The Magic School Bus series is a wonderful literature series for children. There are even chapter books out now for the older student. Each book is a unit in and of itself. I’ve prepared some high-interest activities that you can incorporate into a unit study using this series.
Microsoft’s Magic Schoolbus site: http://www.microsoft.com/kids/msb/rainforest.htm
National Kids Science Page: http://www.nal.usda.gov/kids/
Science Club Kids: http://www.scienceclubkids.com/
A great search engine is yahooligans. Here is the science and nature results: http://www.yahooligans.com/science_and_nature/
1. Print off some Magic Schoolbus coloring pages to add to your unit: http://place.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/games/coloritb.htm
2. Allow your child to visit, with proper supervision, Scholastic’s Magic Schoolbus website. It has many great activities: http://place.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/index.htm
3. The Magic School Bus television series can be viewed on FOX Kids! Check your local listings for days and times in your area.
4. Supplement the Magic School Bus series, either the books or videos, with some National Geographic videos. You can find these high-interest documentaries at you library and at many local video stores.
5. To go along with The Magic School Bus Lost In Space go to this website and get the latest information on what’s going on in space travel: http://www.space.com/
6. Add a biography on Albert Einstein. For more information check this site: http://whyfiles.org/052einstein/index.html
7. Try lots of fun science experiments to go with the various books. A good site for suggestions is http://nyelabs.kcts.org/flash_go.html which highlights Bill Nye the Science Guy type activities.
8. Participate in a science fair using something that you’ve learned or become interested in after reading a Magic School Bus book. You could even have your own if you don’t belong to a homeschool support group or other type of science club.
9. After you read The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor, take a trip to an marine aquarium … or set up and maintain your own aquarium. You could keep a science journal of your daily observations.
10. After reading The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses or The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body, study human anatomy.
11. Try cooking with honey or studying bees and their habitats while reading The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive. If possible, consider a field trip to a bee farm.
12. National Geographic videos has a excellent, high-interest documentary on hurricanes that would be a great addition to The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane. If you are reading this during the hurricane season, try tracking a hurricane on a map by following weather broadcasts. This could work in map skills and geography.
13. Study bats and how they are beneficial creatures when you watch or read The Magic School Bus Goes Batty. This study could be used as an halloween alternative. A book called Stella Luna, available at your library or through your local book store, would be another good addition to the topic bats.
14. The book and video, The Magic School Bus: Ready, Set, Dough is a perfect opportunity to get into the kitchen and teach the kids basic cooking technique and recipes. They’ll be learning science and they won’t even know it.
15. Plan and plant a garden while reading The Magic School Bus Goes To Seed.
16. Study the water cycle and water conservation while reading The Magic School Bus At the Waterworks. You could also add in a study of droughts and floods.
17. Why not start your own ant farm while reading The Magic School Bus Gets Ants in Its Pants.
These are only a few of the many activities that you could include in a literature study using The Magic School Bus series. Each one can be turned into a unit all on its own.
There are also educational computer programs that are based on this series and amazon.com lists several along with their ISBN number if you would like to obtain them from your local book or computer store.