The Magic School Bus Plays Ball
Students work in small groups to learn how movement changes when there is more, and less, friction.
- Grades: 3–5
Field Trip Notes
Ralphie's delighted! Ms. Frizzle's class is going to a baseball game. Of course, it's a very special baseball game. The Magic School Bus shrinks and takes Ms. Frizzle and the kids inside a book to a frictionless baseball field. Ralphie hits a homer he'd never have imagined in the world of friction, and all the kids find out about friction. But when they get on the Bus to head back to school, the book closes with them inside it. How can they get out of the book? Can what they've learned about forces and friction help them make it home?
What a difference friction makes! When Ms. Frizzle's kids get off the Bus into the world of nonfriction, they can't even walk. Your kids can work in small groups to find how movement chanes when there is more — and less — friction.
What You Need
- Shoe box
- Popsicle stick
- Large rubber band
- A copy of FRICTION ACTION page
- Small stones to fit inside box
- Rounded pencils or straws
Talk About It
Help children think about friction by asking: Where would be a good place to slide? Why?
What To Do
- Prepare a box for each group. Cut a small hole in one end. Pull the rubber band through the hole, loop it around the stick, and tape the stick in place
- Give each group a copy of the FRICTION ACTION page
- Help children follow the directions for the activity.
Discuss other ways besides rollers to make less friction between the box and the table. Try putting marbles, sugar, or ice under the box.