|This lesson was created by Franciso, a student in the UniTY Program at the Miami Museum of Science.|
Cut aluminum foil sheets into 2 1/2' lengths.
Cut a piece of butcher paper into pieces 4' x 2' long. Fold the butcher paper pieces into halves, so that you have many 2' x 2' squares. Cut a half circle in the middle of the folds of each squares.
Tell the children that they are going to pretend to be bees. To help them pretend, they will make bee costumes to wear as they role-play the lives of bees in a hive. Distribute crayons and several 2' x 2' squares of butcher paper to each child. Let the children decorate the front and back of the papers with yellow and black stripes to represent the bees' bodies. Give each child a sheet of aluminum foil. Direct the children to squish the aluminum foil into a cylinder 2 1/2' long. This will be the headband for holding the antennae of the bees. Distribute 2 pipe cleaners to each child. Have the children wrap the pipe cleaners around the middle of the aluminum cylinders, providing a space of three or four inches between the pipe cleaners. The pipe cleaners represent the antennae, which are used for "feeling" and for "smelling".
Help the children put on their bee bodies and antennae headbands. Walk the children to the beehive mat. Show the children the hexagonal shapes on the beehive mat. Tell them that these shapes represent the chambers or rooms in the hive. Inform the children that there are three types of bees: Queens, Workers and Drones. Each different type of bee has a different job in the hive. Explain to the children the different jobs of each bee, and let them take turns acting out each job. The Queen bee never leaves the hive. She always is surrounded and protected by the Workers. Her only job is to lay eggs. This is a large job because she has to lay about 1,500 eggs a day. The Drones rarely leave the hive. For that reason, they do not have stingers. Their job is to fertilize the Queen's eggs. The Workers are the busy bees. They travel back and forth between the hive and the flowers. They bring nectar and food from the flowers into the hive for the Queen and her babies. They will clean and repair the hive. They will also make honey. Have the children role-play the jobs of the different kinds of bees. Select a role for each child and have him play out the part. The Queen stays in the hive and moves from chamber to chamber laying eggs. A Drone stays in the hive and stays near the Queen. A Worker goes out of the hive and drinks nectar from the flowers and collects pollen. They bring them back to the hive to feed the Queen, babies, and the Drone (This job can be demonstrated by having the children carry small cups of juice to the Drones and Queen who are in the hive). By providing each bee with a straw, they will understand the additional concept that bees have "sucking" mouth parts, rather than "chewing" mouth parts, like people. Assign each child to a bee role. One will be the Queen, the remainder will be Drones and Workers. Tell the bees that they will do their jobs while the music is playing. When the music stops, they are to return to the circle and be seated. Instruct the children who will be playing the Queen and the Drones to move about the hive from the chamber to chamber without stepping in the space between the chambers. Show the children who will be Workers where the flowers will be. Ask the children to take their places in the hive and to start doing their hive jobs. Play the bee music for a few minutes, then turn it off. Remind the children that turning off the music means that they have to return to the circle and have a seat. Instruct the children to take their places in the hive and to start doing their hive jobs. After a few runs, reassign the children to another type of bee role. Ask them to return to the hive when you start the music again. They should do their new bee job. This activity of bee role-playing can go on as long as the children are interested.
Show the children the container of honey. Tell them that bees make honey in their hives. The Worker bees place some of the nectar from the flowers into chambers in the hive. After a period of quite some time, the nectar becomes honey. Distribute a cracker with honey to each child. Tell the children to observe the smell, feel and taste of the honey as they enjoy their snacks.