There are two main parts to this unit, Wisconsin Fast Plants, and bees.
The best place to learn more about the plants is the Wisconsin Fast Plants Home Page. For a drawing of a flower with parts labeled, visit this page. To see close-ups of Fast Plant flowers, click here.
Visit our Why Plants Have Flowers page to learn more about pollination. The California Native Plants Society also has student information on pollination.
TIP: To insure that the self watering system for the Fast Plants works well, make sure that students firm the soil in the quads enough that no air pockets are left in the soil. Also, rinse the watering mat in water with a small amount of detergent before placing it on the water trough the first time. Remember that the quads need to be watered from the top for the first few days.
There are some very good Internet resources for bees. There is a Webquest on bees, The Buzz About Bees, which you or your class may enjoy doing.
BeeHoo, is an on-line "Beekeeping Directory," a great place to learn about bees and beekeeping. Another useful site is called GEARS (Global Entomological/Agricultural Research Server). It includes a page of bee trivia called Tribeeal Pursuits. The National Honey Board has interesting Bee Information.
PBS's NOVA had a program on honeybees, Tales From the Hive, which has Web resources. The Honey Bee Waggle Dance has information about bees and a student role playing game which you can do with a group of students to help them learn about this interesting behavior of honeybees.
NOVA also did a program on flowers. They have an activity online for students to try to match the flower to the pollinator. The text with it is a little challenging but students may benefit from giving the game a try.
PBS's Reading Rainbow had a program featuring the book The Life Cycle of the Honeybee by Paula Z. Hogan. You might be able to find the program on video and the book should be helpful.
Microscopy-UK has a page with magnified views of the eyes and legs of honeybees.
Visit the Smithsonian Institution's Partners in Pollination for some additional information, ideas, and lesson plans on pollination.
What You Have Learned:
Visit Writing About Pollination for some more ideas.