The Magic School Bus Science Activities for Biology and Earth Science
Use these lesson plans from the Magic School Bus to teach your students all about science concepts.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
The Magic School Bus has been taking students on adventures for almost 30 years, and now you can be a part of the fun. Use these lesson plans in this collection to help your students learn all about biology, the environment, and more!
Make sure you check out part two of the collection as well!
Animals and Insects
Your students will take a wildlife field trip of your neighborhood to discover what lives there in this Magic School Bus activity.
What's the best way to get to know ants better? The Magic School Bus kids watch ants and figure out what they're doing. Your kids can observe ants by making them a temporary ant colony.
To protect themselves, butterflies can blend in with their surroundings or pretend to be something they're not. Your students make a butterfly with shapes, designs, and colors that help protect it from predators.
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.
Ms. Frizzle's class takes a field trip inside a 1950s science fiction film starring giant insects! Your kids observe spiders in their habitats, in spider hotels that you make, or in both.
Ms. Frizzle turns her students into bees, spiders, butterflies, grasshoppers, and more to show them how these insects live. Young readers will love learning all kinds of insect information, from how bees make honey to how fireflies flash.
Archaeology and Dinosaurs
Have your class make models of underwater volcanoes, then create your own eruptions!
Wanda's favorite doll is chopped into plastic pellets! She's crushed until she discovers the pellets can be recycled to make a new doll. Your kids explore how things can be reused or recycled again and again.
Your students can explore bones and joints by comparing their own hands and arms to a chicken wing.
When the Magic School Bus shrinks and goes into Arnold's mouth, the children watch his teeth chew food! The kids meet up with much smaller pieces of the food again in the stomach. In this activity, children learn about digestion.
Arnold's classmates discover that his body cells are alive. Your kids investigate whether yeast cells are alive.
Plants and Ecology
For once, Arnold is prepared for a field trip! He's wearing desert survival gear. But the class discovers that desert animals have built-in ways of surviving.
Inside a plant, The Magic School Bus kids discover that plant food is made from air, water, and sunlight. Your students discover that plants will go to great lengths to find light — even thread a maze!
Ms. Frizzle's class hangs on inside the tiny bus as it hitches a ride on a wind-traveling seed. The seed travels by clinging to an animal -- in this case, a man on a bicycle!
The Magic School Bus kids discover that the right bridge design can carry them across an alligator-infested bathtub. Challenge your kids to bridge a chasm with gumdrops and toothpicks.
The Magic School Bus kids really get into the food chain: They're swallowed by a tuna fish. With this activity, your kids get to eat while they act as links in the food chain. The popcorn bags stand for food energy that is passed along the links in a food chain from the sun, to plants, to plant-eaters, to meat-eaters.
The Magic School Bus becomes a salmon looking for its tiny home stream. How? By knowing the scent and taste of home. Your kids discover that a homey smell can lead them, too.
Oceans and the Water Cycle
Teach about life in the intertidal zone with this lesson plan from the Magic School Bus series.
Arnold and the other kids enlist the power of water erosion to sculpt stone! Your kids explore how running water moves earth and creates new landforms. They track erosion on a timeline.
Your students will learn about coral reefs and how cooperation can be beneficial in these activities and follow-up discussion questions.