Pollination for Students
Imagine you wake up one day and you go into the kitchen for breakfast before going to school. Your mum looks at you and says that there is no blueberry, raspberry, or strawberry jam for you to put on your toast! She also says that you can't have your favourite peanut butter and honey sandwich for lunch because there is no more honey! You can't even have a juicy apple or apple sauce! The worst part is that your mum says you will never get to eat a chocolate bar or drink chocolate milk ever again! What do you do? What do you think? You ask your mum and she says that all the buzzing bees, the big wasps, the fast flies, and the pretty butterflies are sick and they are the ones that give us a lot of our plant-grown food!
All these insects do the same thing, they pollinate plants! Pollination is when pollen, a yellow powder in the middle of flowers, is moved to another part of the flower. Pollen is from the male part of the flower, called the anther, and it is moved to the female part of the plant, called the stigma. When this happens the flower is fertilized and can make fruit and seeds! You need to say thank you to the pollinators for one out of every three bites of food you eat! That's a lot of food!
Lucky for us, the pollinators are still here, but they need help to stay healthy and not get sick. You can help the pollinating insects by telling others about pollination, by planting flowers that bees and butterflies like, by not hurting insects and by caring for the environment! Every little bit of help counts!
Resources for Teachers
BBC Gardening with Children
- This site has lots of information on different aspects of gardening with children, and has a child-friendly explanation of pollination, among other things.
David Suzuki Foundation for Kids
- This site has activities, challenges, and fun stuff for kids about the environment. There is also a section for teachers and parents about educating children.
- Provides educational resources about the environment for Primary School, Secondary and Post-Secondary educators. There is also a link for students, of all ages, with fun games and interesting and helpful information to check out!
- Evergreen's Learning Grounds provides an on-line resource to help teachers get the most out of nature, the outdoor classroom. Teacher's Corner is set up to share lesson plans from teachers across the Canada. Lesson plans and teaching resources are available for Kindergarten to Grade 12.
- Green Teacher is a great magazine that helps educators provide environmental and global education in and outside the classroom!
International Pollination Systems, Bees in the Classroom
- Bees in the Classroom has a section for teachers with pollination information and more, and a section for kids with interactive pages about bees, with pictures and activities.
National Gardening Association Kids Gardening (USA)
- The Teachers' Resource Room has many resources, including lesson ideas, classroom projects, activities, pollination lesson ideas, and much more.
North America Pollinator Protection Campaign
- This site provides a great list of internet resources sites about pollination and connected topics.
- TheKidsGarden is focused on helping children learn about nature through gardening. There are large sections on The Garden, At School, Garden Activities, Learning, Planting, and Safety. Useful for parents and teachers alike.
US Forest Service, Celebrating Wildflowers
- The Just for Kids section has many games, colouring pages and a variety of fun activities, such as making a butterfly garden and building nests for native bees!
- The Teacher Resources section has great information about pollination, pollinators, wildflowers and more!
Video Library Company
- Plant Life for Children Video Series
- This company offers a video/DVD series called Plant Life for Children. It includes the titles of Plant Life for Children, All About Caring for Plants, All About Plant & Animal Interdependency, All About Plant Adaptation, All About Plant Adaptation, All About Plant Pollination: Fruit, Flowers & Seeds, and All About Plant Structure & Growth.