Storytime - What If There Were No Bees?

Read "What If There Were No Bees?" and learn about the importance of bees and cross-pollination.

This workshop consists of two parts: a reading of the book "What If There Were No Bees?: A Book about the Grassland Ecosystem" by Suzanne Slade, followed by a fun, interactive hands-on activity. In this activity, students will explore the process of cross-pollination.

This storytime virtual outreach activity is split into a pre-activity document - i.e., workshop overview and list of materials with preparation instructions for both the volunteer and educator, and PowerPoint presentation with presenter notes to help lead the workshop virtually as well as two diagrams needed for the activity - flower diagram and pollination diagram. Also included is the Parts of a Flower worksheetBee cut out and Flower cut out.

What You Need

For the reading:

  • "What If There Were No Bees?: A Book about the Grassland Ecosystem" by Suzanne Slade (book cover, for reference)

For the activity:

  • Pollination and flower diagram teacher resource attached
  • Parts of a flower worksheet attached
  • Flower cut out
  • Bumble bee cut out
  • Scissors
  • Colouring tools such as crayons or pencil crayons
  • Craft sticks
  • Glue
  • Cotton Balls
  • Cupcake cups
  • Flour or cake mix (check about any allergies)

Pre-Activity Document:

PowerPoint:

 

 

Safety Notes

Ensure you are familiar with Let's Talk Science's precautions with respect to safe delivery of virtual outreach to youth. These precautions can be found in the manual for this activity. 

What To Do

Part A: Reading of "What If There Were No Bees?: A Book about the Grassland Ecosystem" by Suzanne Slade

Part B: Doing the Activity

  • Each student should have a flower and bumble bee to colour in and cut out.
  • Students then glue on a popsicle stick to the underside of their bumblebee and glue a cotton ball onto that for the "pollen" to stick to.
  • Glue a cupcake liner in the middle of each flower and fill it with yellow cake mix.
  • Have the students dip their bees in the pollen and "fly" around the room pollinating other objects.
  • To help manage the students, give them instructions such as "Buzz over to an object that has different colors than yours" or "Pollinate an object that has purple on it."
  • For older students, you may select only a few bees to pollinate the flowers and time how long it takes them. Varying the amount of bees can be symbolic of decreasing population size and the effect that pesticides may have on the bee population, which leads into a more in-depth discussion about the importance of pollinators.

Discovery

What's Happening?

When a pollen grain moves from the anther male part of a flower to the stigma female part, pollination happens. This is the first step in a process that produces seeds, fruits, and the next generation of plants. This can happen through self-pollination (flower pollinates itself), wind and water pollination, or through the work of animals and insects that move pollen from flower to flower.

Birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, and most importantly, bees are pollinators. They visit flowers to drink nectar or feed off of pollen and transport pollen grains as they move from flower to flower.

What's Happening?

When a pollen grain moves from the anther male part of a flower to the stigma female part, pollination happens. This is the first step in a process that produces seeds, fruits, and the next generation of plants. This can happen through self-pollination (flower pollinates itself), wind and water pollination, or through the work of animals and insects that move pollen from flower to flower.

Birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, and most importantly, bees are pollinators. They visit flowers to drink nectar or feed off of pollen and transport pollen grains as they move from flower to flower.

Investigate Further

If you would like to use this activity for higher-grade levels, you can adapt it by having them create more complex looking flowers using pipe cleaners for both the male and female parts. You can also engage in a discussion about the importance of bees and how they play such an important role in our lives.

There are several additional activities that you can facilitate included in the "Beautiful Bees" online activity: "Communicate Like a Bee", "Sound Like a Bee", "Eat Like a Bee", "Get to Know the Bee's Anatomy", and "Help the Bees". You can find them in the Online Activity Database and choose which to do based on time constraints and age level. 

Investigate Further

If you would like to use this activity for higher-grade levels, you can adapt it by having them create more complex looking flowers using pipe cleaners for both the male and female parts. You can also engage in a discussion about the importance of bees and how they play such an important role in our lives.

There are several additional activities that you can facilitate included in the "Beautiful Bees" online activity: "Communicate Like a Bee", "Sound Like a Bee", "Eat Like a Bee", "Get to Know the Bee's Anatomy", and "Help the Bees". You can find them in the Online Activity Database and choose which to do based on time constraints and age level. 

Resources

Bee cut out

Flower cut out

 

There are many videos on YouTube that may be good to use as supplementary resources. Depending on the grade level and how thorough you want to explain the process of pollination, there are many to choose from.

There is also a great website with interactive games and activities for this topic: http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/plants.html.

Resources

Bee cut out

Flower cut out

 

There are many videos on YouTube that may be good to use as supplementary resources. Depending on the grade level and how thorough you want to explain the process of pollination, there are many to choose from.

There is also a great website with interactive games and activities for this topic: http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/plants.html.

Check out additional resources (articles, career profiles and more) on these topics from Let’s Talk Science: