Teaching Physical Science Through Children’s Literature: Amazing Magnetism

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Amazing Magnetism by Rebecca Carmi is another wonderful addition to the Magic School Bus series.  This is one of in the collection of chapter books, but even though it is longer than the typical Magic School Bus book, it does not fail in grabbing kids attention and sparking their interest in science.  The crazy shenanigans Ms Frizzle’s class gets themselves into this time is a science challenge with Mr. Neatly’s science class, who always wins everything.  As with any Magic School Bus story Ms. Frizzle’s class learns about magnets in a way that no other class can!

Even though this is longer, its short chapters make it easy for kids to keep their attention, while also making it easy to break up into several days of reading.  This makes the book great for younger students, but can easily be read by older students as well.  No matter what age kid, all will find this an informative while enjoyable read.

Curriculum Connections
Teachers will appreciate how easy this book is to tie into science curriculum for many different grades.  Magnetism is a topic that students study throughout school, and when they are in high school they will remember this book.  Attraction and repulsion, having two poles, magnetic properties in metals (2.2), the idea that the earth is one giant magnet (6.8) are all in this book.

Additional Resources

  • Practical Physics provides a simple experiment to introduce students to the properties of magnets, such as attraction and repulsion, magnets in compasses, and what is and is not attracted to magnets.
  • Fun Science is a site for kids covering many different science topics in life and physical science.  This site has games covering all elementary science topics.  Here students will find games about magnetism, food chains, electricity, energy, force and much, much more.
  • Magnet Races provides another fun activity to reinforce the properties of magnets.  Children create magnet boats with soap and race them using a large bar magnet at the other end.

Book: Amazing Magnetism
Written by: Rebecca Carmi
Illustrated by: John Speirs 
Publisher:Scholastic
Publication Date:2002
Pages: 192 pages
Grade range:  2nd- 6th Grade
ISBN:0439314321