The Early Years: More than Messing Around with Magnetsby: Peggy Ashbrook

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

This article focuses on magnets and teaching the nature of science. The predicting and testing students do in this month's activity also relate to Science and Children's theme in this issue, teaching the nature of science.

  • Elementary
Publication Date

Community ActivitySaved in 662 Libraries

Reviews (5)
  • on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:49 PM

Children learn through play. In this activity young children learn that only some objects are attracted to magnets. They are given several objects, magnets and butcher paper in which to play and record their observations while they work in groups of two. The author provides several books that might interest young children related to magnetism.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:45 AM

The article addresses misconceptions that we may harbor based on our comments. For example, saying that magnets attract metal objects may imply to younger students that all metals have magnetic properties. By allowing them to experiment with aluminum and brass objects, they will quickly see that to be incorrectly stated. The author provides a magnet activity teachers can use with their young students and a list of resources on the topic. The Internet link to the Exploratorium did not seem to work, but this one will get you there: Peggy Ashbrook is a regular contributor to the Children and Science journal. I have enjoyed and appreciated reading her many articles.

Carolyn Mohr  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn Mohr (Buffalo Grove, IL)

  • on Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:04 AM

This is a short article that gives a basic lesson plan for studying magnets with young children. It describes some basic concepts about magnets to share with students.

Betty  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:56 PM

Though this was a brief article about magnets, I really loved how the author included a lesson idea that would be great to use as an introduction to magnets. Definitely a great resource to look at when making my own lesson ideas


  • on Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:22 PM

I found this article helpful because it talks about the idea of exploration instead of just an introduction to magnets. I appreciated this because I know many students who need hands on learning to grasp the whole concept. I have found students are more interested in a lesson when they have manipulatives instead of a teacher explaining everything. This article talked about students learning how to be good scientists and they cannot learn by being told what to do they need to actually make observations and conclusions. My favorite part of this article was having students use correct language for jobs or any science terms. I believe it may be hard for them at first to remember to use them but what better way to remember then you as a teacher saying them and reminding the students to use them in their discussions or writing.


Free Offering

Login or Create a Free Account to add this resource to your library.