Pollination Party

byKirsten Craig

Did you know that there are over 4,000 different species of bees in the United States? Many of us only see news about the western honey bee (Apis mellifera), but as a whole, insect pollinators in the U.S. benefit the reproduction of over 100 crop plants. It is estimated that nearly 1/3 of the food on your plate is thanks to the efforts of pollinators, but they are doing a lot more than just benefiting food production. The system of pollination is responsible for driving and maintaining biodiversity, in addition to creating a range of ecosystem services that benefit humans, plants, and animals alike. But studies show that our students are not able to articulate knowledge of systems such as pollination. It is critical that our students understand the scientific knowledge of pollination systems in addition to adopting a more equitable approach to learning about and interacting with nature. Through this unit, I use a pollination party to show my kindergarten students the importance of pollination, and how to be more mindful of all the participants in our natural world. It seeks to inspire them to be active participants in caring holistically for our local natural ecosystem, which benefits our local and global ecological health as a living community.

(Developed for Science, grade K; recommended for Science, grades K-2)

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