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Static Electricity and Magnetic Fields – Middle School Science Unit

If you need a little help teaching your 6th, 7th, or 8th-grade science class about static electricity and magnetic fields, this complete unit will save you time and keep your students engaged!

This LARGE unit will cover 12 days worth of lessons if you use my suggested schedule!

electromagnet middle school

Students will love these labs on static electricity and magnetism! Both magnetic fields and static electric fields will be examined. We cannot see these fields, but we can see the forces they exert on each other even when objects are not touching.

Static Electricity and Magnetic Fields for Middle School Science

Students will learn about energy fields by studying these two topics (static electricity and magnetism) and will be able to demonstrate a field through a hands-on activity.  

Students will also use engineering skills to create an electromagnet and then they will test it using Fair Test practices to see if they can influence the strength or their electromagnet.

There is a slide show on static electricity that will give background information on theatomic structure and the interaction of electrons in simple terms that middle school science students can understand. 

This resource includes six labs in the 5 E format.  It also includes follow up pages for each lab.

A three-page article on magnetism is included with comprehension questions. Students will practice reading informational text skills aligned with CCSS. Word Wall Words are included.

Students will also make a model of electrons moving to create charge imbalance and of static discharge.  This aligns with MS PS1-1 and will help students make a model that shows the electrons and protons of several molecules.

Foldable middle school science

This is a standards-aligned unit designed to cover NGSS MS-PS2-3 and MS-PS2-5.

Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces. Examples of devices that use electric and magnetic forces could include electromagnets, electric motors, or generators. Examples of data could include the effect of the number of turns of wire on the strength of an electromagnet, or the effect of increasing the number or strength of magnets on the speed of an electric motor. Assessment about questions that require quantitative answers is limited to proportional reasoning and algebraic thinking.

NGSS MS-PS2-3

Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact. Examples of this phenomenon could include the interactions of magnets, electrically-charged strips of tape, and electrically-charged pith balls. Examples of investigations could include first-hand experiences or simulations. Assessment is limited to electric and magnetic fields, and limited to qualitative evidence for the existence of fields.

NGSS MS-PS2-5

It also covers Utah SEEd 7.1.3 and 7.1.4.

Construct a model using observational evidence to describe the nature of fields that exist between objects that exert forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact. Emphasize the cause and effect relationship between properties of objects (such as magnets or electrically-charged objects) and the forces they exert. 

Utah SEEd 7.1.3

Collect and analyze data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces. Examples could include electromagnets, electric motors, or generators. Examples of data could include the effect of the number of turns of wire on the strength of an electromagnet, or of increasing the number or strength of magnets on the speed of an electric motor. 

Utah SEEd 7.1.4
vocabulary foldable middle school

Other teachers LOVE this unit!

Check out two of the dozens of perfect ratings:

Great resource. My students loved the exciting labs! They really seemed to learn the material. This is a really well-designed unit and algins with the standards.

Camille J.

I loved this resource, and was able to use it partly in class in person and then was able to adapt it to online learning when school shut down. Thank you!

Cassidy F.

Try this unit in your classroom TODAY:

This unit is available for download in two places:

  1. Here on teachingscience.us
  2. Teachers Pay Teachers

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Thank you, and I hope you enjoy using this unit in your classroom!

magnetic forces middle school

Start Here

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!

 
Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit

Tina S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:05:39-06:00

Tina S

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!   Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit
The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!

 
Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2

Richard S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:07:52-06:00

Richard S

The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!   Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2
As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.

 
Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4

Sharon M

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:24:44-06:00

Sharon M

As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.   Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4
Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.

 
Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning

Expedition Fourth

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:44:55-07:00

Expedition Fourth

Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.   Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning
My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.

 
Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer

Heidi J

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:45:49-07:00

Heidi J

My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.   Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer
5
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Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams