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Posts tagged ‘magnets’

The Great Drink Bottle Investigation – a teachable moment with magnets

In our classroom we embrace and value the opportunities that teachable moments present to us. These moments provide rich and valid opportunities for learning and require a flexible learning environment. Here is an example of one such opportunity.

We had been investigating magnets and sorting objects according to their magnetic properties.


After lunch one day, as the children were putting their lunch boxes and drink bottles away, one of the children wondered if their metal drink bottle would be attracted to a magnet. Another child with a metal drink bottle also wondered the same thing.






The first child tried his drink bottle and discoved the magnet would stick to it. He put it in the basket of other magnetic objects.









The second child tested his metallic drink bottle and discovered the magnet would not stick to it. Hmmmmmmm this was interesting,  and so began ………. The Great Drink Bottle Investigation, with all the children deciding to test their drink bottles and make predictions about their magnetic properties.







All the children got out their drink bottles and choosing the small magnets from our collection, individually tested their drink bottles.

They made predictions and hypothesis and tested out their thoughts.

The drink bottles were sorted into groups according to their magnetic properties.


Lots of counting and mathematical language, such as more and less, was used during the investigation.







We discovered that the magnets were attracted to 4 of the drink bottles and not to 18 of them. The interesting  thing we discovered was that some of the 18 bottles were made of metal. This posed a new question – Why do some metals attract magnets and other don’t?

We did some further research and discovered………………

This slide is from the web site Communication4all.

This led us into finding and sorting lots of metal objects to see if they were made from iron.

Learning Statements –


Investigating Natural Phenomena

Early Maths Understandings

Oral Language

Investigating Technology