"Bees and Ants"
Age 3-6 years
TEKS: Form and Function
K9: (A) Identify basic needs of organisms
(B)Give examples of how organisms depend on each other
* Marshmallows (large)
* Pretzel sticks
* Honey Comb cereal
* Beehive skill sheet
* Ink Pad
* Hole punch
* Crepe paper (black and yellow)
* Construction paper (white, yellow, black)
* Film canisters containing cotton balls- one each soaked with
pickle juice, peanut butter, lemon extract and peppermint extract
(or other smells that children will recognize).
* glue, scissors, crayons/markers
* Books: World of Ants, by Melvin Berger
The Honeybee and the Robber, by Eric Carle
* Songs: The Honeybee Song, by Gayle Howard
The Ants Go Marching One by One, (folk song)
- Introduction: Review previous days' activities
- Read The Honey Robber and the Bee by Eric Carle
- Pheromone activity (smelling activity)
- Beehive observation
- Waggle dance: Bee communication
- Beehive thumbprint activity
- The Honey Bee song
- Make bee windsock
- Honey of a snack: What bees make with pollen
- Read World of Ants
- Ant Observation and Collection: Suck-a-Bug
- Sing The Ants Go Marching
- Marshmallow Ants
Introduction: Review previous days' activities
Instructor will use questions to review what students' have learned,
such as, "Who can name the insects we have talked about so
far? What do they have in common?"
Transition into today's activities by guiding the discussion with
questions such as, "Today we are going to talk about ants
and bees. Who can tell me what these two insects have in common?
Do you remember when we talked about mouthparts on Monday? Ants
have chewing mouthparts, like the pliers that we picked things
up with. They can use those pincher-like chewing mouthparts to
pinch you, so you have to be careful when you are observing them.
Bees don't use their mouths, but they sure can hurt us. How do
they do it? They use a stinger built into their abdomens. Ants
and bees are very interesting to observe, but we need to be careful
when we are around them, don't we?"
Activity 1: Read: The Honeybee and the Robber
- Discuss with children that bees have 3 body parts, like all
insects. However, bees also have 4 wings. Review concepts from
books such as: guard bees, worker bees, and queen bees and the
jobs that each type performs.
Activity 2: Pheromone activity (smelling activity)
- Discuss concepts from book with children: "How do you
think the guard bee recognized the other bees that were coming
and going from the hive? How do bees recognize each other? How
do people recognize each other?" (With our eyes.)
- "Ants and bees recognize each other by using smells,
- Show children how to play the Secret Smell Partner game. "We
are going to find our Secret Smell Partner using our noses to
find our partner, like bees do!"
- Give each child a film canister (or other non-see through
container) containing a cotton ball with some type of smelly substance
on it (lemon juice, peppermint, pickle juice, and peanut butter).
There will be two canisters containing each scent. Children must
find their "Secret Smell Partner" by smelling each other's
canisters until they find the other child who has the same scent
as their own.
Activity 3: Beehive observation
- Instructor will transition from how bees recognize each other
by smelling to where bees live. "Now that we know how bees
recognize each other (by smelling), let's think about where they
live. Have you ever seen a bee's home? Does anyone remember what
the bees' home was called in The Honey Robber and the Bee?
It's called a beehive. "
- Show children an empty beehive with no bees in it. Let them
feel how papery it is.
- "This is what the outside of some beehives look like.
What does it feel like?" (Feels papery)
- "Would you like to see the inside of a beehive? Here
in the Museum there is a very special beehive that we can look
into without getting stung."
- Show children a working beehive that they can observe, if
one is available. If not, use a book showing bees and beehive
activities or view a video, "The Magic School Bus: Buzzes
a Hive" about bees..
- Let children observe the bees for a few minutes to see what
they discover on their own. The students will be able to see the
bees doing the waggle dance and also be able to see the pollen
sacs on the bees' legs. Then point out bees that are communicating
with each other.
- "Look at those bees! Do you see how this one is circling
around, and how these other bees have circled all around and are
watching him? That is another way that bees talk to each other.
They use movements to act out a message. It's called a Waggle
Dance. Can you say that? It's a funny word, isn't it?"
Activity 4: Waggle dance: Bee communication
- Discuss the waggle dance that bees use to communicate. Show
an example of waggling.
- Each child will have a food source-a flower made out of construction
paper. Each child bee will take turns hiding the flower.
- Each bee will then take turns doing the waggle dance to let
the rest of the group know where the food source is. The bee team
will show the group where the food is by waggling forward and
backward, and in left and right circles to direct the group to
the food. (Ex: To direct the group to go left, the bee team will
make a left circle, waggling as they circle. To direct the group
to go right, they will waggle in a circle to the right.) The first
student to locate the food source gets to be the bee next. (The
waggle dance is a wiggling motion that bees do when they come
back to the hive from the field where they have found a food source.
The other bees all gather around the bee that is "waggling."
The bee communicates where it found the food by directions it
waggles in reference to the sun. If the bee waggles up the hive,
it it means the food source is north of the hive. If the bee waggles
in a circle to the left, the food source is to the west of the
hive , right in a circle means to the east and down means to the
Activity 5: Beehive Thumbprint activity
- Give children a copy of the beehive handout, with a beehive
printed on it. (Or give them a sheet of paper with Honeycomb cereal
glued on it.)
- Children will press their index fingers on an inkpad, and
then make several fingerprints across the beehive paper.
- With a crayon or felt-tipped marker, children can add wings,
antennae, and legs to their fingerprint bees, and color their
beehive. They can make one bee at the hive entrance(the guard
bee), one bee larger than the rest( the queen bee), and as many
Activity 6: The Honey Bee(song)
By: Gayle Howard (to the tune "Mary had a Little Lamb")
The honeybee goes, buzz, buzz, buzz
Buzz, Buzz, Buzz
Buzz, Buzz, Buzz
The honeybee goes buzz, buzz, buzz
On a summer day
It's taking pollen to the hive, to the hive, to the hive,
It's taking pollen to the hive,
Not's so far away
The bee makes honey that is sweet, that is sweet, that is sweet,
The bee makes honey that is sweet,
As sweet as sweet can be
The bee keeps honey in the hive, in the hive, in the hive
The bee keeps honey in the hive,
And shares a bit with me!
Activity 7: Bee Windsock
- Bend black construction paper and into a cylinder shape and
glue it in place to create the body.
- Glue squiggly eyes onto side of cylinder toward one end for
the bee's eyes. (Can also make eyes out of construction paper.)
- Cut wings out of white construction paper and glue onto sides
of cylinder for the wings.
- Cut long strips of yellow and black crepe paper, and glue
the ends inside one end of the cylinder with the other end streaming
out so that they can blow in the wind.
- Create two antennae with black pipe cleaners, and attach them
to the front end of the cylinder. Use hole punch to make hole
to twist the pipe cleaners into.
- Use hole punch again to make two holes across from each other
toward the front end of the cylinder. Cut a piece of string and
tie each end to one of the holes for a hanger.
Activity 8: Honey of a snack: what bees make with pollen
- Observe bees in the garden or school campus, going from flower
to flower and collecting pollen. Look at the bees' pollen sacks,
loaded with yellow pollen. (Could also go back to the Discovery
Room to observe pollen sacks on bees' legs.)
- "Who knows what bees do with the nectar and pollen they
collect from flowers? That's right, they make honey! Who likes
honey? Me, too!"
- Back inside, give children a slice of bread and spread with
honey and eat.
Activity 9: Read World of Ants
- "We have a wonderful book about ants to read together.
But before we do that, let's talk about what we know about ants
so far. We know that they can bite. What else do you know? Where
do you think ants live? Where do people live? Do you think ants
talk to each other?"
- "Let's read our book now. Maybe we will find out the
answers to some of our questions about ants."
- During the book, guide observations about ant homes and communication.
Activity 10: Ant Observation and Collection: Suck-a-Bug
- Go outside and observe anthills with children.
- Instructors will pair off with the children, and show them
how to use aspirators (Bug Suckers) to collect ants. We will take
some soil from around the anthill, and place the soil and ants
in a clear glass jar to observe for the rest of the week.
Activity 11: Sing The Ants Go Marching
- Hold up fingers to count along with children the number of
ants as they go through the song.
Activity 12: Marshmallow Ants
- "Do you remember what the ants that we saw looked like?
How many body parts do they have? How many body parts do all insects
- Children will make their own ants using large marshmallows
for the three body parts, and pretzel sticks to hold the body
parts together and for the legs and antennae. M&M's can be
used for the eyes.
- Review ant (and insect) body parts as children construct their
- Cue children to review the day's activities and lessons, "We
are now half way through our insect camp. You know so much about
insects! Who can remember the two kinds of insects we learned
about today? That's right-bees and ants. Who can tell me something
about bees and ants?"
- Cue children to orally review how many body parts bees and
ants have (3), what group of organisms they belong to (insects),
how they talk to each other (pheromones and waggling), where they
live (anthills and beehives), and what kind of yummy food bees
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