Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dig Into The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery

Once children read this real-life mystery, they’ll be ready to dig deeper.  These activities will really get them buzzing!

What’s The Story?

Part 1

Pretend Dave Hackenberg is your grandfather.  Write a paragraph as if you were visiting him the day he discovered nearly four hundred of his beehives were nearly empty.

Part 2

Now pretend you’re a reporter for your local television station. Write a paragraph telling the breaking news story the U.S. is facing because honeybees are vanishing. Be sure to briefly share the following:
·      How big a problem is this?
·      Where is it happening?
·      What are the reasons scientists believe it’s happening?
·      What is offering hope for the future?

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.6 Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.

Get The Buzz On Bees

Dig into books and search online to learn more about the lifecycle of a honeybee queen.  

Write a short story about one honeybee queen. 

Be sure to include an introduction that explains how a queen is different than the other bees in a hive. Next have a middle where something exciting happens, such as the queen leaves with workers to start a new colony or other bees trying to steal honey attack the hive. Then give your story an ending, including how long the queen lives and how many young she provides the hive every year of her life. Just for fun, draw and color pictures to bring your story to life.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

Buzzzz Hunter

Go on an information scavenger hunt using only the book’s photos and captions to answer the following questions.

  • 1.     Why are cornfields not good places for bees?

  • 2.     What requirement does a hive have to meet to be rented for work in the California almond orchards?

  • 3.     Why was a tiny device glued to the back of some honeybees?

  • 4.     Why are varroa mites nicknamed vampire mites?

  • 5.     Is the U.S. President a beekeeper? How do you know?

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.2 Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Be A Bee Friend

What can you do to help honeybees? 

Read “Help Your Local Honeybees” and “Global Rescue Efforts” at the back of the book. 

Next, choose one way to help honeybees. Tell what you chose and why, in your opinion, that will make a difference. 

Make a list, in order, of what you’ll do. And, after checking with an adult to be sure your plan is okay for you to do, go to work. Your local bees need you!  
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak 

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