You are here

Physics Lesson Plan by Luis M. Camacho

1 post / 0 new
Luis Camacho
Topic replies: 19
Topic Posts: 23
Physics Lesson Plan by Luis M. Camacho


Physics, Magnetism.


My lesson plan will be based on the influence of the East Asia cultures with the development of the technology.

Some of the most important countries developing technology today include the three East Asian countries Japan, China, and South Korea.

  As we all know, in the last decade China has been developing technology in a great variety of fields, such as worldwide communications systems. Japan has been developing the efficiency, durability, and speed to create the state of the art solid circuit devices, just few years after the end of the WWII. South Korea has been competing with a diverse development on technology since the last 50 years.

The reason of the actual development of these three countries is not a coincidence. Reviewing their story and political and social events that happened in the past are directly connected with the development of these area of the world.

I noticed that my students are easily engaged with the topic of technology, if they can see effects and results in their daily life. A millenary invention from China, the compass, contribute to my class as a nice introduction of the existence and use of the magnetic fields.

The knowledge acquired in this seminar will provide me with tools to explain and connect in a better way the development of technology along the history and how they are related with social and political events such as the development of weapons after China invented the gunpowder, the contributions to the world welfare from Japan and their development in robotics and cybernetics that consist in several areas of the Physics applied to the needs of the society, the actual contribution of Korea to the automobile industry around the world.

Technology development will give me the opportunity to expose to new generations the importance of the East Asia countries applying basic Physics concepts to discover, create and improve science at service of the humanity.











Students will understand the following:

1.            Only certain materials can be attracted by a magnet.

2.            Those materials contain iron.

3.            Magnetism is caused by the behavior of atoms in a magnet.


In addition to research materials on magnetism and a computer with Internet access for the whole class, the following materials should be available for each group:

•             Variety of objects including some that will and some that will not be attracted by a magnet (suggestions: aluminum foil, silver or gold jewelry, high-iron cereal crushed into a powder, crushed multivitamin tablet or emptied multivitamin capsule that contains iron, piece of videotape, piece of audiotape, inside of a computer disk

•             Strong magnet


1.            Review with your students what they have learned about magnetism. Encourage them to discuss their experience with magnets, including experiments they have performed. Then let them know that they are about to perform a series of simple experiments that will show which of a group of objects will be attracted to a magnet.

2.            Divide the class into groups, providing each group with the materials listed above.

3.            Before they experiment, have the groups meet to predict which materials will be attracted by the magnet and which will not. They should devise charts on which to record their predictions.

4.            Have group members take turns testing each object or substance with the magnet. On their charts, they should record what was attracted by the magnet and what was not. Were their predictions confirmed?

5.            Ask students if they can explain the results of their experiments. Then, divide the class into research groups, allowing students to use the materials you have provided, materials in the school library, or sources on the Internet to find out what causes magnetic attraction.

6.            Each student should write a brief explanation of magnetism based on his or her research. The explanation should include a description of the behavior of atoms in a magnet, as well as reasons that the specific materials with which students experimented were or were not attracted by a magnet.

7.            Have students share their explanations with their groups.            

Expect older students to produce longer, more detailed scientific explanations for magnetism, including labeled diagrams that enhance the text of their reports. For these students, you may want to omit the experiments.

Discussion Questions

1.            Discuss the idea of a magnetic reversal. Should we be monitoring the possibility of one more closely, or is it safe to assume that since the Earth has gone through reversals before that we will successfully survive another one?

2.            Discuss the idea of integrating different disciplinary areas of science toward a common goal. Does this seem like a reasonable idea? Why might scientists not want to collaborate with colleagues from other disciplines or even with colleagues from their same area of discipline?

3.            Discuss why studying bacteria and animals who use magnetic field lines for navigation is useful. Can you point out advantages to being able to navigate using magnetic field lines?

4.            Discuss in depth the impact Michael Faraday has had on our society with his inventions of the electric motor and the electric generator. Why don't more people know who he is if his contributions have been so revolutionary?

5.            Discuss whether more money should be designated for building a bigger particle accelerator. If you think the money should be spent, what or who should be the source of the money?

6.            Discuss the idea of limitless, extremely cheap and clean power. Do you believe a source of power can truly be limitless? Why might some people not want to spend money for research on fusion? Who would not benefit from widespread use of fusion?



You can evaluate your students on their explanations using the following three-point rubric:

Three points: accurate information; clear wording; logical organization; each material in experiments accounted for.

Two points: adequate information; wording sometimes unclear; satisfactory organization; not all materials in experiments accounted for.

One point: some inaccurate information; some unclear wording; organization unsatisfactory; not all materials in experiments accounted for

You can ask your students to contribute to the assessment rubric by determining what questions the explanations should answer.