Sunday, October 7, 2012

Honeybees In the Fall!

I know many teachers do a Bee unit in the spring to coincide with the awakening of the blossoms, but we do our Bee unit in the fall for a couple of reasons. One is because the insects here in central Illinois are awake and alert in the early fall and this makes it possible for us to do several insect observations. We also do our unit in the fall because we take a field trip to our local apple orchard in the fall. We are blessed to have this resource so close to our school. All 3 kindergartens hop on the school bus and we are at the orchard in less than 15 minutes! Woo hoo! We have the choice of going to the pumpkin patch, the orchard, or learning about how bees help apples. We opt for the last choice because it goes along so well with our Apple unit. The jump from apples to bees is pretty easy and is a great way to connect the dependence of animals and plants upon each other.
The apple orchard has added an indoor classroom for their bee presentation which is amazing. We are so proud of our students when they can answer the honeybee questions correctly.

Of course, there are the occasional answers that make us cringe such as "What gets on the bees body when they fly from flower to flower?" and one of our little ones answers "Cheese dust!" Hmmm........ well............ that of course, came from our science discovery investigation the week before. I placed wrapped life savers in the bottom of a plastic bucket and covered them with Cheetos. Each child had the opportunity to pretend like their hand was a bee and they dove into the bucket looking for "nectar". When they pulled out their hand, it was covered with cheese dust - just like pollen covers the bee's body as it flies from flower to flower. Luckily, we had only one of these not so right answers and the orchard presenter was impressed with their knowledge! :) Whew!

The Honeybee unit that we taught lasted about 2 weeks. Our kindergarten team wanted a unit that was streamlined and basic. We listed the objectives that we wanted our students to come away with. They were:
1.  Honeybees are insects. Insects have 3 body parts and 6 legs.
2.  Honeybees have compound eyes and 2 antennae. Bees have a special mouth part called a proboscis.
3.  Honeybees are pollinators. As they gather nectar, they spread pollen from flower to flower.
4.  The girl bees do all the work.
5.  Honeybees make honey. Beekeepers gather honey from hives using special suits and equipment.

We taught one of these concepts a day for a week. I created a booklet with real life photographs of each concept that I projected upon my Promethean board. We read picture books and looked at posters. We looked at real insects with magnifying glasses. Here we are observing a couple of bees that we found in our school garden. At the end of the lesson, we took our construction paper, glue, scissors, and crayons to create an illustration for each page of the book.



Here are examples of some of the pages that we did in our BEE book:













If you are REALLY ambitious, you can make a 3D bee from Styrofoam balls!
If you would like the directions for making the 3D bee, you will find the LINK here.

You can find my BEE unit HERE or click the picture.

Click HERE or on the picture to go to my FREE Insects Eat Too packet!


 Peace and Blessings,


2 comments:

  1. Your unit looks amazing! I miss living near the apple orchards:) I remember my kindergarten trip there!! (Don's ask how long ago that was!)

    Tammy
    The Resourceful Apple

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know! We are SO, SO, SO lucky to be living near an apple orchard! As soon as you drive into the gates, you start to feel all warm and fuzzy! Thanks for you comment! I appreciate it so much!

    ReplyDelete

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