What is all of the buzz about bees? A lot! Bees are so important for our ecosystem but unfortunately some species are endangered. Kids are usually so curious about bugs, so you have instant engagement when you talk about bees! I like to teach the importance of them, and talk about ways we can help them out. There are so many great bee resources out there for teaching these insects and other pollinators. Check out some of the ones I have compiled below.
Before we dive into our bee unit, I like to get a feel for how my students feel about them. I like to take a simple poll asking do they like bees; yes or no? For those who say no, I like to see if their opinion changes at the end of our unit.
In addition to the class poll, I have my students share their schema about bees. What do they already know? What are some misconceptions that I notice that I want to address during the unit?
Driving Question Ideas
After I have taken a poll and measured their schema, I like to have a question to drive our instruction. Student engagement often starts with a driving question to get students thinking and excited about the topic we are getting ready to begin.
Some other driving question ideas are; What can we learn from bees? How do we depend on bees? What can we do to help protect bees? Can we design a habitat that encourage bees?
Favorite Nonfiction Bee Books
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- National Geographic Readers: Bees
- Explore My World: Honeybees
- Flight of the Honeybee
- What if There Were No Bees?
- The Beeman
- You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Bees
- The Honeybee Man
- Bee Dance
- Give Bees a Chance
- The Honey Makers
In addition to books, I like to have a discovery table with honeybee life cycle pictures and models. One of my favorite life cycle models are these little plastic ones I found on Amazon.
Other Nonfiction Bee Resources
Some other bee resources that I use in my class are these nonfiction passages that can be printed and put into binders, or bound into a book for the classroom library.
There is some great vocabulary that we can teach during this unit. I display the words in our thematic vocabulary chart and then students make a vocabulary book. This vocabulary book is usually added to their interactive notebook so they can refer back to it later in the year.
Videos are also very engaging to students. I have videos attached to QR codes for students to scan and watch. Later they are able to record what they learn from those videos. Students love these!
All of these nonfiction resources and more can be found in my Bees and Pollinators pack.
I have also scoured Pinterest for some fun bee and pollinator ideas. Some of the pins are from bee parties, but you can use some of the ideas in a classroom!