The most memorable series of books that I recall listening to and learning from in elementary school were The Magic School Bus books by Joana Cole and Bruce Degen. I also remember getting really excited to watch the movies of The Magic School Bus. Most recently for a class I read The Magic School Bus Inside a Hurricane. I realized through reading it now, after I have grown up quite a bit, that there is an array of information in these books. Not only does the story itself give information, but there are little blurbs all over the pages that give information as well that are exciting to look at and, incidentally, give the student a bunch of facts. This one in particular is about Ms. Frizzle and her class going on a school field trip inside a hurricane. They learn about the parts of a hurricane as they go in each section of the hurricane. They also learn about the good and bad affects of hurricanes. The class (and the reader) learn how hurricanes are similar to and different from tornadoes as well. Not only does the class go to the hurricane they also go to their “real field trip destination” which is to the weather station. The kids end up repeating all they learned in the hurricane to the people who work there, which reviews and reinforces the facts that the reader learned previously. Throughout the book there are actual demonstrations to symbolize hurricanes, what cause them, what goes on in storm clouds, and several more activities the kids can do in the classroom or at home. This book has great pictures and facts all over the page to catch your eye. The crazy adventures in all the books keep students’ attention and teach them a ton of facts.
I want to use these books as a teaching material to read to the class during certain subjects we are working on that a specific Magic School Bus book pertains to. I also want to take some of the fun activities from it and experiment with them as a class. I also want to put several of these books in my classroom library to give the students a chance to learn about something they are interested in during free time or to borrow and take home. I think The Magic School Bus book series is a fun way to enforce reading skills for students, get them interested in literature, and to integrate subjects in the curriculum for any grade level.