Mighty Magnets!

I just finished up teaching about magnets and want to share my new unit with you!

First off, I had to organize the old magnet bucket my teaching partner loaned me.  What a mess!  I spent a good 2 hours sorting and organizing all the magnets and materials before I could even start!


Then, to get started, I wanted to jazz up the unit with some OCDE Project GLAD® strategies (Guided Language Acquisition Design - a great way to teach ELLs and all students!).  One of my favorite pictures books about magnets is Mickey's Magnet by Franklyn M. Branley.  

The only problem with this book is that it's out of print, so any copies you are going to find are going to be old.  I was lucky enough to find two copies of the book on Amazon from used book sellers.  Then, I cut them apart.  I know, I know, it sounds crazy!  Why would I do that?  Keep reading :)

I turned the books into a Narrative Input!  This strategy is a fun way to teach concepts using picture books.  Taking two copies of the book, you cut out the words and glue them onto the back of each of the pictures.  I then laminate each page.

Then, as you read the book and show the picture, you tape the picture up on the wall for the students to see.  This way, they have a visual of the entire book. This approach makes it really easy for kids to practice retelling and sequencing the story.

You can read more about Narrative Input in OCDE Project GLAD® creator Marcia Bretchtel's book Bringing It All Together {affiliate link}.

Now, on to my new unit that I used to teach magnets!

I started off with some vocab cards:

And vocab books to teach the words via the Marzano way.

Booklets to explore the Scientific Method:

Seven experiments for hands-on learning:

Four nonfiction articles to teach about lodestones, compasses, temporary magnets, and electromagnets. You can use these whole group or in small groups.  I even included a packet cover if you decide to make a small packet of the articles and comprehension questions for your students.

Students choose one of the article topics and write a short research report.

And there are some extras, too!  A world map to go with the nonfiction articles, a word search to go with the vocab words, a KWHL (the H is for "How will I find the information"), and a Can, Have, Are sheet.

Make sure to head over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to check it out!  A free copy of a generic vocab page is included with the Preview download!

Here are a couple of my students enjoying the experiments!

Make sure to download the Preview in my Teachers Pay Teachers store to get your copy of the vocab sheet!


  1. Holy cow Nicole! This unit looks amazing! Looks like fun too:)

    I've never tried Narrative Input, but it totally makes sense. What a great idea! I'll have to try that. Thanks for teaching me something new!

    Have a good night Nicole!
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

    1. I'll post more about the narrative input strategy this weekend. I love it!

  2. Your new unit looks amazing!! The district I student taught in used GLAD and I really wish I could've gone to the entire training! We do magnets too in 4th grade, so I'll definitely be checking this out! :)

    Lessons with Laughter

    1. The training I went to was out of my district (my principal was nice enough to let me attend with PD money) and my old 5th grade teacher was the trainer! It was so fun to be her student again! :)

  3. This unit is amazing. You put sooo much work into it. !!!

    My (Not So) Elementary Life

    1. Thanks Heidi! I did! My family was getting sick of my talking about magnets and compasses all spring break!

  4. Your magnet unit looks fantastic!! I'm your newest follower:)

    Science for Kids Blog

  5. We have purchased this unit but there is not a lesson / powerpoint associated with it. Are students supposed to work independently or is this just a supplement after a lesson?