Creating a compass from a magnet
One way to tell which is the north end and which is the south end of a magnet is to dangle the magnet from a thread.
The magnet will automatically turn itself so that its north end points directly towards magnetic north.
An alternative is to place the magnet on top of some styrofoam floating in a bowl of water. The styrofoam should be just about big enough to hold your magnet.
Again the magnet will turn to the magnetic north of the earth.