Teaching Electricity and Magnetism

February 4, 2020 in Science - No Comments

I’m going to be sharing some hands on ideas for teaching electricity and magnetism in the elementary classroom. When I taught fourth grade science I tried to make learning as hands on and interactive as possible. In my own learning I always had to try something myself in order to fully understand it.

All of the following ideas are included in my Electricity and Magnetism Worksheets and Activities which is available on Teachers Pay Teachers. Click https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Electricity-and-Magnetism-Worksheets-and-Activities-1258591 to learn more about this resource!

Cover Photo: Electricity and Magnetism from Teachers Pay Teachers

Building Circuits

My students always had fun trying to figure out circuits. A fun activity that has everything you need to explore circuits are Snap Circuits. If you’ve never heard of them, or want to learn more, click here. There is a junior set of these as well! However, you can easily explore circuits by building your own out of a few simple materials.

Grab some wires, batteries, and lightbulbs and have your students work to create circuits. They can create series and parallel circuits. If you want to differentiate add switches, buzzers, and other materials for them to make work. You could even consider making an electromagnet!

You might be thinking “Where do I get all these materials?” I ran into the same problem when teaching. I often bought my own materials for science projects (as well as other classroom activities). Further into my career I decided to ask parents for any donations they had laying around the house. I was pleasantly surprised that so many donated, and were happy to do so! I know this isn’t always the case, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Categorize and Sort

As in many areas of science we can categorize and sort in both electricity and magnetism. This is a simple, yet effective activity. Students can sort into magnetic vs nonmagnetic and conductors vs insulators. Grab some materials from around the classroom and let the students explore!

Worksheet says "Is it magnetic?" surrounded by items to sort into magnetic or nonmagnetic

Static Electricity

This is a simple and cost effective activity. All you need is a balloon and some paper scraps to show the power of static electricity. Blow up the balloon, rub it on your shirt, a piece of felt, etc. and then place it over the scraps of paper and watch static electricity go to work!

Check out some of my other blog posts on electricity and magnetism!

Stay tuned for my next blog post which will be resources for teaching electricity and magnetism!

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About Me

About Me

My name is Jen and I’m the face behind Endeavors in Education.

I have a passion for ELA and science. I am even STEM certified. Now I spend my time hanging with my kids, blogging (endeavorsined.com), and creating for my TpT store Endeavors in Education.

I’m so happy you’ve joined me on this journey!

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