Search for Resources

Pollination Power

Understanding the Role of Pollinators in the Environment and Food Production

Elementary, Middle

Description

In Pollination Power, students will recognize that pollinators play an important role in wild plant growth and food production. They will gain an understanding of the parts of plants involved in pollination and of the way pollinators aid in plant growth by dispersing pollen. They will gain an appreciation for the diverse types of pollinators that exist in the wild in Canada.

This lesson is five parts: 

Part A: Introduction to Pollination

  • The teacher will lead a discussion to assess what students know about pollinators. 
  • Students will watch The Beauty of Pollination: Moving Art and then participate in a discussion. 
  • The teacher will read the book Are You A Bee? by Judy Allen and then students will have a discussion on the subject. 

Part B: Busy Bee Race

  • Teacher will explain to the class that European honeybees are some of the busiest pollinators.  
  • Students will participate in the Busy Bee Race where they will act like honeybees collecting nectar to turn into honey. They must run to a flower station and fill their pipette with “nectar” and then fly back and deposit their nectar into their hive.

Part C: Bee-Free Picnic

  • The students must create a menu for their picnic. They must think about what they would like to put on their hamburger/hot dog, what they would like to drink, and what sides and desserts they would like.
  • Once their menus are designed, students will be asked to  remove any menu items that need help from bee pollination. 

Part D: Meet our Pollinators

  • Students will go outside and choose a flowering plant to observe for one minute. They will record any pollinators that visit the plant during that time and identify the animals they see.

Part E: Save our Pollinators

  • Students will come up with some ways to protect bees. Ideas can include: not using pesticides on lawns and gardens, planting flowering plants to feed the bees, and not killing bees when students see them at their homes and schools.

As an extension, students could plan projects to help protect bees. They could also research and plan their own projects, or complete one of the extension activities provided in the lesson plan. 

 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

Students will learn to make and record observations. 

Strengths

  • The lesson is easy to follow
  • All worksheets are included in the resource
  • Students will get to learn outside in the community
  • This resource has a wide variety of learning activities, which lends itself well to all learners 

Weaknesses

  • Evaluation materials are not provided in this resource
  • Action activities are suggested as an extension to the resource

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource would be excellent when discussing ways in which plants are important to humans and other living things as well as being able to take different points of views into consideration on this issue. 

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Living Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Investigating change and the diversity of Earth’s systems helps us to develop understandings of the conditions necessary to sustain life.
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Living Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 3: Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Growth and Changes in Plants
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitat and Communities
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Plant Growth & Changes
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Growth and Changes in Plants
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 3: Plants
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: Habitats
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Growth and Changes in Plants
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Habitats & Communities
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Plant Growth & Changes
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Plant Growth and Changes
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Habitats and Communities
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 3: Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (2)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Habitat Loss
  • Food & Agriculture (1)

    • Food Security

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

Students will assess ways in which plants are important to humans and other living things, taking different points of views into consideration (e.g. the point of view of home builders, gardeners, nursery owners, vegetarians), and suggest ways in which humans can protect plants

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

Students will gain a better understanding of the role pollinators play in our environment. As well, they will get to discover which foods we eat need the help of pollinators, and therefore would affect us socially and economically if they were to disappear. 

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Very Good

Students explore scientific cause and effect relationships and use this information to learn about ecosystems and assess the impact of different human activities on plants.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

Action opportunities are provided as extensions in this lesson, an example given is to plan a pollinator friendly garden. 

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good

Students will get to share their own beliefs in the many discussions that are part of this lesson and list personal actions they can engage in to minimize harmful effects and enhance good effects.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

Students assess ways in which plants are important to humans.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Very Good

Students will get to head outside in their environment to observe how many animals/insects visit a plant. As well, students will run the Bee race outside. 

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good

Students will get to observe real pollinators in their community. 

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

Throughout the different activities in this lesson, students will get to share their own ideas on the issue of the loss of habitat of bees. They will be able to share their opinions, during the many discussion opportunities built into this resource. 

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

Science, outdoor learning

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory

The activities in this resource are prescribed. However, if the teacher decided to do the action and extension activities, students would have the option of which one to choose. 

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

The variety of activities in this lesson plan would address the needs of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. However, strategies for learners with difficulties are not provided. 

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good

Students will get to take place in a hands on simulation where they will get to discover the amount of work that goes into making honey. As well, they will get to observe pollinators in their environment. 

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Students will work in groups to complete the activities. 

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Poor/Not considered

Evaluation tools are not provided in this resource. 

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Poor/Not considered

This resource does not encourage students to present their knowledge and skills to peers. However, if the teacher chose to do the action project, students could decide to share their findings. 

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Satisfactory

The loss of the habitat of pollinators is a current problem and one that students have most likely heard about.  

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good

After the lesson is complete, have students plan projects to help protect bees. Students can research and plan their own projects, or you can complete one of the extension activities provided below in the resource.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.