The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm

Field Trip Notes
Can anyone do something about the weather? Its a hot, muggy day and a thunderstorm might help break the heat. Ralphie fantasizes being a superhero - Weatherman - who controls the weather. He gets to live out his daydream when the class rides The Magic School Bus into the clouds. As Weatherman, Ralphie makes wind, an updraft, clouds, and rain. Then a thunderstorm moves in and The Magic School Bus is caught in the middle of it! Can Weatherman save then day?
Wind Spiral

Going Hands-On

Weatherman (a.k.a. Ralphie) mixes heat with air to create an updraft, and The Magic School Bus rides high into the sky! Your kids can see a small updraft by making wind spirals.

What You Need

  • A copy of WIND SPIRAL page
  • Crayons or markers
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread in 1-foot-long pieces
  • Gooseneck lamp with 75-watt light bulb
Talk About It

Ask children: Why does the warm air from the lamp affect the spiral the same way blowing from underneath it does?

What To Do
  1. Have kids decorate and cut out their spirals.
  2. Help them pull the needle and thread through the X on the spiral.
  3. Demonstrate how the spirals can turn in moving air. Hold one spiral up high by the string. Blow gently from underneath.
  4. Turn the lamp facing up. Let each child hold her spiral over the light bulb.

Next Stop
Next time it rains, your kids can make a rain gauge. Place a clear glass jar outside in an open space. Use a ruler to measure how much rain fell.
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