Build on students' interest in The Magic School Bus with science lesson plans and activities that encourage hands-on learning.
Field Trip Notes
When Tim delivers the last of the season's honey to his grandfather's customers, the jars get broken. Tim's solution is simple: Get more honey from some bees. But Ms. Frizzle sweetens the idea by turning her class into bees and showing them a beehive up close and personal. When a bear steals the bees' hard-earned supply of honey, the bee-kids discover one last field of nectar-filled flowers. How will the bee-kids communicate this information to the bees in time for them to harvest enough honey before the flowers are killed by the impending frost?
Time: 30 minutes
Group Size: Up to 8 students per group
How do the Magic School Bus kids communicate where nectar flowers are? By dancing like bees! Challenge your kids to dance the Honey-Bee-Bop to communicate the location of hidden flowers.
What You Need
- Posterboard, one sheet per group
- Crayons, markers, or colored pencils
- Tape measure
- Copies of The Honey-Bee-Bop page, one per student
Talk About It
Ask: Could you dance the directions to the cafeteria (or other familiar place)?
What to Do
- Divide kids into "hive" groups of about 8 each.
- Have each group use the posterboard to cut out flower shapes. They can color the flowers and make stems if they'd like. Tape bunches of the posterboard flowers together to make the hive's flower field. Make some extra bunches, too.
- Pass out copies of the activity page. Look at the Distance Key, and help kids visualize distances. Ask: How tall are you? How many "yous" fit between here and the door? Have kids measure the distance with their bodies. Let them estimate other distances and check with a tape measure.
- Pick one kid in each hive to be the "scout bee." The scouts hide their hive’s flowers. For a more challenging activity, hide several extra bunches.
- The scout must then communicate the location of the flowers to its hive by dancing the Honey-Bee-Bop.
- Remaining kids are "worker bees." They must find the flowers.
- Each hive watches the dance of its scout to get directions to its flowers. Then the hives "fly off" to find their flowers. In a large space, increase the Distance Key for the dance.
- Try again with new scout bees. Ask: Can you communicate or estimate distances better?
Celebrate with honey and crackers. Calculate how many trips one bee would make from hive to flowers for the honey you are eating. Figure 25 trips for the honey on each cracker.