Cycles Storyline®

Cycles Storyline Frieze Cycles Storyline Frieze

Cycles Storyline

written by Colleen Vallerga

This Storyline is based on the Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole.

Grades 1-3

Storyline Overview

The Cycles Storyline begins when a large paper school bus appears in the hallway, outside the classroom. A letter from Ms. Frizzle of Magic School Bus fame arrives shortly after.  In the letter Ms. Frizzle tells the students how kids from all over America help her create her books and videos.  She invites the lucky class to create her next video about cycles and states clear guidelines and expectations for the project.                               

“First… I want you to create a Magic School Bus character.                                      

 Second… I want you to learn about a sunflower and its life cycle, and create a

 sunflower field.                                                                                                                               

 Third… you will all need to work together to get things done.  Magic School Bus kids

 cooperate at all times.  How will you do this?                                                                        

 And fourth… remember to keep your imagination and sense of humor alive at all times

 on the bus.  You will use it to have fun and create an exciting video.                                    

  I will send weekly clues to guide your cycle study as you explore my Magic School Bus

  land and create the new Cycles video.”

Ms. Frizzle

Ms. Frizzle ends her letter, telling the students that their classroom teacher will be their guide.

After students become Magic School Bus characters, they learn about sunflowers, document their information for the Cycles video, and create a sunflower field.  Students then role play, shrinking into the sunflower field, to get a big picture of how it all looks.  An incident, waiting to be solved, occurs while they are in the sunflower field.               

Once a week, a new cycle clue arrives and a new cycle is explored.  A format, similar to the sunflower activities, is used to study the following cycles:









Additional information is collected and photographed for a Comic Life (or alternative)

formatting of the new Cycles video.  In the end, Ms. Frizzle arrives for the premiere, where she admires, and thankfully accepts, the new Cycles video.

The Cycles Storyline is packed with learning.  Joanna Cole’s Magic School Bus framework makes the study lively, fun and personal for kids.  I find this Storyline an efficient way to cover designated yearly curriculum in a creative and meaningful way.           

Total Number of Pages: 139

Standards and Instruction Covered

Common Core Language Arts Standards

Reading Literature

Key Ideas and Details

Craft and Structure

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Reading Informational Text  

Key Ideas and Details

Craft and Structure

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Speaking and Listening

Comprehension and Collaboration

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas


Text Types and Purposes

Production and Distribution of Writing

Research to Build and Present Knowledge



Health Education Standards (Oregon Department of Education)         

Promotion Mental, Social, and Emotional Health

Next Generation Science Standards

Biological Evolution:  Unity and Diversity

Ecosystems:  Interactions, Energy, Dynamics

From Molecules to Organisms:  Structures and Processes

Earth’s Place in the Universe

Earth’s Systems

Motion and Stability:  Forces and Interactions

Engineering Design

Art Standards (Oregon Department of Education)                                                   

Visual Arts                Theater                          Music


Purchase the Cycles Storyline Manual:

1.Printed Manual -$70.00-Includes U.S. shipping and handling.

*For international orders, please send me a message using the contact tab. 

2. PDF Manual-$50.00-The PDF will be emailed to you once the order is received.

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