The study aimed at determining how well basic science process skills are promoted in Saudi Arabian science textbook activities compare to those covered by the Glasgow Science Program booklet activities. The textbooks selected for examination in this study were the science textbooks that have been taught to 10-year-old students and used by schools in Saudi Arabia, as well as the science booklets used by schools in Glasgow. A total of 31 scientific activities covered in the Saudi Arabian textbooks and 18 scientific activities covered in the Glasgow Science Program booklets were analysed according to a modification of Tamir and Lunetta’s (1978) task analysis instrument (LAI). Results showed that there were considerable differences in the coverage of science basic process skills between both books. The major conclusions of the study were that (a) the basic skills, covered within Saudi Arabian textbooks in comparison with Glasgow science booklets, are restricted to observation, communication and inference process skills, whereas few opportunities were provided to practice measurement, classification and prediction process skills; (b) the absence of an extension level for the activities is the main cause of this inequality; (c) increasing the number of science activities in Saudi Arabian science texts does not improve students’ acquisition of basic science process skills while an extension level for these activities is not provided; and (d) there are relationships between some integrated skills, in that pupils’ performance in them are poor, and the low frequency of certain basic skills in both books (i.e. prediction and classification).