The Magic School Bus Gets Cold Feet

Field Trip Notes
Liz is missing! The kids are worried, but Ms. Frizzle is calm. She knows Liz is at a spa for cold-blooded animals. To help the kids discover what it means to be cold-blooded, the Friz turns the class into reptiles, and they sneak inside Herp Haven. There, the kids are convinced that Ms. Herpst plans to harm Liz. They’ve got to save her! While trying to rescue Liz, the kids learn she has a different way of regulating her body temperature than warm-blooded animals - mammals and birds - do. One thing the kids don’t understand: Why doesn’t Liz want to leave Herp Haven?
Lizard Life

Going Hands-On

Time: 30 minutes
Group Size: Entire class
Ms. Frizzle’s class discovers that cold-blooded animals like lizards, turtles, and alligators need to live in environments where they can warm and cool themselves to maintain their proper body temperature. Your kids can think about how a lizard might respond to your environment.

What You Need

Talk About It

Ask children:
What do lizards need in their environment to keep their bodies at the right temperature? (places to warm up and cool down; shelter in extreme cold or extreme heat)

What To Do
  1. Distribute materials and help kids follow activity-page directions. Have them observe the environment outside the school. Ask: Where might a lizard warm and cool itself in this environment?
  2. Ask: How does the temperature outside change during the day? (Mornings and evenings are usually cool, middays are warm.) What would this mean for a lizard? Have children draw the places outside the school where a lizard might regulate its temperature at three different times of the day.
  3. Have students think about how the temperature changes during the year. Ask: Why could or couldn’t a lizard meet its needs in this environment all year round?

Next Stop
Ask: What reptiles live in our area? Help students contact local parks or wildlife departments to find out. Ask: What other animals are cold-blooded? (amphibians, fish, insects) How could we find out more about them?
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