Teaching Earth Science with Children’s Literature: The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth

Magic School Bus


Introduction and Summary:

Lord, have mercy! Ms. Frizzle is up to her old tricks again! In The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth, written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen, Ms. Frizzle’s class has spent the last couple of weeks studying animals and their natural habitats, they are pretty excited when Ms. Frizzle announces, “We are going to study about our Earth!”. While the kids are excited about studying something new, they didn’t realize who Ms. Frizzle was. After a failed classroom homework assignment in which the class is required to bring in a rock to class, Ms. Frizzle takes them on another one of her wacky field trips; this time it’s to the center of the Earth! The class goes through each of the four layers of the Earth, collecting different types of rocks in both the crust and the mantle, before ending up on “one big volcano!” When the field trip ends, the class puts together a rock display, showing the different kinds of rocks they found, their classification and their uses. A wonderful book that teaches kids about earth science & geology while also incorporating wacky humor as well.

 Curriculum Connections:

 This book does much more than just teach children about the different types of rocks that exist in the world. It provides students with an in-depth look at the interior of the Earth’s surface. There are four layers- the crust, mantle, outer core and inner core-and the earth’s surface is constantly changing. Ms. Frizzle shows her students how different rocks and minerals are identified using a classification key(igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic) and also how the soil that we stand on is a natural resource. The students also get to understand the basic properties of rocks just based on direct observation: which rocks are rigid, which rocks are smooth, and even some rocks that float! The book is a geology/earth science encyclopedia that is just waiting for somebody to get their hands on, pick up, read & enjoy! (Virginia Standards of Learning: K.1, K.4, 3.7, 4.8, 5.1 and 5.7).

Additional Resources:

The Magic School Bus:  The home page of the delightful children’s book series. Filled with fun, adventure and learning, this website will keep students entertained for hours at a time.

Geology for Kids:  If you’ve ever wanted to learn about geology, the earth and rocks, then this is the website for you. It provides useful information for teachers to use in the classroom and it also has fun and unique games that children will want to play again and again.

Rock and Mineral Activities for Kids:  The name says it all. This website is filled with several activities for children to partake in that involve several different kinds of rocks and minerals.

General Information:

Book: The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth

Author: Joanna Cole

Illustrator: Bruce Degen

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

Publication Date: 1993

Pages:  40

Grade Range: K-2

ISBN: 0-590-40760-0

This entry was posted in book review, earth science, science. Bookmark the permalink.