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2-GA-LS-1.c AND 2-LS2-2 – PolliNation Model Lesson

GRADE: 3-5 Band, Elementary (K-5), K-2 Band, 1, 2, 3  |  TIME: TBA

OVERVIEW

Meet members from the nation of pollinators - bees, butterflies, birds, bats, moths, beetles, and other animals - who transfer pollen from flower to flower! What does the structure of their mouth parts have to do with the shape of the flowers they visit? What's so important about pollination, anyway?

This lesson features an engineering challenge from the 2nd grade “Pollination and Seed Dispersal” unit by betterlesson.com author, Jeri Faber. Students will use the engineering design process to develop a tool to hand-pollinate a model of a vanilla orchid flower.

Prerequisites: none.

DISCIPLINE: Engineering, Technology and Applications of Science, Life Sciences
TOPIC: Engineering Design, Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Animals, Plants, and Their Environment, Life Science, Structure and Function
GA STANDARDS(GSES): Georgia, S1L1. Basic Properties of Plants and Animals., S3L1. Organisms and their Habitats
NGSS CORE IDEA: ETS1.B Developing Possible Solutions, Engineering Design, LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics, LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, Life Science
PRACTICE: Asking Question/Defining Problems, Developing & Using Models
CROSSCUTTING CONCEPTS: Structure and Function

Standards

Georgia Standards of Excellence in Science (GSES):

S1L1. Students will investigate the characteristics and basic needs of plants and animals.
c. Identify the parts of a plant—root, stem, leaf, and flower.

S3L1. Students will investigate the habitats of different organisms and the dependence of organisms on their habitat.
b. Identify features of green plants that allow them to live and thrive in different regions of Georgia.

NGSS Standard:

Performance Expectation
Develop
a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants2-LS2-2
Clarification Statement: none
Assessment Boundary: none

Disciplinary Core Ideas
2.LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
Plants depend on animals for pollination or to move their seeds around. (2-LS2-2)

2.ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions
Designs can be conveyed through sketches, drawings, or physical models. These representations are useful in communicating ideas for a problem’s solutions to other people. (secondary to 2-LS2-2)

Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Develop a simple model based on evidence to represent a proposed object or tool. (2-LS2-2)

Crosscutting Concept 
Structure and Function
The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s). (2-LS2-2)

NGSS Hub
Performance Expectation
Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem. K-2-ETS1-2
Clarification Statement: none
Assessment Boundary: none

Disciplinary Core Idea
ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions
Designs can be conveyed through sketches, drawings, or physical models. These representations are useful in communicating ideas for a problem’s solutions to other people. (K-2-ETS1-2)

Science and Engineering Practice
Developing and Using Models
Develop a simple model based on evidence to represent a proposed object or tool. (K-2-ETS1-2)

Crosscutting Concept 
Structure and Function
The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s). (K-2-ETS1-2)

NGSS Hub2

NGSS Evidence Statement:

1 Components of the model
a Students develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in seed dispersal  or pollination of plants. Students identify the relevant components of their model, including those components that mimic the natural structure of an animal that helps it disperse seeds (e.g., hair that snares seeds, squirrel cheek pouches that transport seeds) or that mimic the natural structure of an animal that helps it pollinate plants (e.g., bees have fuzzy bodies to which pollen sticks, hummingbirds have bills that transport pollen). The relevant components of the model include:
i. Relevant structures of the animal.
ii. Relevant structures of the plant.
iii. Pollen or seeds from plants.

2 Relationships
a In the model, students describe relationships between components, including evidence that the developed model mimics how plant and animal structures interact to move pollen or disperse seeds.
i. Students describe the relationships between components that allow for movement of pollen or seeds.
ii. Students describe the relationships between the parts of the model they are developing and the parts of the animal they are mimicking.

3 Connections
a Students use the model to describe:
i. How the structure of the model gives rise to its function.
ii. Structure-function relationships in the natural world that allow some animals to disperse seeds or pollinate plants.

View as PDF

1 Components of the model
a Students develop a representation of an object and the problem it is intended to solve. In their representation, students include the following components:
i. The object.
ii. The relevant shape(s) of the object.
iii. The function of the object.
b Students use sketches, drawings, or physical models to convey their representations.

2 Relationships
a Students identify relationships between the components in their representation, including:
i. The shape(s) of the object and the object’s function.
ii. The object and the problem is it designed to solve.

3 Connections
a Students use their representation (simple sketch, drawing, or physical model) to communicate the connections between the shape(s) of an object, and how the object could solve the problem.

View as PDF

Other Standards:

text test

Framework

Overview: Meet members from the nation of pollinators –  bees, butterflies, birds, bats, moths, beetles, and other animals – who transfer pollen from plant to plant!  What does the structure of their mouth parts have to do with the shape of the flowers they visit?  What’s so important about pollination, anyway?
This lesson features an engineering challenge from the 2nd grade “Pollination and Seed Dispersal” unit by betterlesson.com author, Jeri Faber. Students will use the engineering design process to develop a tool to hand-pollinate a model of a vanilla orchid flower.
Prerequisites: none.

Elicit Questions: What is pollination? Why do plants need animals for pollination? How are plants adapted to be pollinated by animals? What does a flower’s shape have to do with the animals that can pollinate it? How can I make a model that shows how an animal pollinates a flower?

Engage: Students make observations and ask questions as they search for flowering plants and flower visitors outdoors.

Explore: Students learn about the connections between flowers, fruits, seeds and pollinators through stories and discussions, then create their own pollination story through storyboarding.

Engineer: Students watch a video to learn how real-world farmers must pollinate orchid flowers by hand in order to produce vanilla pods. Students then use the engineering design process to create a tool (a “pollinator”) to hand pollinate a model of a vanilla orchid flower. Students test their tools, collect data about effectiveness, redesign based on what they learned, and repeat the test.

Explain: Using knowledge of structures and functions, students participate in matching game to make predictions and pair pollinators with flowers.

Environmental Stewardship: Students may become citizen scientists by submitting pollinator counts and observations to the Great Sunflower Project and/or improve habitat by planting a pollinator garden.

Evaluate: TBA

Extend: Students may use a clickable infographic to learn about some of the most delicious and nutritious foods on Earth that wouldn’t exist without bees.

G-R-C

test test

Engineer

Carry out lessons #9 – #12 from the 2nd grade “Pollination and Seed Dispersal” unit by betterlesson.com author, Jeri Faber.  In this series of lessons, students learn how real-world farmers must pollinate orchid flowers by hand in order to produce vanilla pods.  Students then use the engineering design process to create a tool (a “pollinator’) to hand pollinate a model of a vanilla orchid flower. Students test their tools, collect data about effectiveness, redesign based on what they learned, and repeat the test.
Note: In order to view all the lessons, it may be required to create an account (free) at betterlesson.com.

Lesson #9: I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for VANILLA Ice Cream!  (60 minutes)
Objective: Students will use the engineering design process to define a problem, brainstorm ideas and then choose their best idea for creating a plant pollinator.
Activity Description: The children will be having so much fun designing a vanilla plant pollinator they will be screaming for more!  This is an end of the unit task, which will take about 3 days to complete from start to finish.  First they will watch a video that tells about the problems of hand pollinating vanilla.  Then the students will pretend to be employees of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and design a pollinator for the vanilla plant.  In this part, they will work on defining the problem and brainstorming ideas for their vanilla plant pollinator.  They will ask themselves questions to help them choose their best idea.

Lesson #10: Two Scoops Are Better Than One!  (25 minutes)
Objective: Students will use the engineering process to develop their ideas with a team.
Activity Description: The children will have a ball working with a partner to develop their idea for creating a vanilla plant pollinator.  This is the SECOND part of an end of the unit task, which will take about 3 days to complete from start to finish.   In the previous lesson, the students were challenged to create a vanilla flower pollinator.  They defined the problem, researched, got the specs and brainstormed a plan for this challenge.  In this part, students will work with a partner to first choose then develop their plans by drawing a diagram depicting their plan for their vanilla plant pollinator.  They will also be creating the list of materials needed for the task.
View Lesson Screen Shot

Lesson #11: Building and Testing Our Vanilla Plant Pollinator  (75 minutes)
Objective: Students will use the engineering design process to develop their ideas and bring their ideas to life. They will also test their ideas to see if their design was effective.
Activity Description: In the previous lesson, the students were challenged to create a vanilla flower pollinator.  They defined the problem, researched, got the specs and brainstormed a plan for this challenge.  In the second part, Two Scoops Are Better Than One, students worked with a partner to choose, then develop their plan for their vanilla plant pollinator.  In THIS LESSON, the children will build their designs according to their plan.  They will each measure their pollinators.  Then as a group, we will test out their designs to check their effectiveness.  The students will record their data.

Lesson #12: Improving Our Vanilla Plant Pollinators  (60 minutes)
Objective: Using the results from testing, students will make improvements on a design to make it more effective and/or sturdier.
Activity Description: This lesson is part of a series of lessons on using the engineering design process to solve a problem.  In the Ice Scream, You Scream We All Scream for Vanilla Ice Cream, the students were challenged to create a vanilla flower pollinator.  They defined the problem, researched, got the specs and brainstormed a plan for this challenge.  In the second part, Two Scoops Are Better Than One, students worked with a partner to choose, then develop their plan for their vanilla plant pollinator.  In Building and Testing Our Vanilla Pollinators, the children built their pollinators according to their plans.  They measured their pollinators.  Then as a group, we tested out their designs to check their effectiveness.  The students recorded their data. In THIS LESSON the students analyze their data to figure out if their pollinator was effective or not and how well constructed it was.  They use that information to make improvements.  Then they improve their designs and repeat the tests to see if their pollinators were more effective and/or studier.  Their ideas are then written down on a workpage.

Add boilerplate text…
Test
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Learn more about Grades K-2 Engineering Design.

Second grade Lesson I Scream You Scream We All Scream for VANILLA Ice Cream
From betterlesson.com
Second grade Lesson Two Scoops Are Better Than One
From betterlesson.com

 

 

Engage

Checking Out Flowers and Their Visitors
Weather permitting, take students outdoors on a scavenger hunt to observe flowering plants and search for flower visitors.  Rather than trying to name the plants and animals they encounter (this not the time for field guides!), focus students’ attention on making observations, describing what they observe (colors, shapes, smells, behaviors, etc.), making comparisons, noting similarities/differences, and asking questions based on their observations. Watch carefully for interactions between flowers and animals. Use tools such as magnifying glasses, field microscopes, and/or video recording devices to make even more detailed observations.  If desired, use clipboard or journals to help focus students’ attention, list or make drawings of observations, and record student questions.

If weather does not allow taking a field trip to the outdoor classroom, show students the “Beauty of Pollination” video and ask the following questions:
What kinds of animals did you see in the video?
How can you describe what they looked like, what they were doing, etc.?
What types of flowers did you see?
How would you describe their colors, shapes, and other characteristics?
What questions do you have about the plants and animals you observed in the video?

Whether teaching outdoors or indoors, find or provide a variety of fresh flowers for students to examine more closely and even dissect. Explore questions such as:
What parts do they seem have in common?
Can we sort parts from different flowers into similar groups?
What do you think certain parts may be used for?
What other questions do you have about these flowers?

At the end of all these explorations, ask students if they think the differences in flowers (their shapes, colors, smells, etc.) may have anything to do with the animals that come to visit them.  Why or why not?

Science and Engineering Practice(s):
• Asking questions (science) and defining problems (for engineering)

Cross-cutting Concept(s):
• Patterns
• Structure & Function

Elicit Questions

Essential Questions:
What is pollination?
Why do plants need to be pollinated?
Why do plants need animals for pollination?
How are plants adapted to be pollinated by animals?
What does a flower’s shape have to do with the animals that can pollinate it?
How can I make a model that shows how an animal pollinates a flower?

Driving Question:
Add one ? here.
What do you think is happening with plants and animals in these photos?
animal_pollinators_wheel_usda_fs

 

Elicit Student Questions:
Add boilerplate text telling how teachers can facilitate development of student-generated questions…

Add link to boilerplate text (KW to write) explaining how teachers can facilitate development of student-generated questions about phenomena, data, claims or designs…

Explain

4 Corners
Designate the four corners of the classroom or four areas of the outdoor classroom as 1, 2, 3, and 4. After the teacher asks a question and gives four multiple choice answers, students should go stand in the corner that matches their response.  Play several rounds.  Possible questions and answers are listed below:
Which is your favorite subject in school?
Choices: 1) math, 2) science, 3) language arts, 4) social studies

What type of activities do you most enjoy?
Choices: 1) art, 2) music/dance, 3) sports, 4) nature/outdoors

What is your favorite season?
Choices: 1) springs, 2) summer, 3) fall, 4) winter

What is your favorite time of day?
Choices: 1) morning, 2) afternoon, 3) evening, 4) late night

What color do you like best?
Choices: 1) red, 2) yellow, 3) blue, 4) green

Which flavor of ice cream do you most like?
Choices: 1) vanilla, 2) chocolate, 3) strawberry, 4) mint

Which smell do you prefer?
Choices: 1) rose, 2) cinnamon, 3) orange, 4) odorless

What activity are you best at doing?
Choices: 1) running, 2) jumping, 3) stretching, 4) throwing

Pollination Partnerships
Like the different students in our class, different pollinators also have varying needs and abilities, and therefore, also have different flower preferences. Ask students to recall and explain why some of their vanilla orchid pollinator designs worked better than others. Also ask students to recall, when observing flowers outdoors, if they noticed any flowers that seems to be visited more often by certain types of pollinators.

We can look at the characteristics of pollinators and try to predict what flowers they may be most attracted to and most effective at pollinating.  Use the “Birds and Bees” Flower Cards (pages 35-38) from the Life Lab “Garden Pollinators” curriculum to learn more about the different shapes, structures, smells, and other characteristics of various flowers.  As students look at pictures of the flowers and read about each one, ask them to make predictions about which animals may be best able to pollinate these flowers. For example, if a flower blooms at night, what types of animals may be active at night and also able to reach the nectar and/or pollen in this flower?  Record students’ predictions for each flower shown.  Next, review the information provided on the “Birds and Bees” Pollinator Cards (pages 31-34) from the Life Lab “Garden Pollinators” curriculum to gain more clues about the possible animal pollinators.  See if students can match up the best suited pollination partners by pairing a pollinator card with a flower card. Reinforce the crosscutting concept of structure and function by returning to the garden and asking students to make additional flower visitor predictions by matching the “Birds and Bees” Pollinator Cards to actual flowers (and giving reasons to support their choices). If desired, allow students to test their predictions by making further observations, recording data about flower visitors, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions.

Evaluate

Formative Assessment:   “From Seed to Plant” Kahoot quiz game.

Summative Assessment: Test SAGES Rubric

Add rubric for assessing engineering design challenge? 
Use Pollinator Storyboarding activity as a summative assessment instead (and require explanation of structure-function relationship for pollination and for seed dispersal?)

Explore

Fruits & Flowers – What’s the Connection?
Display a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables such as watermelon; apple; orange; bell pepper; pumpkin; eggplant; avocado; carrot or radish; potato or sweet potato; celery, asparagus, or rhubarb; kale or lettuce; broccoli or cauliflower. (Caution: check students’ food allergies beforehand and avoid any fruits, veggies, nuts, etc. that could be a potential problem.)  For the purposes of this activity, choose fruits that contain seeds that are easy to spot when cut open, instead of seedless varieties. In addition, select vegetables that represent different parts of plants (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, etc.) As an alternative, provide photos of clipart images of various fruits and veggies.

Ask students to think of all the different ways they could sort the produce into groups.  Answers may include sorting by sizes, shapes, colors, tastes, textures, if there is a peel or no peel, or even forming groups such as “ones I like to eat” and “ones I don’t like to eat.”  Then ask students to help sort the produce into two groups: those that are fruits and those that are not fruits (vegetables).  If you choose to do this as a whole class, ask students to always state their reason (provide evidence) for why they think a particular item is a fruit or not.  You may also cut up the produce samples (or make multiple copies of photos/images) and allow students to work in smaller groups to complete the sorting activity. Discuss reasons for classifying the produce as a fruit or not and ask questions along the way.  For example, if students say an apple is a fruit because it tastes sweet, ask if a sweet potato also a fruit because it’s also sweet?  Does anyone have a different reason for classifying an apple as a fruit? If students say an apple is a fruit because it grows on a tree, ask if an avocado is also a fruit because also grows or a tree or if a watermelon is not a fruit because it grows on a vine.

After the two groups have been sorted out, ask students if they were scientists who studied plants (called botanists), could they have a different way of determining what is a fruit and what is not?”  Tell students one way botanists may classify fruits is by looking on the inside. Cut open the produce samples and ask students to make observations about what they can now see on the inside. Go through the sorting activity again, this time asking students to use evidence about what they can see on the inside when sorting the samples into groups of fruits and not fruits.  If needed, tell students what botanists are looking for on the inside are seeds!  A fruit is the part of the plant that contains the seeds.  As needed, allow students to look for seeds and re-group the samples as needed. For the non-fruits, this is a good opportunity to review the parts of a plant: a carrot is the root; asparagus is the stem; kale is the leaf; cauliflower is the flower buds, etc.  (Note: potatoes and sweet potatoes are actually special kinds of underground stems called “tubers”, not roots.)

Reminds students that, previously, they looked at flowers and the insects or other animals that visited them, but today they looked at fruits and seeds. Ask students to share their thoughts on what flowers and animals may have to do with fruits and seeds. Listen to their answers then tell students they will have a chance to learn more by listening to a story.  Read one or more of the following books:
The Reason for a Flower: A Book About Flowers, Pollen, and Seeds by Ruth Heller
Flowers Are Calling by Rita Gray
What If There Were No Bees?: A Book about the Grassland Ecosystem by Suzanne Buckingham Slade
Animal Pollinators by Jennifer Boothroyd
What Is Pollination? by Bobbie Kalman
From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons

Discuss the story, highlighting the following topics:
The powdery material produced by the male parts of flowers is called pollen.
Animals can move pollen from one flower to another.
When pollen is moved from the male part of a flower to the female part of a flower, we call it “pollination.”
Animals that help move pollen from flower to flower are called pollinators.
Plants combine a grain of pollen with an egg from inside the flower in order to start forming a seed.  This is called” fertilization.”
A flower can develop into a fruit that contains the plant’s seed(s).  (Showing time-lapse videos of pear and cherry flowers developing into to fruits  can help reinforce this concept.)
Seeds can grow into new plants.
Plants often provide nectar that will attract pollinators to visit again and again.
Without animal pollinators to move their pollen, many plants could not produce seeds.
Animals also depend on plants that provide pollen and nectar for food.

“From Seed to Plant” Kahoot 
Assess students’ levels of understanding of pollination so far by playing the “From Seed to Plant” Kahoot quiz game and reviewing key concepts, clearing up misconceptions, answering questions, etc. as needed.

Pollinator Storyboarding
Use the storyboard technique to engage students in creating their own story in about how an animal pollinator helps flowers form fruits and seeds. Students may use a storyboard template or create their own.  A variety of foldable book templates, flipbook templates and digital storyboarding tools and are also available.  A basic storyline would be:
1) pollinator visits a flower (and searches for nectar and/or pollen for food)
2) pollen gets on the pollinator (on the fuzzy body of a bumblebee, on the face of a bat, on the throat of a hummingbird, on the leg of a butterfly, etc.)
3) pollinator visits another flower (and some pollen is left behind) – pollination
4) pollen joins with the egg inside the flower (a seed begins to form) – fertilization
5) flower develops into a fruit containing seed(s)

Science and Engineering Practice(s):
Gather
• Asking Questions/Defining Problems
• Obtaining Information
Reason
• Constructing Explanations/Solving Problems
Communicate
• Communicating Information
• Arguing from Evidence (written & oral)

Cross-cutting Concept(s):
• Patterns
• Cause & Effect: Mechanism & Explanation
• Structure & Function

Extend

Every Third Bite
Did you know that we rely on bees for nearly 1/3 of our entire food supply? Not to mention all the fibers, spices and medicines the plants they pollinate make possible. Students may use this “Every Third Bite“clickable infographic from Burt’s Bees to learn about some of the most delicious and nutritious foods on Earth that wouldn’t exist without bees.

Getting to Know the Pollinators
Students may independently research different animal pollinators and choose one to become “an expert” about. This graphic organizer (from betterlesson.com) will help students organize their research.

PollinatorLIVE Distance Learning Adventure
While pollinators may come in small sizes, they play a large and often undervalued role in the production of the food we eat, the health of flowering plants, and the future of wildlife. PollinatorLIVE brings the excitement of pollinators to students through a series of archived webcasts.

  • CLICK HERE to watch Nature’s Partners: Pollinators, Plants and People webcast and broadcast from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  Scientists and educators explain pollination, plant-insect interactions, how to study pollinators, their importance to the food supply, and what people can do to help.
  • CLICK HERE to watch The Insect Zoo in Your Schoolyard, webcast from the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Learn about pollination, pollinators, participatory science projects, the latest about monarch butterflies, and how to attract pollinators to your schoolyard.
  • CLICK HERE to watch Honey Bees, Native Bees, Gardening, and More held at the Washington Youth Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum. Learn about our native and honey bees, tour the youth garden, and learn how good nutrition and pollinators are connected.

Supplies and Prep

Checking Out Flowers and Their Visitors (Engage)
  • outdoor classroom/garden containing plants in bloom
  • tools such as magnifying glasses, field microscopes, and/or video recording devices - 1 per student
  • clipboard or journals - 1 per student
  • fresh flowers - 1 for every 2-3 students
  • simple dissecting tools such as toothpicks - 1 per student
  • projector and Internet to show “Beauty of Pollination” video (optional)
Fruits & Flowers – What’s the Connection? (Explore)
  • variety of fruits (watermelon, bell pepper, pumpkin, avocado, etc.)
  • kitchen knife
  • one or more of the following books: The Reason for a Flower: A Book About Flowers, Pollen, and Seeds by Ruth Heller Flowers Are Calling by Rita Gray What If There Were No Bees?: A Book about the Grassland Ecosystem by Suzanne Buckingham Slade Animal Pollinators by Jennifer Boothroyd What Is Pollination? by Bobbie Kalman From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
“From Seed to Plant” Kahoot (Explore)
  • mobile devices - 1 per student
Pollination Storyboarding (Explore)
  • storyboard template, foldable book template, or flipbook template - 1 per student
  • crayons, colored pencils, or markers - 1 set per student or small group
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for VANILLA Ice Cream! (Engineer) Two Scoops Are Better Than One! (Engineer)
  • Smartboard (optional)
  • various craft and building materials - craft pom poms of various sizes, cotton balls, cotton swabs, sticky dots, toothpicks, straws, aluminum foil, wires, tape, pipe cleaners, newspaper, etc.
  • vanilla flower model (made from test tube and tag board) - 1 per student pair
  • "Best Idea Vanilla Pollinator" recording sheet - 1 per student pair
  • "Engineering Design - Choose" Card - displayed on Smartboard or 1 poster to show the class
  • "Engineering Design Develop" Card - displayed on Smartboard or 1 poster to show the class
  • apron (optional, but fun) – 1 per student
  • soda hat (optional, but fun) – 1 per student
Building and Testing Our Vanilla Plant Pollinator (Engineer)
  • tray (such as black trays from microwaveable meals) - 1 per student pair
  • various craft and building materials - craft pom poms of various sizes, cotton balls, cotton swabs, sticky dots, toothpicks, straws, aluminum foil, wires, tape, pipe cleaners, newspaper, etc.
  • small funnel for putting "pollen" into the test tube
  • 1/8 cup of flour for the "pollen"
  • 1/8 or 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon
  • vanilla flower model (made from test tube and tag board) - 1 per student pair
  • "Vanilla Pollinator's Engineer's Notebook" recording sheet - 1 per student
  • "Vanilla Pollinator Measure and Test" recording sheet - 1 per student
  • pollination testing paper (6" x 10" black foam board or construction paper)  - 1 per student pair
  • apron (optional, but fun) – 1 per student
  • soda hat (optional, but fun) – 1 per student
Improving Our Vanilla Plant Pollinators (Engineer)
  • completed testing paper and created pollinator from previous activity - 1 per student pair
  • tray (such as black trays from microwaveable meals) - 1 per student pair
  • various craft and building materials - craft pom poms of various sizes, cotton balls, cotton swabs, sticky dots, toothpicks, straws, aluminum foil, wires, tape, pipe cleaners, newspaper, etc.
  • small funnel for putting "pollen" into the test tube
  • 1/8 cup of flour for the "pollen"
  • 1/8 or 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon
  • vanilla flower model (made from test tube and tag board) - 1 per student pair
  • "Vanilla Pollinator's Engineer's Notebook" recording sheet - 1 per student
  • "Vanilla Pollinator Measure and Test" recording sheet - 1 per student
  • pollination testing paper (6" x 10" black foam board or construction paper)  - 1 per student pair
  • apron (optional, but fun) – 1 per student
  • soda hat (optional, but fun) – 1 per student
4 Corners (Explain)
  • no materials required
Pollination Partnerships (Explain)
  • “Birds and Bees” Pollinator Cards - 1 card per student
  • “Birds and Bees” Flower Cards - 1 card per student
Pollinator Citizen Scientists (Environmental Stewardship)
  • TBA
Plant a Pollinator Garden (Environmental Stewardship)
  • TBA
Every Third Bite (Extend)
  • Internet-connected Computer/Tablet - 1 per student or small group
Moth Moonflower Pollination Game (Group Lesson)
  • non-noise-making party blowers to make the proboscis of the hawkmoth - 1 per student
  • double-sided sticky tape to attach to the tip of the blower
  • 8 oz. White plastic drinking cup - 15 per class
  • white poster paper - 1 sheet
  • small (1/4 inch) yellow pom-poms - 10 per cup for hawkmoth feeding Note: If you also want to look at pollination of the flowers you will need about 20 pompoms of another color.
  • small sticky notepad
  • string
  • glue gun
  • hole punch
Pollination Game (Individual Lesson)
  • Internet-connected Computer/Tablet - 1 per student or small group

Environmental Stewardship

Pollinator Citizen Scientists
Students may become citizen scientists by participating in the Great Sunflower Project and joining a community of gardeners, beekeepers, naturalists, and other citizen scientists who are providing thousands of records of pollinators each year. The best and most useful way to contribute to the Great Sunflower is to focus on a particular site or set of sites. Each time students visit their selected site(s) they can do a pollinator count on any of the plants in that space. Over time, this will create a list of the most important plants for each pollinator and give an indication of which plants are important at what times of year.

Plant a Pollinator Garden
Students may also choose to get involved in improving habitat by planting a pollinator garden that features native and non-invasive pollen and nectar producing plants; provides continuous bloom throughout the growing season; creates large “pollinator targets” situated in sunny areas with wind breaks; includes water sources and areas for raising young (nesting sites, host plants, etc.); and eliminates or minimizes the impact of pesticides.  Register or certify the garden through one or more of the following programs:
Great Pollinator Habitat Challenge (The Great Sunflower Project)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (National Pollinator Garden Network)
Pollinator Habitat Certification Program (Monarchs Across Georgia)
Monarch Waystation Certification Program (Monarch Watch)
Schoolyard Habitats® Certification Program (National Wildlife Federation)
Unpave the Way for Wildlife Habitat Project (Journey North)

Add link to PolliNation EcoSTEM kit? – http://captainplanetfoundation.org/ecostemkit/#ert_pane1-2 

STEM Connections

Science – Students will learn about interdependent relationships in ecosystems by exploring how plants depend on animals for pollination. By learning how different animals are best adapted to pollinate plants with certain characteristics, students will see how the shapes of natural structures are related to their functions.

Technology –

Engineering – Students use the engineering design process to develop/test/redesign a  tool (a “pollinator’) to hand pollinate a model of a vanilla orchid flower and explain how its shape relates to its function.

Math –

 

Student Handouts

Add credits to handouts and green box / screen shots below.

“Vanilla Plant Pollinator Challenge Folder Cover” – 1 per student
“Vanilla Pollinator Define and Research Worksheet” – 1 per student
“Vanilla Pollinator Brainstorm Worksheet” – 1 per student
“Best Idea Vanilla Pollinator” recording sheet – 1 per student pair
“Vanilla Pollinator’s Engineer’s Notebook” recording sheet – 1 per student
“Vanilla Pollinator Measure and Test” recording sheet – 1 per student

ReTeach

Small Group Learning Activity:

Moth Moonflower Pollination Game (from Clemson University)
In this activity, students will become hawkmoths and attempt to collect nectar and pollen from flowers while avoiding becoming prey to the predators lurking in the garden. They will investigate the proboscis of the moth as an adaptation allowing it to feed and survive. They also will investigate ways living things interact with each other in the nocturnal garden.

INSECT EXPERIMENTS FOR THE CLASSROOM


Individual Learning Activity:

Pollination Game
This Pollination Game helps students to explore how different flowers attract different animals to pollinate them. These differences help us to understand why there are so many types of flowers in nature. Students can choose to design a flower from a choice of shapes and colors, and add variable amounts of nectar, pollen and perfume, as well as nectar guides. Students then choose an animal to pollinate the flower and see whether it likes it.  If an appropriate pollinator is selected, students will get lots of seeds and lots of points!

Pick the Pollinator (from NOVA)
Pollinators — typically wind, water, and animals— carry pollen from one flower to another, where fertilization takes place. In this game, students match seven plants with their pollinators and, when done, check their answers and learn some of the reasons why flowering plants have come to dominate the botanical world.

Teaching Tips

Add Botany 101 background for teachers (point out possible student misconceptions), add more details about different types of pollination, formation of fruits/seeds, etc.
Good background info – http://www.envirothon.org/files/2014/Pollinators_.pdf 

Add notes about avoids language that implies intent or assigns feelings to plants/animals Ex. flowers “want” (need) to be pollinated, hummingbirds “like” (are attracted to) red flowers, etc.
butterflies leave or deposit pollen (pollen is left behind or falls off) instead of being deposited  purposefully by the animal for the benefit of the flower

 

Because the students will be building on prior knowledge of pollinators and the pollination process to help them create their model of a pollinator, the previous activities about pollination are needed. The students will discover that the shape of the object also relates to the function of their design, so conversations about how animals help with plant pollination is necessary.

When students are observing how animals move pollen, teachers should encourage students to evaluate the shape of the animal’s body parts that are moving the pollen.

Anchor charts of student learning of how animals help pollinate flowers could be made and posted in the room.

Teachers should review the engineering design process (brainstorm, design possible solutions, test possible solutions, evaluate, and redesign if necessary) prior to beginning this lesson. Teachers should allow for ample time for students to build and test the plant pollinators.

The author of the lesson plan has included engineering design posters that will assist students in the steps they need to follow to develop the simple plant pollinator model. These posters should be posted in the room.

Students will develop a sketch of their pollinator model. Encourage students to use labels for each part of the drawing.

The students should communicate and justify to each other why certain design elements and materials are needed to develop the plant pollination model so that it serves its purpose of pollinating a plant.

When sharing the models, students could briefly explain why they chose what materials they did and why they picked the design for the pollinator model.

The lesson plan has the students test the pollinators in front of the class. Students can observe how much flour is picked up. Then they can evaluate each model’s effectiveness for picking up pollen based on the shape and structure of the pollinator.

Teachers should encourage students to converse about the design, materials, and development of the shape and stability of the plant pollination model.

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