This Electricity and Magnetism unit will help students understand the world around them through inquiry and hands-on experimentation. The major concepts covered will be static electricity, current electricity, magnets / magnetic fields, and electromagnetic induction. The unit takes 3 weeks, averaging 45 minutes a day if meeting 5 days/week. The unit is stand alone and/or could be used to accompany a number of texts. It roughly follows the content and ordering of Holt Science and Technology: Physical Science (2000 edition).


  • Science > General
  • Science > Physical Sciences

Education Levels:

  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8


static shock charging electricity magnetism middle school science emag induction field



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Update Standards?

SCI.8.PC.2.a: Science

Students know a force has both direction and magnitude.

SCI.8.PC.2.b: Science

Students know when an object is subject to two or more forces at once, the result is the cumulative effect of all the forces.

SCI.8.PC.2.c: Science

Students know when the forces on an object are balanced, the motion of the object does not change.

SCI.8.PC.2.d: Science

Students know how to identify separately the two or more forces that are acting on a single static object, including gravity, elastic forces due to tension or compression in matter, and friction.

SCI.8.PC.2.e: Science

Students know that when the forces on an object are unbalanced, the object will change its velocity (that is, it will speed up, slow down, or change direction).

SCI.8.PC.3.a: Science

Students know the structure of the atom and know it is composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons.

SCI.8.PC.3.e: Science

Students know that in solids the atoms are closely locked in position and can only vibrate; in liquids the atoms and molecules are more loosely connected and can collide with and move past one another; and in gases the atoms and molecules are free to move independently, colliding frequently.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.a: Science

Students know how to predict the voltage or current in simple direct current (DC) electric circuits constructed from batteries, wires, resistors, and capacitors.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.b: Science

Students know how to solve problems involving Ohm's law.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.c: Science

Students know any resistive element in a DC circuit dissipates energy, which heats the resistor. Students can calculate the power (rate of energy dissipation) in any resistive circuit element by using the formula Power = IR (potential difference) x I (current) = 1² R.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.d: Science

Students know the properties of transistors and the role of transistors in electric circuits.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.e: Science

Students know charged particles are sources of electric fields and are subject to the forces of the electric fields from other charges.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.f: Science

Students know magnetic materials and electric currents (moving electric charges) are sources of magnetic fields and are subject to forces arising from the magnetic fields of other sources.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.g: Science

Students know how to determine the direction of a magnetic field produced by a current flowing in a straight wire or in a coil.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.h: Science

Students know changing magnetic fields produce electric fields, thereby inducing currents in nearby conductors.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.i: Science

Students know plasmas, the fourth state of matter, contain ions or free electrons or both and conduct electricity.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.j: Science

Students know electric and magnetic fields contain energy and act as vector force fields.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.k: Science

Students know the force on a charged particle in an electric field is qE, where E is the electric field at the position of the particle and q is the charge of the particle.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.l: Science

Students know how to calculate the electric field resulting from a point charge.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.m: Science

Students know static electric fields have as their source some arrangement of electric charges.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.n: Science

Students know the magnitude of the force on a moving particle (with charge q) in a magnetic field is qvB sin(a), where a is the angle between v and B (v and B are the magnitudes of vectors v and B, respectively), and students use the right-hand rule to find the direction of this force.

SCI.9-12.PH.5.o: Science

Students know how to apply the concepts of electrical and gravitational potential energy to solve problems involving conservation of energy.

SC.A.2.3.1: Science

describes and compares the properties of particles and waves.

SC.A.2.3.2: Science

knows the general properties of the atom (a massive nucleus of neutral neutrons and positive protons surrounded by a cloud of negative electrons) and accepts that single atoms are not visible.

SC.A.2.3.3: Science

knows that radiation, light, and heat are forms of energy used to cook food, treat diseases, and provide energy.

SC.C.2.3.1: Science

knows that many forces (e.g., gravitational, electrical, and magnetic) act at a distance (i.e., without contact).

SC.C.2.3.2: Science

knows common contact forces.

SC.C.2.3.3: Science

knows that if more than one force acts on an object, then the forces can reinforce or cancel each other, depending on their direction and magnitude.

SCI.6.SC.6.P.13.C: Science

Some forces act through physical contact, while others act at a distance.

SCI.6.SC.6.P.13.1: Science

Investigate and describe types of forces including contact forces and forces acting at a distance, such as electrical, magnetic, and gravitational.

SCI.6.SC.6.P.13.3: Science

Investigate and describe that an unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed, or direction of motion, or both.

SCI.8.SC.8.P.8.1: Science

Explore the scientific theory of atoms (also known as atomic theory) by using models to explain the motion of particles in solids, liquids, and gases.

SCI.8.SC.8.P.8.4: Science

Classify and compare substances on the basis of characteristic physical properties that can be demonstrated or measured; for example, density, thermal or electrical conductivity, solubility, magnetic properties, melting and boiling points, and know that these properties are independent of the amount of the sample.

SCI.8.SC.8.P.8.7: Science

Explore the scientific theory of atoms (also known as atomic theory) by recognizing that atoms are the smallest unit of an element and are composed of sub-atomic particles (electrons surrounding a nucleus containing protons and neutrons).

SCI.8.SC.8.P.9.A: Science

Matter can undergo a variety of changes.

SCI.9-10.5.H: Science

analyze energy conversions such as those from radiant, nuclear, and geothermal sources; fossil fuels such as coal, gas, oil; and the movement of water or wind; and
Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2009-06-12.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 3

Reviewer Comments:

This is a complete unit to help introduce primary-grade students to the concept of fractions. Each of the 12 lessons includes a problem of the day, a discussion, and a hands-on activity for students. These lessons can be personalized and adapted to fit the needs of individual students. The lessons are easy to read and follow, and all hand-outs are provided. Each lesson is aligned with the NCTM Standards. In addition to using the provided hand-outs, teachers can use commercial or teacher- made fraction kits or other math manipulatives to help students develop an understanding of fractions. Teachers may choose to use these rather than candy due to growing numbers of children with food allergies or other dietary restrictions. There are several misspellings in the lessons and hand-outs, but overall this is a well-designed unit.
Christine Mytko
August 7, 2009

I love the student handouts! Great activities.

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