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The Poetry of Science

Poetry Activities and Investigations

testing my magnet

Testing My Magnet

by Julie Larios

Flowers? No. Dirt? No.
Socks? No. Shirt? No.
Hamster? No. Snake? No.
Plastic scoop and rake? No.
Glue? Paint? Paper? Clay?
Sneakers that I wore today?
No, no, no, no . . . 

Pile of metal paper clips—
Yes! Hooray for paper clips!
Shiny whistle? Metal fan?
Dented metal garbage can?
Hammer head, bag of nails?
Ring of keys? Rusty pails?
Yes, yes, yes, and yes!

Results of my experiment?
Magnets are mag-nificent!

Poem © 2014 Julie Larios from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong © 2014 Pomelo Books; illustration by Frank Ramspott from The Poetry of Science: The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science for Kids © 2015 Pomelo Books.   

Take 5!

  1. If you have a magnet handy, now is the time to use it as your poetry prop to demonstrate some of the examples mentioned in the poem as you read aloud.
  2. Share the poem again, and this time invite students to chime in with the appropriate response, no or yes, as these words repeatedly appear in the poem. Cue them with a thumbs up or thumbs down signal.
  3. For discussion: Is it better to test one thing or many things? Why?
  4. Show how this poem is a collection of observations and data about what is and is not magnetic. Count how many things are tested. The first stanza features items that are NOT magnetic, the second stanza features things that ARE magnetic. Challenge students to predict what other objects might or might not be magnetic and, if possible, test their predictions.
  5. Link this poem with another about how magnets work, “No Penguins Here” by Michael Salinger (Online Resources), explore the nature of magnets in the nonfiction book, Magnets Push, Magnets Pull by David Adler (2017), or connect with another poem that presents data and results, “Zapped!” by April Halprin Wayland (Online Resources).


Larios, J. 2014. “Testing My Magnet” in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, eds. S. Vardell and J. Wong, 75. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.


Adler, D. 2017. Magnets push, magnets pull. New York: Holiday House.

Online Resources

Julie Larios blog, The Drift Record

“No Penguins Here” by Michael Salinger

“Zapped!” by April Halprin Wayland


Interdisciplinary Literacy Elementary

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