For those who love Bethany Barton’s, I’m Trying To Love Spiders, and have a favorite pollination/bee unit, this book is for you! One of my favorite STEM lessons involves the use of the picture book What If There Were No Bees by Suzanne Slade.
In that lesson, after reading the book, students choose a flower image, color it, and position it in their team’s “field”. They then use our BeeBots to practice their coding skills; getting the bees to pollinate each flower.
This picture book would be such a wonderful addition to this lesson, setting the stage for more of the STEM pollination activities listed below!
Featured Picture Book:
Give Bees A Chance (2017)
By Bethany Barton (awesomebARTon on Twitter)
Illustrated by Bethany Barton
The author tries to convince her bee-phobic friend how valuable bees are. Through humor, clever illustrations, and fun facts sprinkled throughout the pages, kids will learn so many interesting things about bees. Including the process bees go through from nectar to honey – who knew?
Related Themes and Standards:
All kinds of bee facts
1. Use these clipart flowers to conduct the Beebot lesson mentioned above.
2. If you have access to LEGO 2.0 kits, have students conduct the plant pollination build. Or if you have LEGO Spike Essentials here’s a similar pollination build lesson.
3. This Pinterest Board by Beth Sharkey has some fun pollination STEM activities.
4. Have your kids use Scratch or ScratchJr to code a bee going on one of the missions related to the story.
5. Being a HUGE fan of SciShow Kids, I love this video which not only teaches about bees but has a great project to make a Bee House using recycled items! You could have your students build this exact one (would be a great team project) or engineer their own using other materials. You could then locate their bee houses around the school campus and have ongoing observation/data-collecting trips to see how they are doing!
6. Here is a great lesson to have your students engineer a 3D model of a beehive using toothpicks and mini marshmallows. If you have access to Tinkercad, you could take it a step further and have them practice digital modeling of a beehive! Have them screenshot their build and add it to a Padlet wall so they can see each other’s, or if you have lots of filament, print them out!
7. If you have access to a drone, create "flowers" using colored spots and have your students either free fly from the flowers back to the "hive" or kick it up a notch and have them use DroneBlocks to code an autonomous drone flying mission.
STEM Advocate and Picture Book Author