Magic School Bus Explores the Rainforest
Platform: PC Games
Another solid Magic School Bus title, this one is set in the rain forests of Costa Rica. Ms. Frizzle and class must explore the environs, following clues to find certain inhabitants. When they locate the requested creature or element, they can "clone" it with a special device and then bring it back to the classroom. When four creatures have been found, the classroom itself is magically transformed into a rain forest. The program has many strengths. The graphics are rich, and the format encourages exploration of the plentiful ecological content. Children encounter interesting stories and multimedia reports, and as they travel, snapshots are automatically entered into their journal (which they can write in as well). To help them learn more about the Understory, Treefall Gap and Canopy of the rain forest, children are given a set of investigative tools. There's a microphone, for instance, for listening to different sounds that animals make and a telescope that allows them to see what's happening in the distance. On the downside, many of the 14 games that children find embedded in the program are little more than arcade-style pursuits. While children weren't bothered by this, some adults felt that these activities could have had more learning value. One game, for example, has children using the arrow keys to move a beetle around to catch flowers and avoid rain. A more educationally sound game is the Habitat Build activity that asks kids to experiment with temperature and rainfall to create various habitats. On the whole, our testers loved the program. When asked what they thought of it they responded, "There's lots to do" and "It's easy to use."
Teaches: ecology of the rainforest, problem solving, geography
Age Range: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Used - Very Good
Complete in Retail Case w/ Original Inserts. CD is in Excellent Condition. Fast Ship.