students identifying attract/repel characteristics of magnets
  4. Students will be asked to study common vocabulary for this science unit. A written or oral assessment will determine if the student understands these vocabulary words
  5. Students will be asked to work in small groups using one marked bar magnet and another bar magnet that has had the marked poles obscured, to determine which pole is North and which is South


Students will see that magnets have poles that repel and attract each other!


Successful demonstration of vocabulary comprehension, successful outcomes and journaling entries will determine if the essential question was met.


Discovery Works Elementary Science kit, Wordle Cloud, Quizlet, TeacherTube Video, Addison Wesley Longman