The Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition is an incredible tool in helping students to engage in learning in both an exciting and academic manner. The playful presentation of student learning in this book can ignite a child’s interest in school who may not yet have entered through the gates of school. Children who may already be in school will be whisked away on an adventure of learning. This specific Magic School Bus book, focuses on the whimsical Ms. Frizzle taking her students on yet another daring adventure into the lives of scientific luminaries of the past. Students meet, “real live” scientists such as Galileo, Newton, Curie (and many, many more!) and engage in dialogue with each scientist to determine why they began their interest in their specific field, how they researched this field/question within the field, and what solutions they reached to the questions they asked. The students are learning the scientific method throughout the book without even realizing it! This subtle teaching of the scientific method feeds nicely into their task of creating their own science fair project at the end of the book. Students in the book not only learn the scientific method but readers of the text do as well! This text could be used to support the teaching of this method during science in order to integrate literacy and science!
The humor of the students in the Ms. Frizzle’s classroom only adds to the already engaging adventure. The students in the classroom also help to solidify the scientific thoughts presented by repeating those ideas in a more basic and usually humorous manner. Besides the use of, “real life” scientists who explain their theory and thinking, each page has a featured, “question” that guides the dialogue of the scientist and students. For example, on the page where we meet Newton a question written on top of the page asks, “Newton’s question: What Keeps the Planets in their Orbits?” This question frames the ensuing dialogue.
The Magic School Bus and the Science Fair Expedition is a great read for any parent trying to help their child to become more engaged with science, for teachers trying to explain the scientific method in an engaging and visual way to their students, or for any person desiring a reacquaintance with scientific luminaries of old!
By Nupur Singh