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BUILD WITH BEES: POLLINATION

8-10 yrs old

Animals

Climate & Environment

Science

Students dissect a flower to explore how its structures and functions relate to a pollinator’s physical and behavioral adaptations.

20
avatar Submitted By: Sarah Red-Laird

August 6, 2020

Download Assets

Skills

  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

External References

The Beauty of Pollination

This four-minute video shows beautiful footage of a wide variety of pollinators, including bees, hummingbirds, bats, and butterflies.

This Bee Gets Punched by Flowers For Your Ice Cream

Alfalfa leafcutting bees are way better at pollinating alfalfa flowers than honeybees. They don’t mind getting thwacked in the face!

Kids and Bees Minecraft World

Download and open in Minecraft: Education Edition.

Supporting Files

Pollination Anatomy


The Beauty of Pollination


Kids and Bees: Pollination Teacher's Guide


Learning Objectives

  • NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Structure and Function
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions, Constructing Explanations
  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: LS1.A: Structure and Function; LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • Students recognize the critical role of pollinators in a thriving ecosystem, including human food systems
  • Students understand the mutually beneficial adaptations that allow plants and their pollinators to survive

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 new lessons to introduce students to bees' dynamic and fascinating roles in their own hives and in broader ecosystems. “Pollination” is lesson 1/3 of the Farm world.

Introductory questions

  • What is pollination?
  • What do animals have to do with pollination?
  • What does pollination have to do with humans’ and other animals’ food supply?

 

Student Activities

Introduction (whole class) 15-20 minutes

Tell the class that in this lesson, they’ll be learning about the relationship between bees and flowers, but that first, you’re going to learn about pollinators more broadly. Explain that pollination in plants is the process where pollen is transferred from the anther, the male part of a flower, to the stigma, the female part of a flower, and that pollination is a very important part of the life cycle of plants because they cannot produce fruit or even seeds unless they are pollinated. Everything from banana trees, the strawberries, to grass needs to be pollinated!

Explain to the students that you’re going to show them a video of pollinators at work, and that you want them to watch carefully and take notes about specific things. Hand out one copy of the Beauty of Pollination Worksheet to each student, or hand out a plain piece of paper to each student, direct them to fold the paper into four sections (one hot dog fold and one hamburger fold), and then open their paper and lay it flat, and then label the four sections as follows: flowers; animals; food; questions. Ask students to read the four categories, and then give a few examples of what students might write down: “long skinny flower”, “bee wiggling on the flower”, and so on. Remind them that the last category is a great place to take notes about things that are surprising, confusing, or just plain amazing!

Play the video “The Beauty of Pollination.” There’s a great deal of fascinating content, so you may choose to play the video twice to allow students to catch more. After the video, ask students to share some of their observations. Guide the discussion toward the concept of pollinators and flowers relying on each other, how pollinators have specific behavioral and physical adaptations to suit the plants they pollinate, and why pollination is important for food production. You may choose to share some of the facts from the teacher’s guide with your students while you watch the video.

Minecraft Beehive (explore as individuals) 10-15 minutes

Direct students to load the attached Kids and Bees Minecraft world. Ask students to travel to the “Farm” area of the world. Ask the students to meet the gardener, “Terrell,” who will talk to them about his pollinator garden, what he would like the student’s help with, and show a video on the bees that get punched in the face for your ice cream!

After the student’s plant the pollinator garden, build hives, and spawn bees, ask them to stand by and watch as the bees come out of their hives and pollinate the flowers! Once the bees have gathered nectar and pollen from the students’ flowers, the bees will return to the hive to make honey and feed pollen to the baby bees. Let the students know that if they are holding flowers, the bees will be very interested in them!

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

Total time 55-85 minutes

 

Performance Expectations

This lesson will enable students to:

  • Describe the relationship between plants and pollinators
  • Identify several parts of a flower

 

Skills

  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

External References

The Beauty of Pollination

This four-minute video shows beautiful footage of a wide variety of pollinators, including bees, hummingbirds, bats, and butterflies.

This Bee Gets Punched by Flowers For Your Ice Cream

Alfalfa leafcutting bees are way better at pollinating alfalfa flowers than honeybees. They don’t mind getting thwacked in the face!

Kids and Bees Minecraft World

Download and open in Minecraft: Education Edition.

Supporting Files

Pollination Anatomy


The Beauty of Pollination


Kids and Bees: Pollination Teacher's Guide