Explore a variety of science topics in the classroom with these discussion guides and hands-on lesson plans based on the Magic School Bus Rides Again Netflix series.
About The Magic School Bus Rides Again
"Seatbelts, everyone!" Arnold, Ralphie, DA, and the rest of the kids from everyone’s favorite animated science exploration show are back in a new original series from Netflix: The Magic School Bus Rides Again!
Along with new student Jyoti, a tech-savvy whiz-kid, the class has a new teacher this year— Ms. Fiona Frizzle, younger sister of the original Frizz. With the help of her upgraded Magic School Bus, Ms. Frizzle takes her class on wild field trips exploring a wide variety of science topics including weather hazards, the rock cycle, magnets, allergies, satellites, glaciers, the brain and nervous system, and deep sea exploration!
Discussion Questions for Episode 1: Frizzle of the Future
- What exciting change in teachers do the kids experience this year? How does Arnold react to this change, and to change in general? How do you feel about change? Do you like it, or do you prefer when things stay the same?
- We learn a lot about ecosystems in this episode. What is an ecosystem?
- How did Carlos, as a tortoise, and Wanda, as a finch, demonstrate their interconnectedness in the ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands?
- What is an "invasive species?" How could one harm the balance in the ecosystem of the Galapagos? What do the kids learn about gypsy moths and their potentially devastating effect on the forests of the Galapagos?
- How are invasive species kept out of the Galapagos ecosystem?
- Back at school, what example does Professor Frizzle give as a new, non-invasive species that was a good addition to an ecosystem? What insect became a part of a new, balanced ecosystem in North America?
- When the class goes into the future, what do they discover has happened in the Galapagos? What was Arnold's mistake? Why were there so many bunnies on the island?
- How are the students in Ms. Frizzle's class able to restore balance to the Galapagos ecosystem?
- What's the best way to prevent upsetting a balanced ecosystem?
Extension Activites for Students
- The Magic School Bus books are exciting science adventure stories featuring Arnold, Ralphie, Keesha, and the rest of Ms. Frizzle's class. Read one of the books from the series and book talk it to the rest of your class.
- One of the most famous residents of the Galapagos Islands is the Galapagos tortoise. Research this fascinating animal and discover ten facts about it. Create an informational poster about the Galapagos tortoise that includes a drawing of the animal and your ten favorite facts.
- As we learned on the show, an ecosystem is a balance of plants and animals living together in an environment. Pick an environment that interests you — the Pacific Ocean, the Mohave Desert, the Himalayan mountains, etc. — and research it. Discover five plants and animals that live in this environment and how they are connected to one another in a positive way. Make a diorama of your chosen environment using a shoebox, recyclables, and drawings that includes the five plants and animals you found. Add a notecard to the top of your diorama that explains how your five plants and animals are connected to one another in this ecosystem.
- Non-native, invasive species invade an ecosystem and upset its delicate balance. In this episode, bunnies were brought to the Galapagos to eat the aggressively growing plant Arnold introduced, but there was no predator to keep the bunny population in check. Fold a piece of large white construction paper in half. In one section, use crayons or markers to draw a balanced Galapagos ecosystem. In the other section, draw the ecosystem gone wild, overrun with invasive plants and animals.
- Work with a partner to create a math story about the unbalanced Galapagos ecosystem depicted in this episode. Choose either the non-native plant or the non-native bunnies and draw a series of illustrations that show these invasive speicies adding to the ecosystem. Write a correlating story to go with your illustrations. Then write an equation to symbolize the mathematics in your story.
- The Magic School Bus can transform itself into any size or shape and whisk the students anywhere they can imagine! Where would you want to go on the Magic School Bus? Write a story about your amazing field trip. Include sensory details and descriptive language in your story.