This curriculum is crafted to engage youth in celebrating bees and their pollinator allies and build an understanding of the benefits that bees and other pollinators provide to humans.
Teacher Virtual
Age Ages 6-8
Category Elementary
Busy Bees Overview

This curriculum is crafted to engage youth in celebrating bees and their pollinator allies and build an understanding of the benefits that bees and other pollinators provide to humans. In a series of seven lessons, youth will discover that the bee is one of nature’s wonders. Youth will learn that native bees and the European honey bee, help produce delicious and healthy food that humans have been eating for millennia. From the crunch of a fresh apple to the dribble of watermelon juice, nearly one out of every three bites we eat is dependent on bee pollination.

Youth will consider the needs of bees including air, water, light, shelter (nest or hive), and food sources (nectar and pollen) as they explore specific examples of how the environment provides a habitat for honey bees and native pollinators. They will also evaluate the essential structures of bee anatomy and determine how these functions support growth and life cycle development.

Bee behavior provides a captivating platform for active learning. Youth will conduct gameplay and learn dances to mimic how the honey bee shares information, forages for food and pollinates plants. They will identify basic components of bee homes and explore the role that each bee has to promote a productive and diverse ecosystem. Youth will learn the difference between solitary and social bees and understand the different life cycles of each kind of bee.

Youth will also explore the diversity and differences within habitats and garner further understanding of what honey bees, native bees, and other pollinators need to grow and thrive. Youth will build a realization that pollinators need our help. This curriculum concludes with an overview and call to action of how humans can support healthy habitats for bees and their allies. Youth will be given opportunities to learn how to plant a pollinator garden, provide nesting habitats, and strategically manage our insect friends. To demonstrate what they have learned, youth will develop a final presentation, portfolio, or insect collection.

Age range: 6-8

Grade level: 1/Elementary

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Busy world of bees cover art

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Introduction to Bees and Pollinators

North Carolina Essential Science Standards:

  • 1.L.1 – Understand characteristics of various environments and behaviors of humans that enable plants and animals to survive
    • 1.L.1.1 – Recognize that plants and animals need air, water, light, space, food, and shelter and that these may be found in their environment
  • 1.L.2 – Summarize the needs of living organisms for energy and growth
    • 1.L.2.2 – Summarize the basic needs of a variety of different animals for energy and growth

Common Core State Standards (English Language Arts):

  • RF.1.3.g – Recognize and read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.

Next Generation National Science Standards:

  • K-ESS3 – Earth and Human Activity.
  • 1-LS1-1 – Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

 

Youth will consider the needs of bees (honey bees and native bees), including air, water, light, shelter (hives and nests), and food sources (nectar, pollen, and water) as they explore specific examples of how the environment provides a habitat for bees.

Busy Bee Bodies

Essential Science Standards:

  • 1.L.1 – Understand characteristics of various environments and behaviors of humans that enable plants and animals to survive
    • 1.L.1.1 – Recognize that plants and animals need air, water, light, space, food, and shelter and that these may be found in their environment
  • 1.L.2 – Summarize the needs of living organisms for energy and growth

 

Youth will understand the different body parts of a bee and their functions that enable them to do their work and raise the next generation of bees.

Bee Life Cycles

North Carolina Essential Science Standards:

  • 1.L.1 – Understand characteristics of various environments and behaviors of humans that enable plants and animals to survive
    • 1.L.1.1 – Recognize that plants and animals need air, water, light, space, food, and shelter and that these may be found in their environment.
  • 1.L.2 – Summarize the needs of living organisms for energy and growth

 

Youth will study the life cycle of solitary and social bees and construct a model and book about each process.

Bee Homes

Essential Science Standards:

  • 1.L.1.1 – Recognize that plants and animals need air, water, light, space, food, and shelter and that these may be found in their environment.
  • 1.L.1.3 Summarize ways that humans protect their environment and/or improve conditions for the growth of plants and animals.
  • 1.L.2 – Summarize the needs of living organisms for energy and growth.

Next Generation National Science Standards:

  • 1-LS1-1 – Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

 

Youth will consider the many types of bee homes and study the basic structures and environments in which bees build a home.

Bee Behavior and Roles

Essential Science Standards:

  • 1.L.1 – Understand characteristics of various environments and behaviors of humans that enable plants and animals to survive
  • 1.L.1.1 – Recognize that plants and animals need air, water, light, space, food, and shelter and that these may be found in their environment
  • 1.L.2 – Summarize the needs of living organisms for energy and growth

Next Generation National Science Standards:

  • 2-LS2-2 – Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

 

Youth will study bee behavior, in particular, that of the honey bee, and learn about the various roles honey bees play in a colony.

Bee Habitats

Essential Science Standards:

  • 1.L.1.1 – Recognize that plants and animals need air, water, light, space, food, and shelter and that these may be found in their environment.
  • 1.L.1.2 – Give examples of how the needs of different plants and animals can be met by their environments in North Carolina or different places throughout the world.
  • 1.L.2.1 – Summarize the basic needs of a variety of different plants for energy and growth
  • 1-LS1-1 – Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.
  • 1.L.1.3 – Summarize ways that humans protect their environment and/or improve conditions for the growth of plants and animals

Next Generation National Science Standards:

  • 2-LS4-1 – Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
  • K-ESS3-3 – Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.

 

Youth will summarize the environmental conditions and food sources needed for bees to live, and youth will be able to explain the physical features that enable a bee to successfully forage for nectar and pollen.

Bee Stewardship

Essential Science Standards:

  • 1.L.1.2 – Give examples of how the needs of different plants and animals can be met by their environments in North Carolina or different places throughout the world.
  • 1.L.1.3 -Summarize ways that humans protect their environment and/or improve conditions for the growth of plants and animals

Next Generation National Science Standards:

  • 2-LS4-1 – Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
  • K-ESS3-3 – Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.

 

Youth will summarize ways humans can protect the environment or improve conditions for the growth of bees and pollinators. They will communicate solutions to reduce the impact of humans on land, water, air, and other living creatures in their local ecosystem.