Teaching Earth Science with Children's Literature: The Magic School Bus Out of This World: A Book About Space Rocks

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Introduction and Summary
The Magic School Bus Out of This World : A Book About Space Rocks written by Joanna Cole, is another classic in the Magic School Bus series. Mrs. Frizzle’s class is putting on a solar system play when they find out that an asteroid out in space is headed straight towards Walker Elementary School! The class rushes onto the Magic School Bus that turns into a Space Bus. On their trip to find the asteroid, they discover what shooting stars are and also get pulled into the Moon’s gravity. They defeat a comet and finally find the asteroid. They try many different ways to redirect the asteroid away from Earth until Dorothy Ann finally comes up with a plan. She says the Magic School Bus needs to become as big as the Moon to pull the asteroid into it’s gravity, then shrink at just the right time to send the asteroid far away from the Earth. After the class accomplishes this, they travel back and even get a phone call from NASA on the way home.

Curriculum Connections
This is a great book to introduce older elementary students to space rocks and gravity of the Moon. Key vocabulary could include Earth, Moon, comet, meteor, asteroid, gravity, and shooting stars. The book explores the different space rocks and also introduces how the Moon has it’s own gravity (SOL 6.8a,c). It also explores the distance and makeup of the Moon and how it is associated with the Earth (SOL 4.7c).

Additional Resources

Book: The Magic School Bus Out of This World: A Book About Space Rocks
Author:
Joanna Cole
Illustrator: Bruce Degen
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date:
1996
Pages:  32 pages
Grade Range: 2nd-5th grade
ISBN: 0590921568