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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pollinators - Learning About Bees

Many thanks to Elaine, who found and shared information about a contest held by the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment. Children in grades K - 12 are eligible to enter a postcard design contest. The postcard needed to illustrate the beauty and importance of bees and how we can take care of this precious insect. When I announced this in the class on Wednesday, everyone was so excited! We couldn't wait to get started.

I read two books for inspiration. One was a poetry book that had lovely illustrations and rhymes. We learned about all of the different jobs the honeybee has. We also read a book called, The Buzz on Bees - Why Are They Disappearing? This mentioned many of the possible reasons there has been such a decline in our bee population. I think some of our students were inspired to grow up to be scientists in order to tackle this very real and urgent problem. We also watched a Magic School bus DVD about bees, to learn how they communicate and work together.

We spent two work periods on our postcards. First the students drafted a design. They had to decide what to draw, whether or not to use words as well as pictures, what colors to use, and what materials would make their design "pop". Sharpies, regular markers, crayons, and colored pencils (and sometimes combinations) were explored.

Here are the finished products. I've addressed them all and added a pretty flower stamp to each. Wish us luck! Winners will be announced in early April. You can read more about the contest by clicking here.

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