Grab Bag Magnetism Investigation





Name of Activity

Grab Bag Magnetism Investigation


David Stack and Jessica Swenson


Magnetism, non-lego, science, hypothesis



Grade Level



1 Hour Total

Brief Description

Students investigate whether a material is magnetic or non-magnetic to learn the properties of magnetism.

Lesson Objectives:

Understand similar properties that make something magnetic.

Materials Needed:

One magnet and grab bag per group. Grab bag includes: penny, washer, nut, rubber square, clothes pin, paper clip, and battery.

Preparation and Set Up:

Collect about eight objects that are magnetic or non-magnetic and put them in a bag for each group.


Give the students the grab bag of materials. Have them hypothesize (introduce this word) if each object will be magnetic or non-magnetic and record this on their investigation sheet. Have the class discuss whether they think each object is magnetic or non-magnetic and record this on the board. Give each group a magnet and have them test and record for each object. Have the class discuss the results.

1 comment on this post.
  1. Laura Fradin:

    We did a version of this activity in our 5th grade classroom at JQS. We allowed students to explore with magnets. They tested to see if things were magnetic or not. We also discussed compasses and how a magnet would disrupt compass function. This activity is a good introduction to magnetism, but does NOT take a full hour, especially for 5th graders. We paired it with making an eletromagnet in the remainder of the class period.

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