I love the scientific method and its dependence on strong language skills. What can be more fun than to follow The Magic School Bus’ Ms. Frizzle through 8 experiments learning about magnets? This Young Scientists Kit is the newest in a series of themed options including the study of dinosaurs, volcanoes or electricity. As speech therapists and educators we know that language undergirds all learning and a new trend in education is requiring students to explain in a journal how they figured out a math problem or write out the steps that led to conclusions in a science project. I was in a kindergarten class the other day and the teacher followed a child’s reply with, “Why do you say that?” and “What makes you say that?” to explain their thinking.
Kids loved this exciting kit when I brought it to therapy with an autistic child and his typical peer. They started out sticking the magnets on everything possible around the room and loved discovering how to make a race car move without touching it and stirring up some magnetic slime. They felt like little scientists filling in their results in the booklet and arriving at conclusions. This kit was a nice diversion from my usual therapy materials and the kids kept wanting more.
Here is my review:
Gather your young scientists and hop on the Magic School Bus as wacky Ms. Frizzle leads you through learning with “Attracted to Magnificent Magnets.” This latest Young Scientists Club kit has the instructions and materials (other than a few household items) to invite your child into the world of magnets. With 8 experiments, the kit takes kids from going on a magnetic scavenger hunt to making a race car game, compass or magnetic slime. Each page of the instruction booklet is laid out in clever graphics, introducing a new experiment, providing the Question, Materials and Methods with space for the child to fill in the Hypothesis, Results and Conclusions. Besides learning the science of magnets, a child engages in a wonderful language learning experience. Predict what will happen, re-call the event listing the results, and draw conclusions based on your observations. Predicting, re-telling events in sequence and drawing conclusions are all critical thinking skills required of a good thinker and writer. Students are increasingly being required to explain their answers in school, whether in math or science, so they need a strong command of language. The Magic School Bus Young Scientists Club kits prepare children for learning and sharing their knowledge through exciting adventures.
Ages 5 and up
The above review is solely the opinion of the author. “The Magic School Bus Attracted to Magnificent Magnets” was provided for review by The Young Scientists Club.