Tags: Class Ideas, All-Seasons, Outdoor, Indoor, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, Bees
Time: 60 mins (Use a combination of activities for a 30 min class).
Author: The Bee Cause and Whole Kids Foundation
Bee Journal Entry – What would happen if there were no more pollinators? How would our planet be affected? Why do humans need plants?
|Greeting and Intro to Lesson||
|Activity 1 (15 min)||
|Activity 2 (20 min)||
|Activity 3 (20 min)||
|Activity 4 (30 min)|
|Activity 5 (30 min)||
|Worksheets(Please email the worksheet separately)||Printable Pollination Image|
It is a good idea to split the class into smaller groups and rotate activities, if possible.
ACTIVITY 1: Pollination: Observe the Hive
- Open with Q&A, asking the following questions.
What are some different ways that we communicate with each other?
What shapes do we use to build our homes? Have you ever seen a honeycomb?
What are different ways to navigate and find your way?
- Present the facts and information in 03a_Pollination_ObserveTheHive_Lesson.
- Using the Observation Hive, identify the different hive members; try to find the queen (she may be marked with a colored dot) and the drones; notice all the workers and how they may differ slightly in color.
- Look for the different life stages of the eggs, larvae and pupae in the brood comb. You may need a magnifying glass to see an egg. A larva would be the easiest to spot, as it is larger and white and uncapped in the comb. A pupa should be capped with a darker shade of beeswax.
- Put your ear to the hive wall and see if you can hear the buzz of the colony. How fast can you move your arms in a second?
- Find the ventilation holes and smell the hive. Do you sense floral tones or sweetness?
ACTIVITY 2: Pollination: Communication
- Take the students on-site to Becker Bee Hive.
- Looking at the hive, identify the different comb types, find cells of different sizes, and notice the hexagonal shapes.
- Look in the hive for bees doing the “waggle dance” or “round dance”.
- Use beeswax for molding and to create shapes. Warm it in your hands for easy molding. Imagine what its like for the bee to form the hexagonal shapes for the cells in the comb.
- Try some beeswax or honey comb to chew. What is its texture and flavor?
- Note the weather and how it may be affecting bee activity.
- Play a challenge game.
- Option 1: Play challenge games with a group. Work together like honey bees. Hold hands and tangle yourselves, then try to untangle by using good communication.
- Option 2: Play charades using the different roles within the hive. To make it more difficult they have to waggle dance when they are acting out the clues.
ACTIVITY 3: Pollination: Beauty of Pollination
- Students will learn what pollination is and why it is important. Then they will act out pollination as a honey bee.
- 03c_Pollination_BeautyOfPollinationP1 (Part One Steps 1 – 4)
- Ask students if/what pollination they have observed (insects and bats visiting flowers and spreading pollen to create new flowers).
- Explain that every flower has male and female parts. The pollen is the male part and the tall sticky center of the flower is the female part. When the pollen lands on the tall sticky female part, pollination takes place and new seeds are formed. Without pollination we would not have new plants.
- Bees (and butterflies and bats) help this process by spreading pollen when they go flower to flower drinking nectar.
- Honey bees are responsible for pollinating 1/3 of all fruits and vegetables that we love to eat.
- Give each child an almond to eat (check for nut allergies first!) Explain that almond trees depend solely on the honey bee for pollination. Without honey bees we would not have almonds.
ACTIVITY 4: Pollination: Silent Pollination w/Cheetos
- Drawing/Color tools
- Comic Strip Template
- “Today you will all become honey bees and participate in pollinating multiple flowers.”
- Place one large flower printable between each pair of students with a pile of Cheetos in the center on each paper flower.
- Demonstrate how to silently land on a flower, pick up and eat a Cheeto, and fly to a new flower at another table. When you land on the new flower, the “pollen” or male part should rub off on the center of the flower (female part). Pick up another Cheeto and repeat until all of the Cheetos are gone.
- Have students demonstrate understanding of how pollination is carried out by having students illustrate step-by-step using the Comic Strip Template.
- Ask students “What do the orange fingerprints on the flower represent?”
- Ask students “Why is pollination important?”
- What would happen if there were no more pollinators?
- How would our planet be affected?
- Why do humans need plants?
ACTIVITY 5: Pollination: Seed Bombs for a Bee-friendly Garden)
We can help bees and the environment around us by planting flower gardens. Plants need air, water, sunlight, and space to survive.
- Potting soil, trays for drying
- Powdered Red Clay for Seed Bombs
- Wildflower seeds
- Life cycle of a Flowering Plant print out
- Flowering Plant Lifecycle Visual
- Follow steps 1-8 in 03e_Pollination_SeedBombs_Lesson
- Have students document and share about the places where they spread seeds. Brainstorm other ways to improve the environment for the bees.
- Close your eyes and imagine one of the areas that you planted seeds today. What do your seeds need now to grow and survive?
- Now imagine what it will look like 6 months from now. Write a journal entry describing your new garden using all of your senses (what do you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel)?
The Bee Cause: https://www.thebeecause.org/resources/
Whole Kids Foundation