Bees teach us (LS-RO-88)

This Learning Scenario was created by Gratiela Visan from Romania.

The lesson is addressed to 8-years-old students. It aims to highlight the role of bees in our lives, the harmony of forms in nature, and the way we can learn from bees. Students discover and are becoming aware of the importance of bees in the natural and built environment. Then, they will be able to apply, in various and creative contexts, the notions about two and three-dimensional forms acquired. Also, students will use their practical skill and improve language skills (writing and reading).

Bees: an endangered species

For the beginning of the lesson, I used images from the Europeana collection for inspiration. It also helped to create a suitable framework for the theme.

Over time, painters have been inspired by the beauty of landscapes, vegetation. In fact, nature would not be the same without the bees, the main pollinators. Students will find that bees are an endangered species, and this is worrying. Known as “nature engineers”, bees make amazing honeycombs. The geometric shape underlying this construction is the hexagon. Students will discover that this form is often encountered in nature. Using the Europeana collection, students will investigate the existence of this geometric shape. They will find that not all images can be used, so they have to choose the ones that allow downloading.

Using Padlet as a working tool, students will collect the images found. They will search for words such as “bees,” “honeycomb”, “turtle”, “giraffe”, “flower”, “snowflake”, “Giant’s Causeway”. They will observe the existence of the hexagonal shape on the turtle shell, the giraffe’s body, the symmetrical image of a flower, the snowflake structure and the rock block section, as most of the columns are hexagonal in Giant’s Causeway. Also in the Europeana collection, students will look for examples from the built environment (Honeycomb architecture). At the same time, they will work together, in teams.

The “Bee’s Fortress” layout

The transfer of knowledge will be reflected in the construction of a “Bee’s Fortress” layout. This practical activity will result in a collective work. Each student will create a “box” with a hexagonal base. Finally, students will merge their work together and make a honeycomb. Thus they will develop their social competences: the ability to work and collaborate in a group, developing communication skills and creativity, cross-cultural understanding.

“Bees teach us” that in nature is harmony and balance, diversity and symmetry, that collaboration is important and beneficial.

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CC BY 4.0 –The featured image used to illustrate this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution. It has been provided by the Wellcome collectionIt has been resized and labelled to illustrate this article. To find the original image click here.

The featured image used to illustrate this article belongs to the public domain. Click here to find it.

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