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BUILD WITH BEES: ANATOMY

8-10 yrs old

Animals

Art and Design

Science

Students compare characteristics common to all insects with a honeybee’s anatomy before using this information to design and build their own bees.

12
avatar Submitted By: Sarah Red-Laird

August 6, 2020

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Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Creativity

External References

Ask a Biologist: Bee Anatomy

This resource from Arizona State University describes and charts a honeybee’s external and internal body parts.

Kids and Bees Minecraft World

Download and open in Minecraft: Education Edition.

Supporting Files

Bee Anatomy Comparison Table


This worksheet asks students to compare honeybee anatomy with the anatomy of other insects.

The Honey Bee Body


This worksheet asks students to label internal and external parts of the honeybee’s body.

Kids and Bees: Anatomy Teacher's Guide


Learning Objectives

  • NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns, Structure and Function
  • NGSS Practices of Science and Engineering: Designing Solutions
  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions; ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution; LS4.A: Evidence of Common Ancestry and Diversity
  • Recognize characteristics shared by all insects, and those unique to honeybees
  • Practice and reflect on iterative design

Guiding Ideas

This project was developed with the American Beekeeping Federation’s Kids and Bees program. Explore three new worlds, created by Lifeboat, and use eleven new lessons to introduce students to bees' dynamic and fascinating roles in their own hives and in broader ecosystems. “Anatomy” is lesson 4/5 for the Beehive World.

Introductory questions

  • What characteristics make a mammal a mammal? (vertebrates, hair/fur, live birth, warm-blooded, produce milk for young)
  • Think of an insect, like a bee, fly, grasshopper, ladybug, or butterfly. What characteristics do all insects share? (invertebrates, exoskeleton, head/thorax/abdomen, antennae, three pairs of legs, two pairs of wings)

 

Student Activities

Introduction (whole class) 15-25 minutes

Using the Introductory Questions above, focus students’ attention on characteristics that define different classes of animals. Write insect characteristics on the board so students can refer back to them. Remind students that although each class of animals shares certain characteristics, animals in those classes also have features unique to their own order, family, genus, and/or species.

Project or pass out printed copies of this Bee Anatomy chart along with one copy per student of the Bee Anatomy Comparison Table. Explain that in the first column, students should write down the characteristics that bees share with all insects; in the second column, they should write down the parts that they think are unique to bees; and in the third column, they should write down body parts that they’re not sure if they’re bee-specific or not. Let students know that it’s okay if they’re not sure of their answers -- that’s part of being a scientist! This task can be completed individually or in pairs or small groups.

When the students have finished, ask for a few students to share some of the characteristics they thought are unique to bees, and to defend why they thought that. Encourage others in the class to agree or disagree, using their own arguments. Let students know that in the Beehive world, they will find out which body parts are unique to bees and what bees use those parts for.

Minecraft Beehive (explore as individuals) 10 minutes

Direct students to load the attached Kids and Bees Minecraft world file. Speak with Bee Girl and travel to the Hive. Students will meet a scientist in a lab outside of the beehive. The scientist will instruct the students to gather a bee costume, a camera, and a quill and paper from the chest. Students will transport to the hive and meet the NPC Bee Girl outside the hive and receive a welcome and introduction to the beehive. Ask the students to fly to the top of the hive and explore the “Anatomy Section” to review what you just discussed.

They may want to use their cameras and notepads to take a few notes, and amend their worksheets.

In-Class Exercise and Discussion (whole class and partners) 30-45 minutes

Before class begins, lay out materials for students to use to create their own bees, such as pipe cleaners, egg cartons, tp and paper towel rolls, buttons, googly eyes, construction paper, tissue paper, wire, tape, glue, etcetera.

Please download the teacher's guide for the complete lesson. 

Total time 55-80 minutes

Performance Expectations

This lesson will enable students to:

  • Identify the characteristics that are shared by all insects
  • Identify body parts that are unique to bees, and describe those parts’ specialized functions
  • Practice and reflect on an iterative design process

 

Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Creativity

External References

Ask a Biologist: Bee Anatomy

This resource from Arizona State University describes and charts a honeybee’s external and internal body parts.

Kids and Bees Minecraft World

Download and open in Minecraft: Education Edition.

Supporting Files

Bee Anatomy Comparison Table


This worksheet asks students to compare honeybee anatomy with the anatomy of other insects.

The Honey Bee Body


This worksheet asks students to label internal and external parts of the honeybee’s body.

Kids and Bees: Anatomy Teacher's Guide