The Magic School Bus Baked in a Cake
Is it baking — or is it chemistry? Ms. Frizzle's class learns that baking is like doing a chemistry experiment. Your students can make chemistry happen as they follow this recipe for pretzels.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
Field Trip Notes
Whoops! It's Ms. Frizzle's birthday, and the kids are planning a surprise — but they've forgotten the cake. A field trip to a bakery seems like the perfect solution. The kids accidentally get shrunk to ingredient size, but still manage to make cake batter and learn about chemistry in the process. Then the baker pours them into the cake pan along with the batter. The Bus is getting baked! Can what they've learned about chemistry save the Magic School Bus kids?
Is it baking — or is it chemistry? Ms. Frizzle's class learns that baking is like doing a chemistry experiment. Your students can make chemistry happen as they follow this recipe for pretzels. You or another adult can help groups of four to eight kids bake batches of pretzels. If you do not have access to an oven, make the dough with children and let them carry portions home in plastic bags to make with their families.
What You Need
- Copies of PRETZEL CHEMISTRY (PDF)
- Utensils and ingredients from the recipe
- An oven
Talk About It
As you follow the recipe, encourage children to talk about the changes they observe, and ask the questions below.
What To Do
- What happens when you add yeast and honey to the warm water? (The mixture makes bubbles)
- What happens after you knead the dough and let it sit? (The carbon dioxide makes the dough rise.)
- What happens to the pretzel shapes while they’re baking? (They get fatter.)
Kids can put vinegar and baking soda in a soda bottle, and place a balloon over the top of the bottle. What happens?