Pollination for Kids!
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 thankyou 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
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.
- 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 Kindergarden to Grade 12.
International Pollination Systems, Bees in the Classroom
- Green Teacher is a great magazine that helps educators provide environmental and global education in and outside the classroom!
National Gardening Association Kids Gardening (USA)
North America Pollinator Protection Campaign
- 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.
US Forest Service, Celebrating Wildflowers
Video Library Company
- 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.
- 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.