Outstanding Science | Primary Science Resources for the National Curriculum

Primary Science Resources for the National Curriculum

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KS2 - Year 3 - Forces and magnets

Magnetism through materialsFree! 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | OS3E003

Children investigate which objects and materials will prevent a paperclip from being attracted to a magnet when placed between them. They attempt to identify the main material each object is made from. They use their results to complete a Venn diagram containing a single set. They attempt to explain their findings.

  • 3e2: notice that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance
I can investigate how magnetic forces act through different materials.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | Magnetism through materials

Magnets on different surfaces 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | OS3E001

Children investigate how magnets can make objects move on different surfaces. They attach a metal paperclip to a book and investigate how placing it on different surfaces affects how easily a magnet can move it. They record their predictions and measurements in a table, and then transfer their results to a bar chart.

  • 3e1: compare how things move on different surfaces
I can investigate how magnets can make things move on different surfaces.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | Magnets on different surfaces

Magnetism at a distance 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | OS3E002

Children investigate how powerful 5 different magnets are. They predict and then measure the distance at which each magnet will attract a paperclip, recording their results in a table. They transfer their results to a bar chart and place the magnets in order of strength.

  • 3e2: notice that some forces need contact between two objects, but magnetic forces can act at a distance
I can investigate how magnetic forces act at a distance.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | Magnetism at a distance

Magnetic materials 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | OS3E004

Children carry out an investigation to find out which classroom objects are magnetic. They consider what they are going to measure and how to make their test fair. Children predict and measure which classroom objects are magnetic. They transfer their results to a 2-dimensional Carroll diagram, showing both which objects were magnetic and which were made of metal. They attempt to find a pattern in their results.

  • 3e3: observe how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials and not others
I can investigate which materials are magnetic.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | Magnetic materials

Magnetic metals 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | OS3E005

Children investigate which metal classroom objects are also magnetic. They think about how they will make their test fair. Children palce their results in a Venn diagram containing 2 overlapping sets, and think about in which of the 4 areas to place each result. They discuss the relationship between the type of metal an object is composed of and whether it is magnetic.

  • 3e3: observe how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials and not others
I can investigate which metals are magnetic.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | Magnetic metals

Testing magnets 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | OS3E006

Children carry out an investigation to test the strength of up to 10 magnets. They predict and then measure how many 1p coins they can place in a bag held by a paper clip attracted by the magnet before the bag and paper clip fall off. Children transfer their results to a bar chart and place the magnets in order of strength.

  • 3e4: compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of whether they are attracted to a magnet, and identify some magnetic materials
I can investigate which magnet is the most powerful.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | Testing magnets

Magnetic poles 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | OS3E007

Children learn that magnets are made up of tiny magnetic particles which have all lined up in the same direction, producing a noticeable magnetic effect (field). They learn that magnets always contain two poles (north and south) and that if a magnet is broken in two, each piece will still have two poles. Children investigate whether the poles from two magnets will attract or repel each other when brought together. They record their results in a 2-dimensional Carroll diagram.

  • 3e4: compare and group together a variety of everyday materials on the basis of whether they are attracted to a magnet, and identify some magnetic materials
I can investigate how magnets interact with one another.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | Magnetic poles

Using magnets 

Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | OS3E008

Children learn that the properties of magnetic attraction and repulsion can make useful machines. They learn that more powerful magnets, called electromagnets, can be created by passing an electrical current through a coil wrapped around a permanent magnet. Children learn about 5 different machines that use magnets (a maglev train, an MRI machine, a crane, a button magnet, and a compass) and match their images to their descriptions. For an added challenge, children write descriptions in their own words.

  • 3e5: describe magnets as having two poles
  • 3e6: predict whether two magnets will attract or repel each other, depending on which poles are facing.
I can describe the function of magnets in different situations.
Outstanding Science Year 3 - Forces and magnets | Using magnets