Magnetism and electricity in the primary curriculum

Third and fourth class

Strand unit: Magnetism and electricity

The child should be enabled to:

  • Learn that magnets can push or pull magnetic materials
  • Explore how magnets have poles and investigate how these poles attract and repel each other
  • Explore the relationship between magnets and compasses
  • Examine and classify objects and materials as magnetic and non-magnetic
  • Investigate that magnets attract certain materials through other materials magnets attracting materials through water, glass, plastic
  • Explore the effects of static electricity plastic ruler, comb, glass rod
  • Observe the effects of static electricity on everyday things in the environment
    use of lightning conductor on buildings
    use of earthing strips for cars
  • Learn about electrical energy
  • Investigate current electricity by constructing simple circuits
    use wire, bulbs and batteries experiment with simple switches design and make a marine warning system (e.g. buoy with light or buzzer, lighthouse)
  • Examine and group materials as conductors (those that conduct electricity) and insulators (those that do not allow electricity to pass through)
  • Become aware of the dangers of electricity

Strand unit: Forces

The child should be enabled to:

  • Explore how objects may be moved
    by pushing and pulling
    by twisting and stretching
    by machines (e.g. rollers, wheels, pulleys)
    design and make a pulley system to help a Norman builder to carry stone to the top of a castle
  • Explore how some moving objects may be slowed down
    a bicycle wheel by a brake
    a falling object by a parachute
    design and make a parachute to help transport a small object (e.g. marble, square of chocolate, matchbox)
  • Explore the effect of friction on movement through experimenting with toys and objects on various surfaces
    tiled surface, carpet, concrete, grass, table-top
  • Investigate falling objects
  • Explore how levers may be used to help lift different objects
    design and make safe see-saws
  • Investigate the pushing force of water
    compare floating and sinking in fresh and salty water
    design and make a boat or raft using an
    increasing variety of materials, tools and craft-handling skills