The Magic School Bus In the City

Field Trip Notes
Ms. Frizzle's class is visiting the zoo, which is, according to Tim, the only place in the city where a wild animal can survive. To test this idea - ZAP! - Ms. Frizzle turns them all into possums, foxes, and falcons! The Bus, with Liz inside, becomes a bear, and, unfortunately, wanders off looking for food. Will the kid-animals be able to find the bus-bear before the zookeeper does? And is Tim right? How could animals like themselves survive in the city?
Walk on the Wild Side

Going Hands-On

Time: 50 minutes
Group Size: 4-6

Ms. Frizzle's kids discover that they share their city with wild critters. Your kids take a wildlife field trip of your neighborhood to discover what lives there.

What You Need

For each student:
Ahead of time: Help students draw a large-scale map of your neighborhood. Enlarge a commercial map, or create your own.

Talk About It

Ask: Do wild animals live in our community? Which ones? Why might they want to live here?

What To Do
  1. Brainstorm ways to tell if wild animals are around. (sightings, tracks, droppings, garbage or garden raids, homes)
  2. Pass out copies of WALK ON THE WILD SIDE page. Assign groups to specific areas. Decide if you will include common animals like pigeons or squirrels.
  3. Explore areas for 20-30 minutes. Warn kids not to touch or disturb any animals. Look for shelters - sheds, culverts, burrows, rock piles, nest sites; food sources - gardens, open garbage cans, feeders, pet dishes; vegetation cover; water sources - pet dishes, pools, leaky faucets. Record all sightings or signs of wildlife.
  4. Transfer information to the map. Ask: Does wildlife cluster in some spots? Why? Did we find all the wild critters that live here? (No, many are hidden or come out at other times.)

Next Stop
Encourage families to record wildlife sightings. Add them to your map, and display it for a family night.
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