The Magic School Bus Lost in Space

Field Trip Notes
This time Arnold wants to go on a field trip — so his show-off cousin Janet can see what a great teacher Ms. Frizzle is. The Bus becomes a spaceship and the class visits the Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. When an asteroid hits the "spaceship," Ms. Frizzle puts on a jet pack and goes outside to make repairs. By accident, The Friz jets away into space, leaving the kids alone on the Bus. The class is lost in space without a teacher! Can the kids use what they know to find Ms. Frizzle and get back home?
Discover the Planets

Going Hands-On

When Ms. Frizzle jets away into space, she talks with the kids by radio. She gives hints for her students to find her - and to identify the planets as they go. In this activity, your kids identify the planets by making two models of the Solar System. The first shows the order of the planets and the second show the planets' relative sizes.

What You Need

  • Copies of DISCOVER THE PLANETS page
  • Stick-on labels
  • Markers
  • Items to represent planets: basketball (Jupiter), soccer ball (Saturn), 2 softballs (Uranus, Neptune), 2 Ping Pong balls (Earth, Venus), 1 jacks ball (Mars), 2 marbles (Mercury, Pluto)
  • Books on the Solar System
Talk About It

Ask: What are the names of the planets in the Solar System? What order are they in?

What To Do
  1. Give children copies of the DISCOVER THE PLANETS page.
  2. Have kids do "Be a Planet" in groups of 10. Children can be the Sun or one of the nine planets. Each child makes a label showing the planet (or the Sun) that he or she stands for.
  3. Give groups the balls and marbles to do "Make a Model." Children can show the approximate size of the planets in relation to one another by lining up the round objects in the order of the planets. Kilometers show the planets’ diameters.

Next Stop
Kids can write about a planet they like, telling its name, its location from the Sun, and what is special about it.
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