Teaching Process Skills with Children’s Literature: The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds


The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen tells the story of Ms. Frizzle’s class planting their own garden. All the students are working together to make their garden as beautiful as they can, because photographers are coming to take pictures of their garden and they believe they are going to become famous. Phoebe was one student who was not as excited as the rest. She is new to this school and she had left her beautiful plant at her old school. Ms. Frizzle was not worried because she knew that Phoebe’s plant was only a quick field trip away. So, away the students went on their field trip to get Phoebe’s flower. The students all piled onto the bus, and before they knew it they were on their way, except they were flying. The bus had turned into a  little ladybug flying down onto one of Phoebe’s plants. As the story goes on the students get to explore the plant, and even go inside! They learn where their beautiful plants come from, and how they grow. By the end of the story, Phobe and her class made it back to school just in time for the photographers to take pictures of their garden, and Phoebe’s old teacher was waiting for her with a pot of her beautiful flowers to add her garden at her new school!

Curriculum Connections

This is a great book to read aloud to your class. I would reccommend reading this book to a lower elementary grade when introducing plants and seeds. The students in this book use their process skills to learn where our beautiful plants come from and how plants grow. This book will teach students how to use their senses to observe differences in physical properties, such as the plants and seeds. (1.1) I think this would be a great book to have in your classroom for read alouds or for students to observe the pictures. The students in the book talk about what they are learning as the story goes on, and this will show my students how they are using their process skills to learn about plants.

Additional Resources

Science in School Here is a website for teachers to go and learn about the basic process skills to teach to students. There are age specific activities, and appropriate lessons.

Plant Life Cycle This is an interactive website for children to go on and learn about plant life cycle. The children can put their processing skills to the test at this website. There are video clips and parts of plants you can click on to learn more about it. Overall, this is a great website teachers can use in their classroom when children are learning about plant life cycle and incorporate processing skills along the way.

Scientific Process Skills This is a detailed explanation on what scientific process skills consists of and how to teach it. It is focused on the kindergarden level and explains what should be taught and how to go about doing so. You can find great information at this website that you can bring into your own classroom.

Book: The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds
Author: Joanna Cole
Illustrator: Bruce Degen
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Publication Date: 1995
Pages: 28
Grade Range: K-5
ISBN: 0-590-22296-1

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