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Elementary Science

Is Mrs. Frizzle too out-of date for the classroom?

Author Post
Sarah Bird Sarah Bird 165 Points

I rememebr Mrs. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus being a staple in my early elementary classroom. Not only did the show engage me and my classmates, it also effectively broke down complex topics to and understandable level for young learners. When I recall my first experiences with learning science (e.g. learning about the human body, learning about the solar system, etc.) Mrs. Frizzle is the first thing that comes to mind. As a future educator I'm wondering if the show is too out-of-date to tie into my classroom. How do you feel?

Abigail Harris Abigail Harris 3595 Points

Hi! Mrs. Frizzle was also a valued part of my childhood science education, as was Bill Nye the Science Guy! But when reading some articles a few weeks back about discovery-based learning, I came across someone aruging that Bill Nye videos should not be used in the classroom anymore because they provide explicit explanations and do not allow students to learn through investigation and hands-on experience. I assume that the author that made that claim would make the same arguement for The Magic School Bus, but I feel like both series can still have their place in the classroom. The videos are engaging and fun, but maybe might be better suited for concluding a unit or as a review after students were able to conduct their own investigations and draw their own conclusions? 

Lindsey Gueltig Lindsey Gueltig 220 Points

Definitely not! I love Mrs. Frizzle and so did my Kindergarteners last year! It's still educational and fun.

Kaely Perez Kaely Perez 380 Points

Hello! I grew up watching the Magic School Bus and Mrs. Frizzle. I don't think that the show is outdated, in fact, the show can get the students engaged in the topic that you chose to show them. I would personally show my future students the show and tie in some activties after showing the video. For example, I would show them a clip or episode of the solar system if I would be teaching them about it. I would even think that the students will love how quirky Mrs. Frizzle is and her creative outfits throughtout the show. 

Micah Decker Micah Decker 638 Points

Hello Sarah,

I am a 4th year at Wartburg College majoring in Elementary Education with endorsements in Reading and ESL. I also remember Mrs. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus as a staple in my elementary school classroom! I do not feel as though this would be out of date, especially since it was such a good resource. In my education classes at Wartburg College, I have learned just because a resource is old does not mean it is no longer useful. As long as the content is correct and it is age-appropriate, I believe it would still be a great resource! If you are not sure if using The Magic School Bus in your classroom is the right choice, there is a relatively new show called The Magic School Bus Rides Again. This would be a more current version of the original show. I have not viewed any of the episodes, but it is worth looking into! I hope this helped!

-Micah Decker

Mya Violet Mya Violet 660 Points


I too remember Miss Frizzle and her cute little lizard. The adventures with the Frizz were always something I looked forward to in class. Quite honestly I think the term out of date can mislabel amazing resources. I would encourage you to utilize these in the classroom. I would just be careful about how often you use them. I would also make sure to capitalize on them and do extension activities after viewing one of these episodes. 

Constance Linder Constance Linder 520 Points


Magic School Bus was a huge part of my childhood! They covered science topics that I never thought a children's show would ever cover. I learned a lot when watching Mrs. Frizzle and the gang, and even the books were a huge hit too! I still use their books in my library (we did a Genre Book Tasting [I teach English and Social Studies] and the kids loved the science fiction books). They are one of the series of books that are constantly picked up in my class. THat also being said, much like the Brain Pop Jr Videos, I do stick to Magic School Bus for either things at the end of a literacy unit or I will play it during indoor recess because of the beautiful educational moments that it does possess. I hope you are able to still introduce the wonders of Magic School Bus to your students because of how enriching it truly is!

Best Wishes,


Michaela Dehli Michaela Dehli 1245 Points

Hi Constance!

Mrs. Frizzle was also an essiential part of my childhood science learning. Going into the STEAM education field, I desire to be able to engage students in science the way that she demonstrates through her show. While these episodes may be 'dated' I believe that they still have adequate humor to engage students and have factual information. I plan to use the Magic School Bus in my classroom as needed for reteaching or recovery days. 


Michaela Dehli ([email protected])

Landon Buckridge Landon Buckridge 695 Points

Hi Constance, 

I think it is awesome that you are thinking about and talking about the Magic School Bus. I personally think that it is still a great tool to use for STEAM activities in the classroom. The gist of the show is to break down those complex topics into easier to learn topics for children. There is even a reboot that is on Netflix called 'The Magic School Bus Rides Again.' I was just in the classroom a week ago working with a 5th grade science teacher that used the program that day for class as a closure activity.

- Landon Buckridge

Kennedy Brown Kennedy Brown 760 Points

Hello Constance!


I remember the days of being excited seeing the students and the lizard with Ms. Frizzle. In fact, I enjoy watching it as a senior in college! So, in my opinion I don't think there is anything wrong with showing videos of 'The Magic School Bus' or even 'Bill Nye the Science Guy'. My fifth graders LOVE Bill Nye and we even have a call and response named after him :) . 

Jacob Shaw Jacob Shaw 440 Points

Hi Constance!

I think this might just be my favorite question on this forum. For one, let me just say no, Miss Frizzle is not outdated! Like so many others, The Magic School Bus was an important factor into my own science journey as an elementary student. I felt as if Miss Frizzle was simply another one of my teachers, and I enjoyed every time we would watch one of the videos. Even now, my fifth graders LOVE The Magic School Bus, which makes me so happy. Not only do I get to relive an important part of my own childhood and education journey, but now I get to share it with a whole new generation of science students. While I do prefer the original (my students do too!), there is a new version on Netflix with Miss Frizzle's sister, Fiona, called The Magic School Bus Rides Again. 

David Thurlow David Thurlow 500 Points

Hi Constance,

I think you raise a valid question. While we all have happy memories associated with the Magic School Bus, it's important that we evaluate the resources instructional value and not simply look for opportunities to enjoy something from our youth in our classroom. Just because a cartoon is entertaining to kids doesn't mean that it actually teaches science content. Way to often do teachers choose a video to show the class without watching it beforehand to evaluate whether it reinforces the content being taught in class.

Jocelyn Bouchair Jocelyn Bouchair 470 Points


In my courses at WSU we actually just spoke about these books. One of the authors defenses that she uses is that her books utilize Mrs. Frizzle and The Magic School Bus as literary devices. She talks about how she presents scientific material to students in a fun/ engaging way using the fictional portions of the show as a tool. I think these are a great resource for the end of a science lesson when you are wrapping up the ideas but I think it has to be used carefully and with a lot of thought and intention. 

Mallory Frangiosa Mallory Frangiosa 360 Points


I think that Mrs. Frizzle/ The Magic School Bus can be fun as a way to engage students. I would be careful posting or showing the whole video since time in science class can be so scarce, but maybe using a small clip as a way to engage students before an investigation? Students should discover science on their own, and I will also warn that some students may not get too much out of an entire episode of the show. It could lose many elementary students interest in watching anything for an extended amount of time. Preview the clips that you want to show and be sure it is exactly how you want to set up your lesson/discovery!

Elly Kumbusky Elly Kumbusky 200 Points

Hi there! Like most who have already responded, I have very fond memories of Mrs. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus from when I was younger! As a student who struggles with math and science, Bill Nye and The Magic School bus were the only things that really got me excited about learning science. I think it is extremly important to have engaging resources for your students, regardless of how old the videos are, and the Magic School Bus is engaging for students! I do think it is important that students are still having to think for themselves, and make their own observations in science, which sometimes these videos can give them the answers instead of students having to try and figure it out themselves, but regardless, I still think it is a good resource to use! 

Megan Hardesty Megan Hardesty 500 Points

I absolutely do not believe that Ms. Frizzle and her Magic Schoolbus are too out of date for today's classrooms! Kids are now used to fancier graphics and shinier animations in their cartoons, but the heart of The Magic School Bus lies in the show's ability to teach students complex topics related to science while also injecting cute adventures and funny, relatable dialogue. We actually watched an episode of this show in my third-grade class a few weeks ago when discussing sound!

Camryn Lochner Camryn Lochner 370 Points

I remember when it was a Magic School Bus day and how excited the whole class would be. Ms. Frizzle and Magic Schoolbus was a staple for my learning through elementary school. I think this would still be a great resource to reinforce certian content today! It is so important that students are engaged with the content and cartoon are a great way to keep students entertained while still learning. 

My youngest sister, in thrid grade, is watching Magic School Bus vidoes in her classroom this year. She loves them so much because she says 'they teach her important stuff but Ms. Frizzle is also funny. I like laughing and learning.' 

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