Monday, April 7, 2008
The Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth
A. Title: The Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth
B. Author: Joanna Cole
C. Illustrator: Bruce Degen
D. Publisher: Scholastic
E. Genre: Informational Picture Book
F. Reading Level: 3-4
G. Summary: The Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth is about Ms. Frizzle's class adventure to collect rocks and go to the center of the Earth. The class and the magic school bus go out to a field and start digging. Ms. Frizzle teaches them about the different layers: soil, sandstorm, shale, limestone, marble, granite. On their adventure to the Earth's core, the students learn about fossils, stalagmites and stalactites, crust, melted rock, mantle (solid rock), outer core (melted metal), inner core (solid metal), and volcanoes. The rock collection at the end includes limestone, marble, shale, granite, slate, sandstone, basalt, obsidian, pumice, and quartzite. The illustrations in this book take up the entire page with the text worked in, and the page spread has both single and double page spreads. The illustrations are line drawings with watercolor and a cartoon format.
H. Response: I loved watching The Magic School Bus growing up, and I always thought the cool adventures they went on looked like so much fun. I think it is a perfect example of a tv show that got me excited about learning. This particular The Magic School Bus book made learning about rocks, fossils, and the Earth's makeup in a fun and interesting way. I love the illustrations and text in this book. There is the story text, but then there are also dialouge bubbles with text so you can read what everyone is saying to one another while they're digging down to the Earth's core. The illustrations have great color and detail; I especially like the way the black ink outlines everything. Ms. Frizzle's dresses really add to the fun and goofiness of the book and do a good job at keeping interest.
I. Teaching Ideas: Right away it is clear that The Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth can be used to introduce or teach a lesson or unit on what the Earth is made of, rocks, fossils, etc. One lesson plan that I found for it actually had multiple objectives: mastering/improving computer basics and science concepts. The lesson plan involved an online internet website hunt and learning more facts about what was covered in the book. There are many other possible lesson plans possibilities such as bringing examples of the different types of rocks (ex. limestone, granite, marble, etc.), creating a type of Grand Canyon type of diagram, and the list goes on.