Why do we need honey bees and how do they affect our world? In order to answer these questions, second graders investigated the role of bees in our ecosystem, and the various ways bees are being threatened. Once their research was complete, students became advocates for the bees. Working collaboratively in groups, students wrote and performed bee plays to educate the school community about the threats to bees. They also wrote letters to the city and large corporations, planted over 200 bee-friendly plants, and built beehives to donate to a community organization in Mexicali.
This has been one of my favorite projects because it gave students the opportunity to advocate for what they feel is important and to make a change in our community. I knew this project was meaningful when students insisted we write letters to our local government asking if they could plant more pesticide-free flowers for bees. Our students were so proud as they stood by the plants that they put into the ground with their own hands. I think that what impacted me most as a teacher was to see my students take ownership of their learning. When they began to understand the problems that honeybees were facing, they also realized that there were ways for them to advocate for change. Students began to ask questions about why people, namely adults and big corporations, are not doing more to help the honeybees. After building beehives to send to Mexicali to help a community of women and children there, students felt a sense of accomplishment and contribution to solving a problem that they realized is affecting us all.
I learned that if we didn’t have bees we wouldn’t have most of our favorite food.
Working in a group helped me because I got more ideas. None of us is as smart as all of us.
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