The Magic School Bus In the Haunted House

Field Trip Notes
It all starts when Ms. Frizzles class is rehearsing Concerto for Invented Instrument. Carloss invented instrument looks great, but sounds ploopy. Ms. Frizzle takes the kids to the Sound Museum - which is a spooky old house on a lonely hill, full of mysterious sounds. The children explore the Soundscape Room, hearing sounds from jungle, mountain, sea, and city environments. In another room, the kids feel vibrations when they play giant musical instruments. They put on special glasses and see sound waves in the Sound-O-Vision room. Can Carlos learn how to get the right sound from his musical instrument in time for the concert?

Going Hands-On

When the Magic School Bus Kids play giant musical instruments, they see and feel the vibrations. Your kids can see - as well as hear - the results of vibrations in this activity. Have children work in small groups.

What You Need

  • Clean empty soup can
  • A can opener
  • Plastic wrap or a balloon with open end cut off
  • Rubber band
  • A few grains of rice
  • A radio or tape cassette player
  • Copies of SEEIN WITH SOUND page
  • Objects for making musical instruments: rubber bands, wooden or cardboard boxes, cans, jars, pebbles, beans, paper clips
Talk About It

Have children put their hands on their throats, then speak, sing, or hum. Can they feel the vibrations?

What To Do
  1. Remove the top and bottom lids of the cans. Don’t leave any sharp edges.
  2. Cover one end of each can with plastic wrap. Secure it in place with the rubber band.
  3. Give each group a can, the rice, and a radio or tape player. Give each child a copy of the SEEING WITH SOUND page.
  4. After children try the experiment and write their responses in the char, they can make their own instruments. Give them the objects to put together any way they want.

Next Stop
Children can work in groups to make up their own Concerto for Invented Instruments.
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