What makes a Magnet?, written by Franklyn M. Branley and illustrated by True Kelley, is an engaging and colorful book that clearly explains what a magnet is and how it works. It also offers examples of simple, yet fun, classroom activities to experience using magnets and making magnets.
This is a clever book that is upbeat and quick, yet informative. It begins with an exercise that shows you what happens when you put a magnet near various items. It then shows how the student can make a simple magnet. It also explains that the earth is a magnet, and then shows how to make a compass, and how that works with the earth’s magnet.
Curriculum Connections: What makes a Magnet? is a good source for teaching the characteristics of a magnet, how and why magnets work, and how a compass relates to magnetism. The activities in the book could easily and inexpensively be done in the classroom for an effective hands-on experience to reinforce the concepts relating to magnets. SOL 2.2
- “Discovery Education” offers two hands-on activities: making a compass and making a magnet. Depending on the maturity level of the students, it may be better to to do them as a group activity.
- “How Stuff Works” offers a really cool experiment. Iron-fortified cereal can be crushed up to see if it is attracted to a magnet. This is simple and inexpensive, but also reinforces that anything with iron is attracted to a magnet.
- The Quia website provides a fun way for students to review their knowledge about magnets by playing the “Magnet Millionaire” game.
Book: What makes a Magnet?
Author: Franklyn M. Branley
Illustrator: True Kelley
Publication Date: 1996
Grade Range: K-3