"In this classroom, relationships are fostered, families are respected, and children are honored.
In this classroom, nature's gifts are valued and children's thoughts are captured.
In this classroom, learning is alive and aesthetic beauty is appreciated." -Unknown

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bees...A Preschool Study


As we continued our insect study we moved into a week long study of bees.

GEMS: Buzzing a Hive

We transformed our Science area to a Bee focus. Items included:
bee poster cards, large bees poster, hive frames, books, honey,
beekeeper hat, bees for observation, beeswax, honeycomb,
magnifying glass, and bee vision viewer.

Beekeeper frames: (from top to bottom)
empty frame, frame with pollen and honey,
frame with honey and capped areas.

Beekeeper outfit: coveralls, gloves, hat.

We always try to start a unit with the kiddos sharing what they think to be
true about the new theme. We don't correct their statements if they aren't correct.
They will realize the truth as we study the topic, then we can adjust the board.

Each kiddo created a bee. This wasn't an art project, but
a Science one as we discussed the actual body parts and
talked about where each part would be on a real bee.

Observing the bees. The GEMS kit included a container of deceased bees.
We still placed them in containers so the children would be safe and not
scared of holding them. 

The focus here was on showing the kiddos how the bees  use the pollen sacs
on their legs to collect pollen from the flowers. 

Each kiddo took their own bee (cotton ball) and rubbed it on the pollen to
see how it transferred from the flower to the bee. **Lilies are toxic. As soon
as the children completed this activity, we had them wash their hands.

I discovered this concept through Play at Home Mom's blog and adapted
it to work in our program. Please check out their post. We put yellow colored
water in a vase with silk flowers. The children used a turkey baster (their proboscis)
to collect the water (nectar) from the flowers. 

They then transported it across the playground and released it into the
cells of the hive.

These are our filled cells.

We talked about how the bees hang together and stretch
their bodies in order to release the beeswax from their
bodies to create new cells.

Of course, then we had to try it with our bodies to understand how
they would feel when stretching and connected to the other bees.
I saw the concept of creating a beehive with bee at Mama to 4 Blessings and
then adapted the concept to work with our preschoolers. The kiddos rolled
yellow paint onto bubble wrap that was taped to the table. 

After rubbing the paint onto the bubble wrap, they pressed their paper on it
to make a print that looked a lot like the honey cells.

They then stamped bees onto the hive. 

We tasted bee pollen that had been processed by bees. 

We tried honey from local beekeepers. Thanks to the
Bester family.
We culminated our study with the creation of a beehive.
We used cardboard egg cartons and bulletin board paper for
the hive. We then added yellow translucent wadded up paper for the
honey and capped the cells with wax paper. We added large yellow
pompoms for the pollen in the hive. We displayed our queen bee,
all the children's created bees, and even connected three of them like
they do when they want to extract the wax from their bodies to make more
cells or to cap off cells. So much fun!! 

Some friends were inspired to don bee apparel.



We did this study in one week, but determined that next time we need to set aside a two week period to do it justice. There was just so much valuable information in the guide and not enough time to cover it all.

I believe the kids developed a new appreciation for bees and the good that they do. 





70 comments:

  1. So many great bee activities here! Thanks so much for sharing your unit. I will definitely be borrowing some ideas when I do an insect unit for my kids!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words, Katie. We had SO much fun with the unit and will definitely use two weeks instead of one next time.

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  2. This is wonderful--I've always loved bees! I'm going to pin it!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Carla!! We had so much fun studying bees. Pin away!!

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  3. I love this! My kids are going to have such a great time with these ideas. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tauna!! So glad you found some inspiration here. Thanks for the feedback!

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  4. So many different ideas here, Barbara & I bet they will remember so much more about bees now. Thanks for linking up.

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    Replies
    1. They really got it, Kierna. One little guy went home and told his mom he was drinking nectar like a bee and spitting it back out to feed the babies. Gotta love it!

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  5. Such an awesome unit! I have to pin this to do with my daughter. Love the beehive art too! Awesome! Thank you for sharing at our Pinteresting Party!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feedback. Have fun learning about bees with your daughter. We only had a week to do it, but would definitely have been able to fill two weeks easily.

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  6. Great ideas! Add a little "Flight of the Bumblebee" for some movement fun.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the feedback, JoAnn. Enjoy!

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  7. Wow fantastic ideas we will def be doing some of these. love it and the kids will too

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your feedback. Good luck with the bee study!

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  8. That beehive is awesome!! Love the idea.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Karyn! The idea for it was in the GEMS: Buzzing the Hive guide that I used. You can find the link for it above.

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  9. This seems advanced for pre-school, but doable. I think it could be used for older kids up to 2nd grade, too.

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    Replies
    1. The GEMS: Buzzing the Hive guide is recommended for K-3, but we made modifications to meet the level of our kiddos. Which parts specifically seem advanced to you? I'd love to hear back from you.

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  10. I LOVE this theme so much! I can't wait to implement some of these ideas into my own classroom.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Debbie. My kids loved it. I'd love to hear how it goes for you, as well.

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  11. Your blog is lovely, full of many inspiring ideas. I've subscribed to it in order not to miss any!!
    Thanks for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Cris!! I LOVE getting feedback on the blog posts that I do. Be sure to check out our Facebook page, as well.

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  12. What a fabulous study!! Thank you! I'm Pinning it!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Trish! We had SO much fun doing it. Pin away!

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  13. This looks like such a fab lesson! Might have to adapt it for some of the youth groups I work with. Thanks for sharing :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks and GO FOR IT! It was a very fun and informative unit!!

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  14. Some fun & great ideas here about bees! Thanks for sharing at Educators Spin On it!

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Debbie. Thanks so much!!

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  15. Thanks for linking this up last week at SHOW IT OFF Wednesday. This week's party started this morning I would love for you to stop by.

    http://viewfromrivermountain.blogspot.com/2013/04/show-it-off-wednesday-8.html

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jessica! Just popped over and shared our new post: Worms, Snails and Slugs...Oh My!!

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  16. Replies
    1. Thanks, Dollie! I take LOTS of photos, so much if fact that my in-laws nicknamed me "Flash"!

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  17. What an amazing bee study!! So much fabulous hands on learning.

    My favorites are the pollinating activity and I loved the nectar transfer activity too.

    Thanks for linking up to the Outdoor Play Party!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rebekah. The kiddos really had so much fun and really learned a lot, too.

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  18. Wow, so many great ideas!! I love it. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

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  19. Great study! I'm featuring this on The Sunday Showcase tomorrow.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Allison! I'm honored!!

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  20. So glad you joined me for the Monday Kid Corner party. If you haven’t linked up today, we’re live at www.mondaykidcorner.blogspot.com.

    Jennifer
    www.thejennyevolution.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jennifer. Just popped over and linked up our latest: Worms, Snails and Slugs. Oh, my!!

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  21. What a LOT of great ideas! Thanks for sharing your post with us! I hope you join us again (yeah I know it’s a day late… linky issues) at Eco-Kids Tuesday!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Hannah. Of course, I'll join Eco-Kids Tuesday again.

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  22. Thanks so much for sharing your unit.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome. Thanks for the feedback.

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  23. I'm so happy with your blog site, it contains all the matter with regards to preschool Good luck to you and your well performed job. Thanks for keeping us updated with the latest information for preschool education.
    Preschool Education

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  24. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Alex. Thanks for the feedback.

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  25. A friend of mine, who knows we homeschool and just started keeping bees, pinned this for me. I LOVE it! What great enthusiasm you have. I am going to start teaching the preschool class at Sunday School and am going to be keeping an eye on your lovely blog.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Jenny. I haven't done much with the blog while we've been out over the summer, but it will be gearing up again soon.

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  26. Un"bee"lievable (sorry, couldn't resist!) I've done units on bees in the past, and I couldn't belive how many new, fantastic ideas I picked up here. I especially love and plan to use the bubble wrap prints, the pollinating activity, and the beehive wall. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Sara. Glad you found some new inspiration.

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  27. What a great Bee Unit! Loved it! I would love to share other ideas with you if you would like. I have started a new blog called "BearHugs. Embracing Children with nature". This would be great to share with others! Job well done.

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    ReplyDelete
  29. wow.. absolutely easy to follow and do. I will try it with 2-3 year olds, they really enjoyed learning about bugs/ mini beasts we talked about the life cycle of the butterfly. it was real cool. :) thank you for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words, Maryam. We thoroughly enjoyed the study.

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  30. Of course! Preschools are the first step for child in to the society. Only a god school can build a good moral ethics in child. Moreover parents play an important role too. I am enrolling my child in Phoenix pre-k so that she can learn much better there.

    ReplyDelete
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  32. I love this! So many great ideas. I guess I'll need to collect some egg cartons!

    ReplyDelete
  33. This page has given me so many great ideas. We are starting our study on bee's tomorrow. My class was inspired by a photo of a friend of mine who is a bee keeper. They came up with some great questions for us to investigate but your site came up with some great ideas on how to get the ideas across. Love your science area!

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  34. Do you mind sharing your source for "how the bees hang together and stretch their bodies in order to release the beeswax from their
    bodies to create new cell"? I have been doing some research to learn more about this but am having some trouble. Some fantastic hands-on and student-centered learning here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The information came from the GEMS: Buzzing a Hive guide I have pictured above.

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  35. Thank you! amazing teachers like you are a God send. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
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  37. I love all of the wonderful ideas. I do have a suggestion. For the bee craft - real bees, and all insects have three body parts. It would be good to add a head to the yellow body you already have. With just two body parts as it is now, it is something they will have to unlearn later. Since the focus of that activity is a bee's body parts you may also wish to add a extra set of wings because honey bees have two sets - forewings and hind wings.

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    Replies
    1. Are you referring to the bees that the children put together? The yellow body part is one piece of paper, but is cut to show that the bees have three body parts and do have the forewings and the hindwings. We do make a point of teaching them that all insects have 3 body parts and have a few songs we sing specifically about that. Hope I addressed your concerns. ;)

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  38. This page has given me so many great ideas. We are starting our study on bee's tomorrow. My class was inspired by a photo of a friend of mine who is a bee keeper. They came up with some great questions for us to investigate but your site came up with some great ideas on how to get the ideas across. Love your science area! Potatoes Recipes
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