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Elementary Science

The Magic School Bus

Author Post
Samantha Coyle Samantha Coyle 2245 Points

In reference to the magic school bus books, not videos - would you consider these to be nonfiction or fiction? I feel like they could go either way, especially since I have found information labeling it as one somewhere and the other somewhere else. Regardless, what are some suggestions you have of fiction books for kindergarteners that would work for teaching living and nonliving? I have found some books, but all have been considered nonfiction (one is filed in the library as fiction, so I am accepting that one as fiction - trust the library over the internet right?!). Thank you in advance!

Logan Danna Logan 1200 Points

The Magic School Bus TV show and books are considered Science Fiction. The Genre of Science Fiction has roots and ties to Science Fact (the non-fiction part of Magic School Bus) and in many cases the scientific community considers most Science Fiction a preclude to Science Fact; a way of saying "This is what we have and were we are, this is what we do not know and this is what has yet to be understood, discovered, or invented. The Fiction part of Science Fiction allows things that can't happen, or did not happen, or have yet to happen, to happen, a suspension of reality if you will for the sake of the story or the theoretical concept to be explained in scientific terms without the "red flag" of the human mind going up and saying that such a thing can not or has not happened. The Magic School Bus has a basis in Science Fact (in fact it is all science fact), but the characters and adventures that said characters have (and yes, the bus is a character) are fiction.

Linda Ngo Linda Ngo 2775 Points

I would say fiction because I believed that it was just a cartoon that would keep the younger children more interested in Science.

Mireya Alvarado Mireya Alvarado 1455 Points

I agree I think they are fiction just for the fact that the bus shrinks to go into different places. I think that this was created to have children build an interest in science.

Samantha Coyle Samantha Coyle 2245 Points

Thanks guys! I feel like these could still be considered a mixture, but will probably consider them their own category.

Jessica Pacheco Jessica Pacheco 1370 Points

I think that the magic school bus can be considered fiction because of the adventures that the school bus goes through.

Maria Nolasco Maria Nolasco 1850 Points

The Magic School Bus would definitely be considered as Science Fiction, however, it is a great way to engage students into the learning content. Especially when you are working with a younger group of kids, you want to engage them in the beginning of the lesson, this would be a great introduction by using The Magic School Bus.

Nicole Bristol Nicole Bristol 595 Points

I have to agree with you Maria. I teach first grade and my students absolutely love Ms. Frizzle and all her adventures. I wanted to let you know that all the episodes are on Netflix Kids and I use them in my classroom as a reward for my students.

Jenna Bucklew Jenna Bucklew 655 Points

Maria I agree with you definitely Science fiction because non-fiction is classified by it's attachment to reality. Thanks for your thoughts!

Maria Martinez Maria Martinez 1555 Points

Science Fiction, the students love these videos as well!

Raven Davidson Raven Waikel 2145 Points

Magic School Bus really floats directly in between both nonfiction and fiction. I have used it for either.

Kifton Vanemon Kifton Vanemon 660 Points

I would say fiction. The topics within the book are clearly non-fiction topics, but the way they go about discussing the topics in the book are fiction. The idea is still a great idea because the kids would much rather read about a transforming school bus taking us on an adventure through the human body instead of reading a textbook about the same information.

Karen Nerio Karen Nerio 1100 Points

The magic school bus is a good resource to introduce students to the content you will be teaching. Sometimes, if your school has a literacy library (focused on literacy development through intervention) they also have books that are great for science. They are developed to support the student reading level but contain important and relevant information on science topics. They are also a great resource for all students because they tend to come in different reading levels, which can help you differentiate if you include them in your lesson.

Rae Melinder Rae Melinder 1265 Points

I think they need a category all on their own! They are a mixture of both fiction and nonfiction.

Michelle Diosa Michelle Diosa 435 Points

I agree, I would also say Fiction. This show is great for building interest in science and encouraging students to learn.

Christi Marquardt Christi Marquardt 380 Points

I agree with the genre. However, the factual side bars are total science non-fiction (factoids) and can be used beautifully as opposed to 'typical' science fiction which can be more fantasy than scientific fiction. Thanks!]

Christine Bedwell Christine Bedwell 1605 Points


Christine Bedwell Christine Bedwell 1605 Points

I had this discussion in a book study last year and thought it was funny that it came up here. I do agree it would be science fiction but there are some books that are difficult to fit in one shoe. I'll see if I can remember our whole discussion and come back later.

Samantha Coyle Samantha Coyle 2245 Points

I would love to hear it if you remember!

Haley Johnston Haley Johnston 1455 Points

I think the magic school bus videos are great as a quick review. I do not use them as a teaching tool, but the kids love to watch them as a fun quick review on days such as field trip days or after tests when there is time.

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