Begin with a brief discussion of what students have learned and know about magnets. Some guiding questions might be:
What do you know about magnets?
How do you know something is magnetic?
What are some things that are not magnetic?
Encourage the students to think about what they might find outside or inside that is magnetic.
Divide students into small groups.
Lead students outside. Ask each group to walk around and look for objects they think may be magnetic. Have them collect as many of these objects as they can.
When the students are done outside, come back inside and repeat the exercise. Ask students to walk around the classroom to look for as many magnetic objects as they can find.
When students have collected their items, have a discussion about how to determine whether an item is magnetic or not.
Suggest using a magnet. Demonstrate how two magnetic items are attracted to one another (the magnet and an earring, coin, wire, etc).
Give one magnet to each student and have them test their items. Have them separate the items into magnetic and non-magnetic items.
When students are done, encourage the class to walk around the room to look at the objects other groups collected. Encourage students to note which objects are similar and which are unique.
Ask students what common characteristics they notice in magnetic objects. How does this differ from the non-magnetic objects? As a class, make a comparison chart of the objects based on these characteristics.
Discuss whether it was easier to find things that were magnetic inside or outside.
Can students make accurate predictions about what is magnetic?
What are they considering when deciding whether something is magnetic?
Are students able to identify commonalities between magnetic items?