The Magic School Bus Science Activities for Biology and Earth Science
Use these lesson plans from the Magic School Bus to teach your students about a variety of biology and earth 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. Make your students their own temporary ant colony to observe.
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 will 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
Earth Science and Weather
Have your class make models of underwater volcanoes, then create your own eruptions!
Join the Magic School Bus kids as they discover how heat flows from hotter to colder things and find ways to keep the heat in!
While playing light-beam pinball, the Magic School Bus kids discover that green light bounces off a green shamrock and into their eyes, so they see green. Here, your students spin separate colors into a new color.
Weatherman Ralphie mixes heat with air to create an updraft, and the Magic School Bus rides high into the sky! Your students can see a small updraft by making wind spirals.
Environment and Ecology
Should Walkerville replace the swamp by the river with a fantastic new shopping mall, or build the mall somewhere else? Teach about habitats and ecosystems with this lesson plan from the Magic School Bus series.
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.
Ms. Frizzle's class finds out how rot makes rich soil for new growth, while your students discover the connection between rot and leaves mixed in damp soil. Children can continue this experiment for a month or longer.
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.
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 or not yeast cells are alive.
The Magic School Bus gets inside Ralphie's body by going through a cut on his leg. Germs can get in the body that way, too, but skin usually protects the body. This activity shows how skin protects our bodies the way apple skin protects an apple.
While 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!
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.