The Magic School Bus Teaching Resources
Encourage students to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy with these engaging science lesson plans and activities!
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
Teach science topics with the help of Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus! These hands-on lesson plans and online student activities cover topics in biology, chemistry, astronomy, and more.
- Animals and Insects (9)
- Archaeology (2)
- Dinosaurs (2)
- Earth Science and the Environment (6)
- Forces and Motion (5)
- Human Body (8)
- Life Science (3)
- Machines and Buildings (2)
- Plants and Ecology (4)
- Power and Energy (3)
- Physical Science (3)
- Space (6)
- Water and Oceans (5)
- Weather (2)
- About the Authors (4)
Animals and Insects
A collection of fun online activities and resources to introduce your students to the world of insects and bugs.
Your students will take a wildlife field trip of your neighborhood to discover what lives there in this Magic School Bus activity.
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.
Students will explore the ocean world of whales and create an under-the-sea classroom mural in this lesson plan based on The Magic School Bus: The Wild Whale Watch.
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.
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.
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.
Younger students will have fun learning about bats and echolocation with these activities based on The Magic School Bus: Going Batty.
What artifact did Arnold find in the trunk of his great-aunt Arizona Joan? The Magic School Bus kids test their guesses. Your kids explore how artifacts tell a story.
Use these topics to explore the book, part of a new series from the creators of The Magic School Bus. In this series, Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen do for Social Studies what the Magic School Bus did for Science — make it engaging, accessible, and fun for kids.
With these fun fossil crafts, you'll take your students back in time to the age of dinosaurs!
Use these Magic School Bus titles to enhance your lessons about dinosaurs and fossils.
Earth Science and the Environment
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!
Teach your students about climate change and the environment with Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus authors in this webcast filmed at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey.
Have your class make models of underwater volcanoes, then create your own eruptions!
This cross-curricular unit about the geology of Earth contains background information, a detailed glossary, Earth facts, and 20 hands-on activities for the classroom, including a culminating project.
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.
Forces and Motion
What a difference friction makes! When Ms. Frizzle's kids get off the Bus into the world of non-friction, they can't even walk. Your students can work in small groups to find how movement changes when there is more, and less, friction.
While trying to sink the bus, Ms. Frizzle's class learns that shape and weight are two factors that determine whether or not an object floats. Your kids will explore how the shape of clay keeps it afloat and how adding "floaters" can raise "sinkers".
Phoebe and her classmates find out that gravity pulls everything down. Your students test whether gravity makes heavier things fall faster than lighter ones.
Ms. Frizzle's kids trap air in containers and discover that air is pushy stuff. Your students explore how air pressure can hold up heavy objects.
These class activities introduce students to the power of their heart and provide an opportunity to talk about maintaining good health.
Your students can explore bones and joints by comparing their own hands and arms to a chicken wing.
These activities will engage students as they experiment with mystery sounds, make a log about their senses, and write a science report for The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses.
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.
Ms. Frizzle's class learns how we smell. Your students investigate how well their own odor detectors can identify smells. They also try to answer the question, "Do smells need time to travel to your nose?"
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.
Machines and Buildings
One tiny mistake in Mikey's computer program has the school's system in an uproar. Your kids learn that computer tasks must be broken into small parts.
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.
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!
Ms. Frizzle's class hangs on inside the tiny bus as it hitches a ride on a wind-traveling seed. Your students will test a variety of seeds to determine how they travel from one place to another.
Power and Energy
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.
Arnold and Janet disappear! Or so it seems. When Ms. Frizzle's kids discover how light bounces, they shed light on a ghostly trick. Your kids explore reflecting light.
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.
When the Magic School Bus Kids play giant musical instruments, they see and feel the vibrations. Your kids can see and hear the results of vibrations in this activity.
Immerse your students in books and poetry to teach about the solar system with some of these creative ideas.
In this activity, students learn the planets by making two models of the solar system. The first shows the order of the planets, and the second show the planets' relative sizes.
Students join the Magic School Bus on a stellar exploration and discover why we don't see stars during the day.
If an asteroid that Ms. Frizzle's class followed crashed to Earth, it would create a huge crater. Your students can explore "craters" made by objects of different sizes and weights.
Introduce a discussion of gravity on the school playground.
Before you read author Joanna Cole's The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System, review this vocabulary list.
Water and Oceans
Students learn about the water cycle through a lesson emphasizing the continuity of this process by claiming we may use the same water as George Washington did.
Teach your students about the water cycle with this fun hands-on lesson plan based on the Magic School Bus series.
Teach about life in the intertidal zone with Ms. Frizzle and the gang! Your class will simulate a tide and then populate a tidal zone in this science activity.
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.
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.